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New things to do in Paris and Normandie during the winter?

 
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Nine



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject: New things to do in Paris and Normandie during the winter? Reply with quote

This winter I will be leaving the dreary Netherlands for a visit to Paris and Normandie for a short holiday. I will be staying in Paris for two days straight after Christmas and then will travel on to a gite/cottage in La Manche/Normandie.

During the last couple of years I have travelled to Paris several times so, after visiting all those well-known touristy places, I am looking for new things to visit and do in Paris! Who can give me a good suggestion? I am pretty much interested in everything, as long as it is not too expensive. Me an the family will be staying in Paris for two days and I will be travelling with my family, parents, two teenager brothers and my sister. Me and sis are both in our twenties.

After two days in Paris we'll be moving on to Normandie/La Manche which I have always thought of as a place to go during the summer. A google search more or less proves me right. Unfortunately. There must be must-sees in Normandie apart from The Beaches. I'd love some suggestions here as well (for the Normandie novice, I know my way around Paris and the Haute Savoie, but this is new).

And a last-but-not-least question: what does one do in France during the turn of the year? I am used to fireworks, champagne and oliebollen (like fritters only bigger) but I am wondering if there is perhaps a traditional French food or tradition that goes together with Saint-Sylvestre that I shouldn't miss?

Looking forward to your suggestions!
Nine
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minty



Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ! well, in Paris, what you shouldn't miss are the illuminations on the Grands Magasins, and the Christmas markets and concerts all around Paris (buy the Pariscope when you arrive, a small weekly guide for about 0,30 euros)
in Normandy, well, I would say enjoy the "fruits de mer", lobsters, oysters, crabs...which are also typical 31rst of december food, along with foie gras and smoked salmon ; you can also have "escargots" (snails with garlic butter" and white pudding with truffles...delicious !
tradition : kiss under the mistletoe at midnight !
I don't know where you're going in Nomrandy, but if you are near Deauville or Trouville, go and spend the night in the casino !
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have much experience with Normandy, but one place I'd highly recommend is Mont St Michel - it's beautiful, unique (sometimes called the 8th Wonder of the World) and winter might actually be a good time to visit as there won't be nearly as many tourists as in summer!

As for Paris - a boat trip on the Canal St-Martin is a lot of fun, though obviously at this time of year you'll need to wrap up warm. The company that runs them is called Canauxrama (www.canauxrama.com). The trip finishes at La Villette, which has plenty of things worth checking out (especially the Cite de la Musique). Other things you could do - check out the markets (Christmas ones and ordinary ones, Clotilde has posted a list of the latter) or one or two of the city's smaller/less obviously touristy museums. A few of my favourites are the Picasso and Rodin museums and the Musee Guimet.

Hope that helps - have fun!
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bainst



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Baghdad, Iraq

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you'll be near Bayeaux, I highly recommend visitng the city and the museum and seeing the Bayeaux Tapestry. It is almost a 1,000 years old. And the Peace Museum in Caen is very nice.
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Last edited by bainst on Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nine



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your great ideas! I'm printing the list of (Christmas) markets as we, ehm, speak and have jotted down the rest of your suggestions in my notebook. I am especially interested in the Bayeaux tapestry (nearly forgot all about it so thank you Bainst!) because last year in Lapland (Sweden) I saw a similar kind of tapestry of Sami (or Viking, I'd have to check my notes) origin and I would love to compare the two.

Happy holidays and a very good 2008 to you all!
XX, (two kisses in France, right? Will have to get used to that again as we kiss three times in the NL)
Nine
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