Thursday, May 25, 2006

France



Time to play a game !!! Yippi !!!

If you were to spend a week near Paris, on your own with a limited budget (of course !) : what would you do ? Where would you go ?

I'll be spending a month in France this summer doing a tour with two different Wind Orchestras. Actually, 3 weeks of touring and an extra week to do some solo travelling afterward...

Any suggestions on where I should go ? WAY too many options for a wandering mind like mine !! It has to be said though : I don't really like touristy stuff and we'll play or visit most of them anyway with the orchestras...

Oh ! and did I mentionned that I'm leaving in 32 days ?

HELP !!!

13 comments:

Cyndy said...

Here from Michele. I have not been to Paris, but I'd see the Louvre! (spelling?)

Chrissie said...

Hi!
Thanks for visiting.
As for the keys... so nice to know I'm not the only one! :-)
What did you do? Locksmith?

Lo said...

I was in France very briefly. I enjoyed the Musee D'Orsay a lot, though.

Lisa said...

I've never been to Europe at ALL, so you can bet I'd do all the touristy stuff! Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc. How exciting for you! Michele sent me today.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me.

I'm afraid I'm no help at all. The only time I was in France it was just for a 3 hour layover in Paris. There's certainly a lot of guides for traveling France. You might try a Student Guide since they focus on inexpensive options. Some of the eco-travel books also are good for that type of travel as well.

shpprgrl said...

I've never been to France even though I have family that lived there. I do remember some tales of shops that sold pastries, breads etc that were to die for! (yeah the term french bread, french pastries...haha) They have this stuff called KinderChocolate that is chocolate with this creamy stuff inside. I understand absolutely NO French, but I think the stuff has calcium in it. Healthy chocolate...yeehaw! Have fun and be sure to report back!

barbie2be said...

oh you lucky, lucky woman!

Grins said...

I'd head out of the city and go straight to the countryside bicylcing around and enjoying wineries and chateaus to explore!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This isn't close to Paris..but...The Riviera. Cap S'Antibes or some wonderful place like that.

Pearl said...

You can hardly go wrong in Paris. I've been twice. Want to see the pics? There's only a handful. http://www.brianpirie.ca/trip2005/Page4.html You can see Parc Andre-Citroen impressed. There was a music festival going on there at the time as well.

Nico said...

Ben en bon parisien, je te dirais que rien que se balader dans les rues ou sur les quais de Seine, c'est magique!
Pour l'agenda culturel (concerts, ciné, expositions), achète «L'officiel des spectacles» disponible dans tous les kiosques à journeaux, paraît le mercredi et coûte moins d'1EUR. C'est un bon début!

Terri said...

I've spent a lot of time both in Paris and throughout France.
I fell in love with a little town called Senlis, just north of Paris. The train will take you right there.
Enjoy and Bon Voyage.
Visiting from Michele's today.

Tamsin said...

I can recommend a couple of smaller museums/art galleries in Paris that I've really enjoyed visiting but aren't too touristy. Firstly, the Musee Rodin, which inevitably has lots of Rodin's sculptures and drawings. This was a lot more interesting than I expected it to be, plus it has lovely peaceful gardens and a great cafe/restaurant for lunch ;o)
Secondly, the Musee Jacquemart-Andree on Boulevard Haussmann (the opposite end to the big shops). This was a private residence built in the 19thC by a couple who were major collectors of art/antiquities. It's a cross between a private home and a truly amazing art gallery - it has some very famous original pictures. I was amazed by this place, and it's not so big that you get tired out walking around it, unlike the Musee d'Orsay/Louvre etc.
Having read about your prediliction for fabric shops, there are some fabulous ones in the Montmartre/Abbesses/Pigalle area of the city. I can't remember the actual road, but if you look around Rue Houdon/Rue des Trois Freres I think that should be about right.
Outside of Paris, I would very strongly recommend staying in Lille for a couple of days. We often hop on the Eurostar from the UK to Lille, and it's one of my very favourite places. It is much less touristy than Paris but still masses to see. It's very Flemish in architecture, loads of interesting little shops, especially in the old town, and tons and tons of really great museums/ art galleries, in the surrounding area as well as the centre. It's well worth getting a Lille-pass for your stay, giving you travel and free access to the museums. La Piscine is a fabulous art deco building (that used to hold a swimming pool) and now holds an art plus textiles/ceramic collection. Don't trust the Lille-pass booklet though, the nearest Metro stop is not Charles de Gaulle. I got very lost looking for it! Go to either Roubaix-Grand Place or Gare-Jean Lebas ;o) There's a great flea market on Sundays in Wazemmes if you're into that kind of thing. A couple of eating out recommendations: L'Arriere Pays in rue Basse (for lunch, fabulous tartines - open savoury sandwiches). And for dinner, La Voute (rue des Debris St Etienne), a very traditional little French restaurant in a small, partially covered street just off the Grand Place.
Hope that helps; have a great time!