France - tips and info


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petetherock

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Oct 9, 2006
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#1
Friends I will be in France for 6 days. Hoping to get some tips and info here. I am looking to avoid crowded places like Paris, and will instead aim to head to scenic and quiet places instead, eg Loire Valley, Provence etc

Any ideas?

The main aim is to chill and enjoy the countryside and food.

Thanks
 

reconn

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#2
Friends I will be in France for 6 days. Hoping to get some tips and info here. I am looking to avoid crowded places like Paris, and will instead aim to head to scenic and quiet places instead, eg Loire Valley, Provence etc

Any ideas?

The main aim is to chill and enjoy the countryside and food.

Thanks

Find a good composition and shoot. Be it in crowded places or not. Bend the rules.
 

Deadpoet

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Oct 18, 2004
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#3
Friends I will be in France for 6 days. Hoping to get some tips and info here. I am looking to avoid crowded places like Paris, and will instead aim to head to scenic and quiet places instead, eg Loire Valley, Provence etc

Any ideas?

The main aim is to chill and enjoy the countryside and food.

Thanks
You want quiet in Provence and Loire Valley?? Good luck. Actually, no such luck.

If you are really looking for some out of the way region in France, I recommend going to Dorgdone.

But then, even though Paris is crowded, there is so much to shoot in Paris.
 

petetherock

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#4
Thanks, been to Paris, and its alright, but this time, I am trying out new places, so if you have more ideas, let me know...

BTW recently at a friend's place in Bishan, I came across a wifi network called deadpoet...
You want quiet in Provence and Loire Valley?? Good luck. Actually, no such luck.

If you are really looking for some out of the way region in France, I recommend going to Dorgdone.

But then, even though Paris is crowded, there is so much to shoot in Paris.
 

Deadpoet

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Thanks, been to Paris, and its alright, but this time, I am trying out new places, so if you have more ideas, let me know...

BTW recently at a friend's place in Bishan, I came across a wifi network called deadpoet...
not me :)

I assume you will be driving.

Mont St. Michel is wonderful, but you should make sure you are there during sunset. The place can get really crowded, but it's worth the journey out to Normandy. While you are at Normandy, do visit the WW2 battlegrounds.

Le Mans is close by, and teh museum there is a race car fans dream.

Chartres, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres in the center of the city rivals the Notre Dame in Paris in terms of splendor and history.
 

petetherock

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#6
Thanks,
So far Mont St. Michel , Loirre Valley, Provence are the suggestions
You know the movie Love Actually where Colin Firth sits in a small house in France? Wonder where that is....
 

Deadpoet

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Provence is my fav place in France, if not all of Europe.

I always base out of Avignon. Easy reach to Orange and Alres for the Roman ruins. Alres is also the stomping ground for Van Gough. Marseilles is only 1 hour drive south, the hill countries with many hill top fortified towns dotted the Luberons, it's half an hour to the east. Chateauneuf du Papes is 30 minutes north west, and the wine there is fantastic. If you go wine tasting, do drop by chateau La Nerthe, my fav.

When are you going?
 

petetherock

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Oct 9, 2006
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#8
I will be in Boston early July then over to France for 5 nights...

So I think Provence sounds nice and I can drop by Nice, and maybe on the way pass through the Bordeaux area?

Too many things?
Provence is my fav place in France, if not all of Europe.

I always base out of Avignon. Easy reach to Orange and Alres for the Roman ruins. Alres is also the stomping ground for Van Gough. Marseilles is only 1 hour drive south, the hill countries with many hill top fortified towns dotted the Luberons, it's half an hour to the east. Chateauneuf du Papes is 30 minutes north west, and the wine there is fantastic. If you go wine tasting, do drop by chateau La Nerthe, my fav.

When are you going?
 

petetherock

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#9
Found the location:
http://www.provenceweb.fr/e/var/vidauban/vidauban.htm

Might try and do this along with Provence, and maybe visit the ‘Portuguese’ restaurant, where writer Jamie finally declares his love for Aurelia (Lucia Moniz) is Le Bar de la Marine, 15 quai de Rive Neuve, the Old Port in Marseille (tel: 91 54 95 42), in the South of France

Vidauban!
 

Deadpoet

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I will be in Boston early July then over to France for 5 nights...

So I think Provence sounds nice and I can drop by Nice, and maybe on the way pass through the Bordeaux area?

Too many things?
Bordeaux is far away from Provence.
 

plsoong

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Jan 31, 2003
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#11
Provence is my fav place in France, if not all of Europe.

I always base out of Avignon. Easy reach to Orange and Alres for the Roman ruins. Alres is also the stomping ground for Van Gough. Marseilles is only 1 hour drive south, the hill countries with many hill top fortified towns dotted the Luberons, it's half an hour to the east. Chateauneuf du Papes is 30 minutes north west, and the wine there is fantastic. If you go wine tasting, do drop by chateau La Nerthe, my fav.

When are you going?
Yo DP,

I'm actually taking this down and hope can whack in the coordinates b4 my trip!

Will be doing this from 1st july till 8th July.

last 1-2 days will be in Nice, Monaco b lah blah blah...

only problem is.......WE CAN"T SPEAK FRENCH!!!!!!
It'll be an ultimate insult to them if i reply in English or German............

dang...


well, any particular southern cheeses to try? :D
 

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Deadpoet

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Oct 18, 2004
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#12
Yo DP,

I'm actually taking this down and hope can whack in the coordinates b4 my trip!

