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Side trip to the countryside.
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin,

You are sure to have a wonderful time wherever you end up in - Normandy seems nice to enjoy your Calvados and see all the fat cows. Reading about Eisenhower's remarks when he first got there "Look at all the fat cows!" which is exactly what my husbad said when we were there.

Strasbourg is another place as there's been a lot of travel stories about Choucroute and vins d'Alsacien lately. I will be there May 9-15 to visit my artist daughter and on to a Parisian wedding with another daughter. I will let you know what adventures - places to eat and wines to drink - probably some Trimbauch and Schlumbergers.

Planning the trip is just as exciting as being there. Don't forget to visit Pierre Herme's boutique (per Clothilde's article on all that patisserie). I also love his chocolates (I think they are the best). He is on 72, rue Bonaparte.

C&Z members have lots of wonderful ideas - I've been enjoying all the suggestions and recipes I read in the site.

Enjoy the planning stage and then enjoy the trip! Looking forward to finding out your final itinerary and beyond............
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lilia,
I would love to hear about your trip and any places you encounter. I am seriously thinking about Normandy, I know my husband will want to visit the memorial as will I. My great uncles were members of the Royal Air Force in Canada and are both buried there.

Where did you stay in Normandy? What is the area known for?
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin,

Normandy is really a good place to have that side trip - it is only a couple of hours (about) from Paris even with the traffic. I like the little town of Honfleur (very picturesque) which is not too far from Deauville and Trouville (scenes of several movies I've seen). My husband and the children did enjoy the Memorials as we were able to visit the beaches. I have forgotten where we stayed in Honfleuras this was about twenty years ago when the children were little but I'll consult my latest Red guide Michelin and let you know what I come up with.

Maybe on the way back to Paris, you can stop by the Loire Valley to view the wonderful Chateaus (it is almost on your way back) and a last stop in Chartes where an Englishman (I'll get his name later to send you) gives the most wonderful tour of the Cathedral. From there, it's only about an hour back to Paris.

When I come back from Strasbourg (I hope that my daughter is able to arrange for a show of her paintings then - otherwise, she will have "une porte ouverte" so we can have an excuse for a little party, I will be able to tell you what enjoyable things I've done while there.

I'll drop a line or two in this forum when I think of more fun things to suggest. Reading about other people's planning and trips make me nostalgic for the ones I have taken in the past and my longing for future travels.

Keep on taking a lot of data and your travel will shape itself - travelling is a lot more fun when you have lots of info on hand.........

All the best.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:12 am    Post subject: trip to france Reply with quote

Erin hello,
By now, you've been "sent" to visit all parts of France. But as you decided to go north, Normandy is a natural choice.
Lilia is of course right and Honfleur-very picturesque, Deauville- very elegant and touristic and Trouville- really nice sea food- are nice places to visit.TAke the Normandy Corniche route between Honfleur and Deauville, its magic on a nice day. For engineer-minded persons , the new bridge of Normandy- The Tancarville bridge is quite a sight. More to the north east, you have the beautiful resort town of Etretat and its impressive cliffs on the beach. In the opposite direction, the memorial in Caen is quite impressive. I understand you are going to visit the beaches , or at least the one close to your heart. They are ovewhelming, especially the American cemetery. But if there. i warmly reccomend Bayeux and its famous tapestry. Food, oh the food : butter, cream, famous cheese ( Pont-l'eveque. a wonderful cheese to eat and a little town to be seen) , camembert,tripes ( a la facon de Caen, delicious), cider of course, marvellous sea food.
If your schedule permits, I would suggest a "jump" to St Michel ( don't be tempted by La mere Poulard Ommelette, it's a tourist ripp-off!!), and then Via the coast and the charming town of Cancale ( a must for oysters eaten on the sea front , fresh from the sea!!) to St.Malo.
As for the route from Paris to normandy, Giverny and the Monet House is a must, as well as the old town of Rouen. Bon voyage, whatever you decide.
Lilia hello, can it be that your Englishman guide from Chartres, is the same one I heard many many times while a student in Paris in the mid-seventies? We used to drive to Chartres in my Quatre Chevaux
just to enjoy his guiding. We did this until we "finished" all the Cathedral, as he chose each time to explain just one part of it. If we are talking acout the same extraordinary person, he should be about 70-75 today- he seemed then very "old" to us ( 40 was considered a Mathusalem!!)Oh, please tell me it's the same one and next time when in Paris I'll take my husband to enjoy his really special tour ( it was at 11 a.m. if I remember well) That's some nostalgia!!
Bon voyage Erin
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin,

I agree with Simona. If you find yourself in Etretat to admire the cliffs, you may stop to try the famous "coquilles St. Jacques a ''Entretat" complete with its coral. It should be divinely delicious. I believe the season starts in October and last until May. Food would be rich with butter and cream. I like apple desserts generously doused with Calvados (tha apple brandy from the region).

