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Peregrina651

Everything Viking France: Normandy, Paris, Provence

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4 hours ago, Respbj said:

If you like Medieval Art then include the Cluny also.

 

Ditto loved it but we saw it when we had a full week to fill--and the museum pass.

3 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

Since short on time, stick to basics & forget rest.  The Musee d’Orsay is a few blocks from Louvre- easy walk. There’s no way you can see everything, so walk through the statues to the back and take elevator to 5th floor & see the famous Impressionists.  Then go back down & go to Van Gogh, skip everything else.

Directly across the Seine is L’Orangerie. Go directly to the Monet Water Lilies & then leave.  You will have see the best of both! 

 

AGREED!! You can't see everything and your mind will go to mush if you try.

 

3 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

Sainte Chapelle is great if sunny, the stained glass is then beyond lovely!

 

Have seen it on a sunny day and have seen it on a overcast winter day. Different experiences but both equally moving in different ways. Definite on my "jumping up and down, gesticulating wildly you MUST see this" list

 

3 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

The Paris Museum Pass makes it easy to just pop in and not feel compelled to see everything.

 

AGREED!

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8 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

Sounds like good advice. We have the Lyon to Provence river cruise on our list for the future, so maybe I will postpone the Luminairies, and then Versaille, Musee d'Orsay, and Sainte Chapelle becomes more manageable in two days.

Do the Lumieres at the Les Baux quarry which really makes the experience when in Arles

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Since  you all have been so helpful with your suggestions, may I pose another related question? Since we will only be in Paris for two days, and this second short visit is likely the last time we will ever visit this marvelous city, would anyone skip Versailles? I love just being in Paris, and to see Versailles will tie up most of a day, (unless we take the four hour Viking excursion excursion). We were just in St. Petersburg this spring, and saw the Catherine Palace and the gardens at Peterhof, which we loved. Of course, I know that the historical significance of these palaces is very different, but considering the similarity of the structures themselves, is Versailles a must see ? 

 

Thanks for your opinions.

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Were I comfy with all things Paris and wanting to soak in the ambience I'd skip the transportation hassle & time to visit very crowded, yet spectacular Versailles.

 

DISCLOSURE:  23andMe says I have more Neanderthal DNA than 75% of the populace, so consider the source

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25 minutes ago, philw1776 said:

Were I comfy with all things Paris and wanting to soak in the ambience I'd skip the transportation hassle & time to visit very crowded, yet spectacular Versailles.

 

DISCLOSURE:  23andMe says I have more Neanderthal DNA than 75% of the populace, so consider the source

 

Honestly, I kind of agree with Phil--unless it is on your must-see list and you are happy spending an entire day leisurely exploring the palace and the grounds. Otherwise, find an area in Paris with a couple of appealing sites somewhat close to one another and explore the area. @MURPHY27's plan is a pretty good one.

 

When we stayed in Paris, our hotel was in the middle of the Sorbonne. We explored the area nearby. If these places are of interest, The Pantheon, The Cluny Museum and the Luxembourg Gardens were all rather close -- and so was St Sulpice (of DaVinci Code fame) and even Ste. Chappelle might be considered not to far to get to on foot or by short cab ride. You can see the Eiffel Tower from the steps of the Pantheon.

 

image.png.f06e877d68887b2f83408e8d42f6b789.png

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30 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

You can see the Eiffel Tower from the steps of the Pantheon.

 

Indeed.  And I hope you had a sunnier day.  🙂  (Although even a gray day in Paris is a wonderful day!)

 

enhance

 

(photo by turtles06)

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Posted (edited)

14549740913_cf44ab114f_k.thumb.jpg.ffbe8cf5842e41764c1fccfc860ac12a.jpgYour advice is convincing me  that I would rather spend the day in Paris than go to Versailles. On our first trip there we stayed in Montparnasse, and walked from the Louvre to Notre Dame and then back to our hotel (ah, to be ten years younger again!). We saw the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, the Cluny, and the Jardin du Luxembourg on that walk. This time, I think I would focus on the right bank, maybe the Marais or Montmartre, with some assistance from the metro.  