Will be doing this from 1st july till 8th July.

last 1-2 days will be in Nice, Monaco b lah blah blah...

only problem is.......WE CAN"T SPEAK FRENCH!!!!!!
It'll be an ultimate insult to them if i reply in English or German............

dang...


well, any particular southern cheeses to try? :D
if you are going to end in Nice, I suggest you fly into Marseille , pick up car there, drop off in Nice. Try www.autoeurope.com. i used them for my last cannot remember how many trips to Europe.

Btw, after over 20 trips to France, i still cannot speak French. it's ok, as long as you are no in Paris. people are very friendly, outside of Paris.
 

hongwen37

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#13
I just been to France in March for 21 days... Paris, Lyon, Annecy, Avignon, Arles, Orange, Pont du Gard, Marseille, Nice, Cannes, St Paul de Vence, Monaco, Mont St Michel & Bayeux...

If you are looking for towns to relax.. Provence is the place...

Annecy is a very pretty relaxing place with picturesque landscape. Though not in Provence, it can make a good day trip on your way down to Provence...

Avignon, Pont du Gard, Arles & Orange are more historical(Romans history), with nice photo opportunities too. Of the 4 neighbours, Orange & Pont di Gard are the most relaxing since the other 2 are bigger towns and thus more crowded...

St Paul de Vence is a fortified town with an excellent musuem nearby... very beautiful and relaxing place to be...

Mont st Michel and bayeux are way out to the North. If your objective is the South, then you might not be able to go unless you have time... Mont st Michel is very nice, one of my favourite, although it can get a bit touristy... Bayeux is a small town famous for its UNESCO Bayeux Tapestry, the longest (70m) in the World...

Other than all these towns, the rest are big cities.. Paris, Lyon, Nice, Cannes, Marseille & Monaco... But still, i bet you can find a spot in these places, away from the crowd.. And the good thing is that there are alot of people and activities going on, making good photo-taking opportunities... I particularly love Lyon and some of its culture...

Have fun!
 

hongwen37

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May 19, 2009
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#14
Hey... Some more things...

With 6 days only.. I think its not worthwhile to travel the whole distance across France from Provence to Bordeaux.. Too far... I suggest you concentrate the 6 days in the Provence area... There are more than enough places to explore in this Southern France...

If you dont feel like driving, the trains are very accessible and prompt... I travelled the whole time in trains with my railpass... But if you have few drivers to rotate and many people to share the cost of renting a car and petrol, then driving will be better cos there are some places the trains cannot reach...

Well.. Speaking French is not a requirement... Use the universal language... finger pointing and sign language... Bring along a travel guidebook.. they have useful French phrases behind where it can come in handy...
 

petetherock

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Oct 9, 2006
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#15
Thanks, so can I fly into Nice / Marseilles or drive down, then spend the 5 nights staying in the same place, exploring?
I have 3-4 pax, are there rentals for a cottage / home for 5 nights that anyone can recommend?

Cheers
 

hongwen37

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May 19, 2009
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#16
Yes.. Of course you can fly into Marseille or Nice.. if there are flights from the US to Marseille or Nice... (You were saying you planned to go over to France from the US right?)

Yes.. You can stay at one place and explore the surrounding towns... But the disadvantage of this is, you have to waste time travelling back to this town that you stay every night...

If you rent a car, you can plan on a round trip from one town to another and back to the city where you will fly off from... The disadvantage of this is you will have to keep changing hotels / hostels, and packing and carrying the luggage up and down the car... Not that this is a major problem though...

As for cottage, i dont know.. Probably you want to check out TripAdvisor.com?
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
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#17
Thanks, I will fly into CDG, then into Nice - found some flights via Easyjet or Air France...
I might then rent the car, OR... is a TGV train into Marseille from Paris easier? Are there trains from CDG?
 

hongwen37

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May 19, 2009
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#18
Ok.. This is the website you need to check for rail... www.raileurope.com.sg

I just checked.. they have TGV from Paris CDG direct to Marseille (around 4 hours) or even Nice (around 6hr 30min)... You can check out the timing that suits you at that website.

In fact, with the TGV, the time taken to travel such distance is around the same as taken the aeroplane... cos for flights, you have to arrive early at airport (1 hours plus earlier), check in everything... Not forgetting that airports tend to be further away from city centre and you have to take a cab or train into the city centre where you are most probably staying...

If travelling by train, the TGV will take you all the way to the train centre right in the middle of the city and from there, it might be a short walk or just a metro ride away.. Much more convenient... That is what i feel...

Price wise, the TGV might not be cheaper than the budget airline though... have to compare and see...
 

hongwen37

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#19
Be careful of your cameras etc, dont put your camera anywhere on the train then fall asleep like nobody business... You know how those people always stare at you when you carry a DSLR walking around in a foreign land... haha..

I always felt that bringing a tripod everywhere helps in personal safety... At least might be able to "scare" away those potential robbers? They wont dare to approach if they see you carrying something big and long like tripod or umbrellas... and not to mention its primary purpose of taking photos...
 

petetherock

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Oct 9, 2006
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#20
Great info!

I figured, I will go to Provence area (Nice is a better stop or Marsielle?) then fly back to CDG since my SIA flight from CDG to SIN is rather early at 11 plus am.
 

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