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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Why, oh why, do you love Paris? And how long does it take?

Dick and I will be in Europe from the middle of March until the middle of April. We were planning to rent a car in Amsterdam on March 26, after having lunch with Mara of Weighty Matters, then spend 8 days driving to a condo in the south of France, near Perpignan, which we're using as a base for exploring the Mediterranean coast and other areas nearby. We planned to drive along the north and west coasts, then cross the narrow part of the country north of the Pyrenees.

The question we ask one another continually is, what about Paris? Should we try to squeeze it in, or should we save it for another trip?

Opinions on how long it takes to "do" Paris range from two days to ten days or more.  My longtime friend and now blogging buddy "aka Penelope" of Penelope Puddlisms says she and her husband were happy with a couple of days in Paris, because they had the services of a local guide who knew where to take them for the best experience. Other people who have been there, and some who are dreaming of going there, say it needs at least a week. When I was young, I used to think I'd like six months on the Left Bank!

One thing we do know, we won't be driving into the city of Paris with a rented car. If we go there, we'll go on one of those super-fast trains! Other than that, we know very little.

Today, Dick suggested I ask the opinion of my fellow bloggers. What do you think? Should we go or should we wait until we can do it right? Do you have any suggestions? Any helpful ideas will be greatly appreciated.


 (from Wikipedia)

 (from Wikipedia)


8 comments:

Mr Puddy said...

Dear Kay,
My mom voted for rent the car because you can took off any time you want, don't need to wait for timetable. My mom used to been there once but she went with the tour agency.

By the way she recommend this website for you. This is the best blog of Paris by a very nice local guys " Eric " and he is the one who give inspiration to my mom to start blogging with her main blog ( Everyday Melbourne )
My mom think his blog has everything you need to know about Paris, and here his link :

Paris Daily Photo by Eric Tenin

ladyfi said...

You must see Paris in the springtime! Good idea NOT to drive there - you'll get lost!

Spend a couple of days and just do two or three things. That way you'll know how much time you think you'll need for the next trip.

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Kay,
Thanks for all your comments on our blog. The excitement you show about your upcoming trip is so thrilling and we are so glad that our blog can humbly contribute a little inspiration... :)
From Amsterdam to Perpignan there's so much to see in between! Utrecht (NL), which we haven't yet visited but seems quite nice... Antwerp (BE) is really great, Gent (BE) is very pleasant, we prefer those than Brussels (BE). Lille (FR) is another pleasant city, then Paris (FR) is a must... Further on, perhaps a little detour to se a bit of the Loire Valley and its famous castles? This is in our own plans sometime in 2011. Further south in the direction of Perpignan we also haven't been yet... But the Mediterranean is great anyway and you might want to see Carcassonne and perhaps even Andorra and Barcelona! Oh gosh, there's so much to see!
We think most will agree that only 2 days in Paris is way too short! The Louvre alone would require one day... So our suggestion would be to stay around 4 days in Paris to enjoy much of it, if you can't stay longer. Certainly agree that it's not a good idea to drive in there, as it's the case in other big Europen cities such Amsterdam and Brussels...
Well, as a last suggestion we could recommend you DK Eyewitness Travel Guide - France. If you plan your trip in advance and identify your list of main things to see, it will indeed save a lot of time!
All the best!
God bless you!
Cezar & Léia

jabblog said...

I think I'd save Paris for another trip or it's all going to be rather a rush. Paris and its environs deserves time.

AC said...

As a guy who doesn't get around much, I can't say too much. I will say, however, that visiting cities isn't particularly my thing. Perhaps I would see the attraction if I liked museums and fine dining.

Francisca said...

Hehehe... Kay, it's not a bad idea to ask you blogging friends about their travel suggestions... but don't dream you'll ever get consensus... no way everyone will agree. Just to add what I already emailed to you, I just don't see how you can do the north to west coasts road trip and still get to the center of France for Paris unless you drive the freeways. It will be important for you to map out exactly how you would drive and where you want to stop. A great site for that is Michelin: http://www.viamichelin.com/ Paris to Perpignan is only 850 km, but that is if you take the freeway, and really nothing could be worse. To see the countryside and small town, you want to drive slowly on the small roads. Have fun planning!

Linnea said...

I haven't been to Paris in many years...not having a car there is a good idea probably. I guess it all depends on how much time you have and what other places you have to skip in order to squeeze a bit of Paris in. Sounds like you're in for a fabulous trip no matter what! I'm jealous!

Ebie said...

Well, for me who has not been to Europe, I would say I'd take my time in Paris.

I could feel your excitement, Kay. You will get a lot of tips from our fellow bloggers.