From Paris to Normandy, stopping by Monet's house in Giverny is a great idea. You can then continue on to Rouen to see the Cathedral - Monet has four paintings of same done at different times of day with different lightings (I think they are in different museums all over the world - one or two in the US). This way, from St. Malo, you can drop down to the Loire - Valle de les Rois - for the Chateaus from Angers to Tours to Blois and cut over to Chartres before cutting over to Chartres.

Simona, I think we have the same Englishman - Malcolm Miller. A couple of friends did this tour about five-six years ago but they can't remember their Englishman's name (yes, possibly a different Englishman) as our time in Chartres has been sometime ago. You as a student in your quatre chevaux. How fun that would have been! When I start reading your posts in these forums, I will watch out for maybe more mutual nostagic trips that we have both taken.

Erin, I think we will ask you to do the detective work for us and let us know when you come back who is the present Tour Guide at the Cathedrale de Chartres. Oh, I hope you get there on a sunny day to maximize the enjoyment of the gorgeous stained glass which is if not the most perfect - is close to being the perfect and most beautiful stained glass windows you could ever see. Unfortunately for me, I would not have time when I go to Paris after Strasbourg as I am to attend a wedding which would take part the better part of the day and night - civil wedding at the Mairie (city hall); the religious wedding at Notre Dame de Grace de Passy and later in the early evening, reception at the Pavilion Dauphine until the wee hours of the morning. Plus, my youngest wants to go to a 3-star Michelin (haven't decided which one).

Erin, please get yourself a good map and plot out your route to avoid double backing. You should be able to get a pretty wide range and touch on a lot of great towns enjoying good vistas and great food!

Happy planning!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lillia and Simona,

You two have so many great ideas, I am getting excited! I have really been feeling blind about the area but you are helping me find some direction. The mention of apples, cream and butter is making me hungry! I also love to use Calvados in my desserts especially empanadas with apples and dried fruit, topped with whipping cream. Can you tell I'm hungry?
You are right Simona visiting those areas is very close to my heart both of my great uncles were killed in action which meant my grandfather was pulled out of Europe and sent back to Canada. Sort of our own Private Ryan story.
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"It's hot ham water."
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Erin,
This area is also close to my heart, because the allied forces and the
many young soldiers who died there freed Europe . They have been too late to save my maternal grandparents who perished in one of the nazi camps, but my parents survived ( they succeeded to run away and hide), and so I was born. Europe should never forget the sacrifice of these young people . Your great-uncles are the first ones I've personnally heard off, and that's special for me.
As for your trip: I'm also a professional guide (working mainly in summer), and I travelled with tourists groups for 25 years ,in Europe and especially in France. So, if you need some time planning, I will be happy to help anytime.
For nice hotels, you may consult " Guide de charme - Hotels et Auberges en France" - Edition Rivages.

Lilia, That was really special to remember those long gone days of my student years in Paris. Actually the car was a Renault 4( 4 horses) with that bizarre hand device for changing the "vitesses". I had to take care not to rip it off its place. In these days of automatic cars, it seems medieaval, but I cherrished this car, a luxury item for a poor student in the 70'. We used to travel on weekends to the country, or to Amsterdam which was very "in" for young people in those times. Finally I had an accident, not bad for me, but the car - actually a tin box- was total loss. Back to metro and trains.

No more wars, more good life!
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. to Lilia: I will be grateful if you could share with me the 3 star restaurant you are going to sample. I'm meeting at least once a year in Paris with my best best friend who lives in LA , and the four of us love to wine and dine. Last year we decided to cook our food so we rented two adjoining appartments at Citadines "les Halles" complete with kitchen and all. With the Montorgueil Market , and "Aux pied du Cochon" take away seafood platters across at LlesHhalles, we had some glorious dinners , complete with good wine and Champagne. We might want a change next time so an adress of a really good 3 stars will be of help.
How old is your youngest one? Good look to your artist daughter. Enjoy your choucroute..
Simona

No more war, more 3* Michelin Restaurants!
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simona,

You will get an update late May upon my return. Molly (the youngest) is 30 years old. The last time we were in Paris together, we lunched at Pierre Gagnaire Very Happy , 6 rue Balzac, Paris 8th tel. 01.44.35.18.25 which is very extraordinaire. He is such a wonderful chef - each bite seemed like an explosion of flavors in your mouth. He served the first course in six little plates and bowls and all based on tomatoes. I was in seventh heaven, took 5 hours to finish. Molly wanted to try Lucas Carton at 9 place de la Madeleine, Paris 8th tel. 01.42.65.22.90. It is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Paris after Le Grand Vefour (my personal opinion). I had a better time at Pierre Gagnaire.

I hope to someday meet you in Paris during one of our trips. Very Happy
Until the next post.

Lilia
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lilia, Thank you and have a safe and tasty trip.
Simona
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