Edited by lackcreativity

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20 hours ago, MURPHY27 said:

I’ve brought family to Versailles on the 9am train, did a complete tour & even some had time for the garden.  Was back in Paris by 2pm train, but it does take a big block of time.

Since short on time, stick to basics & forget rest.  The Musee d’Orsay is a few blocks from Louvre- easy walk. There’s no way you can see everything, so walk through the statues to the back and take elevator to 5th floor & see the famous Impressionists.  Then go back down & go to Van Gogh, skip everything else.

Directly across the Seine is L’Orangerie. Go directly to the Monet Water Lilies & then leave.  You will have see the best of both!

 

Sainte Chapelle is great if sunny, the stained glass is then beyond lovely!  Next door, is the Concergerie (where political prisoners were kept during the French Revolution, many on way to guillotine).  Marie Antoinette cell has been converted to a chapel but an adjoining room is set up as her cell.  Interesting, less than perfect, but the history is there.

 

The Paris Museum Pass makes it easy to just pop in and not feel compelled to see everything.

 

When you brought your family to Versailles on the 9am train did you buy entrance tickets ahead of time? My dh insists on spending the day in Versailles. I've been to Paris numerous times and have never been to Sainte Chapelle. It's a must see now. 

 

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1 hour ago, Turtles06 said:

Indeed.  And I hope you had a sunnier day.  🙂  (Although even a gray day in Paris is a wonderful day!)

 

LOL. Same picture I took, almost. It was January. We had snow. The temps (high teens) were colder than what we had left behind in Boston. I have pictures of fountains spouting frozen water. It was a marvelous trip.

34 minutes ago, lackcreativity said:

Your advice is convincing me

 

No, we are just confirming what was already there.

 

32 minutes ago, dolllover said:

 

When you brought your family to Versailles on the 9am train did you buy entrance tickets ahead of time? My dh insists on spending the day in Versailles. I've been to Paris numerous times and have never been to Sainte Chapelle. It's a must see now. 

 

 

In January there were no lines (and the gardens were white). If I were going in the more touristed months, I would buy tickets in advance just to avoid standing in line for some undetermined length of time.

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For those that boarded in Avignon and arrived in Marseille.  Did Viking give any type of tour of Marseille on the way to Avignon.  I am wishing we had spent a day in Marseille prior to cruise.  Also how long was the transfer.  Did you have to wait long?

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There is no tour of Marseille. It took about 1/2 for everyone to come out from the baggage area. The Viking rep was there waiting for us.The transfer was a little over an hour.

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17 minutes ago, dottythecat said:

There is no tour of Marseille. It took about 1/2 for everyone to come out from the baggage area. The Viking rep was there waiting for us.The transfer was a little over an hour.

 

Were you on a flight from Paris?  We arrive at 11:10am.

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38 minutes ago, lauraapp said:

Did Viking give any type of tour of Marseille on the way to Avignon.

 

For the most part, Viking transfers are just that, a ride to the ship using the fastest/most convenient route.  Marseille itself is not along the route from the airport to Avignon.

 

 

image.png.fa611554a2ea1c5b57077891acf4b061.png

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10 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

14549740913_cf44ab114f_k.thumb.jpg.ffbe8cf5842e41764c1fccfc860ac12a.jpgYour advice is convincing me  that I would rather spend the day in Paris than go to Versailles. On our first trip there we stayed in Montparnasse, and walked from the Louvre to Notre Dame and then back to our hotel (ah, to be ten years younger again!). We saw the Pantheon, the Sorbonne, the Cluny, and the Jardin du Luxembourg on that walk. This time, I think I would focus on the right bank, maybe the Marais or Montmartre, with some assistance from the metro.  

I just spent a week in Paris in April, and to respond to your question about taking the time to visit Versailles, my humble opinion would be to skip it, particularly since you've been to Catherine's Palace. I was underwhelmed by Versailles. We stayed in an Air BnB in Montmartre and really like staying there. We were about 3 blocks from Sacre Cour on the other side of the hill, and loved walking around the neighborhood. Lots of restaurants and little shops that the locals shopped at. We took a walking tour that was really interesting, and took us to places in that neighborhood that were a bit off the dense tourist areas. We were a five minute walk from the metro station (Lamark) from which we could get all over Paris. 

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6 hours ago, Sacramento2012 said:

I just spent a week in Paris in April, and to respond to your question about taking the time to visit Versailles, my humble opinion would be to skip it, particularly since you've been to Catherine's Palace. I was underwhelmed by Versailles. We stayed in an Air BnB in Montmartre and really like staying there. We were about 3 blocks from Sacre Cour on the other side of the hill, and loved walking around the neighborhood. Lots of restaurants and little shops that the locals shopped at. We took a walking tour that was really interesting, and took us to places in that neighborhood that were a bit off the dense tourist areas. We were a five minute walk from the metro station (Lamark) from which we could get all over Paris. 

Ah, I wish we had a week in Paris. If we did I am sure I could spare one day for Versailles and I would enjoy it. As is stands, I have to pick my priorities and that means staying in the city. It wasn't until our third visit to Venice that we were willing to leave the island to go see Burano, so maybe my expectations are wrong and we will return to Paris once more in the future. I think my tentative plan will include Musee d'Orsay, Sainte Chapelle, and Montmartre in some combination depending on jet lag and weather. Now time to start looking for restaurants in those areas!

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I wanted to make one suggestion for people visiting Paris for the first time.  Don't cram so much into your days there that you have no time to sit in a park or outside in a cafe, or stroll along the Seine, or wander the streets, and just take in the beauty that is Paris.  🙂

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For those who are going to Lyon may I suggest having lunch at Brasserie Le Sud, part of the restaurant group started by Michelin chef, Paul Bocuse. It offers Mediterranean Cuisine. You can walk from the pier where the ship is docked. We each had the two course meal and wine. Our bill was about $40 each. It was a wonderful experience.

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Hi!  My Family will be doing the Viking Paris and the Heart of Normandy in September.  After the cruise we are taking a train to Munich.  The morning trains to Munich from Paris are at 9 and 11.  Is 9 to early to disembark and get to the train station in Paris?  Thanks for any input you have!

 

Susan

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, bunkiew said:

Hi!  My Family will be doing the Viking Paris and the Heart of Normandy in September.  After the cruise we are taking a train to Munich.  The morning trains to Munich from Paris are at 9 and 11.  Is 9 to early to disembark and get to the train station in Paris?  Thanks for any input you have!

 

Susan

Not too early.

There will be poor souls leaving at 3AM or so onwards.  You leave when you want to leave.
But you will need to arrange transportation as it's not Viking Air.  Viking can help you reserve an early morning cab.

Edited by philw1776

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1 minute ago, philw1776 said:

Not too early.

There will be poor souls leaving at 3AM or so onwards.  You leave when you want to leave.
But you will need to arrange transportation as it's not Viking Air.  Viking can help you reserve an early morning cab.

Remember there are multiple train stations in Paris. Make sure you know which one you need. 

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Be sure to build in A LOT of time to get from the ship to whichever train station you choose. The Paris traffic is really bad.

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4 hours ago, dottythecat said:

For those who are going to Lyon may I suggest having lunch at Brasserie Le Sud, part of the restaurant group started by Michelin chef, Paul Bocuse. It offers Mediterranean Cuisine. You can walk from the pier where the ship is docked. We each had the two course meal and wine. Our bill was about $40 each. It was a wonderful experience.

 

DITTO. We did dinner there one night. Delicious. We over-ordered (don't ask me the bill; I didn't look.) The ship will make reservations for you.

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5 hours ago, gnome12 said:

Remember there are multiple train stations in Paris. Make sure you know which one you need. 

 

RER B line offers both regular local & express trains from GARE DE NORD to CDG.

Have to check SNCF if traveling in Europe.  

 

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1 minute ago, MURPHY27 said:

 

RER B line offers both regular local & express trains from GARE DE NORD to CDG.

Have to check SNCF if traveling in Europe.  

 

@bunkiew is not going to CDG. They are off to Munich. That seems to be Gare de l’Est through either Mannheim or Stuttgart. 

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