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Old 09-03-2012, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by stormace View Post
Hi, planning to do the ED end of March 2013. In fact, just booked my flight and arriving March 31. Will be flying back from Paris, April 16.

Would like to see Normandy. Any route ideas?

Is Versailles and the roads in general still covered in snow around that period as I head West from Munich to Paris?

Last time I drove south to Innsbruck, Florence, Rome, San Marino, Venice, Salzburg and back to Munich.
I have no extended experience of April in Paris, but Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald seemed to think it was great - they both can't be wrong. I checked a couple of years on Weather Underground and it appeared that the likelihood of snow in April is pretty remote - but the weather can always surprise you.

I agree with MonkeyCMonkeyDo that the Alsace region of France is great. Cite de Automobile is definitely worth seeing. Colmar, Riquewihr and Strasbourg, more or less along the Route des Vins, are worth an hour or two each.

Heading west from Alsace there are numerous WWI sites - Verdun (a fort), Fort Hackenberg (a WWII, Maginot Line fort), Ypres in Belgium (where there is a very moving nightly ceremony honoring the dead of WWI at the Menin Gate) and then on to the Somme where a million lives were lost. Reims would fit in between Verdun and Ypres, or the Somme if you skip Ypres.

From the Somme you could head to Rouen where there is a cathedral which was the subject of several paintings by Monet. Not much further on is Giverny where Monet lived and also the pond and waterlilies which he painted many times.

From Giverny I would go to Normandy where there are many museums, cemeteries and sites worth a visit as well as the five landing beaches. You could then head down to Mont St. Michel and the Loire Valley. There are numerous chateaus in the Loire that will give you an insight into why the French "did away" with the aristocracy.

Using this route you will bypass Paris to the north and west and can go to Versailles without driving through Paris itself. Of course you cannot avoid the joys of driving through Paris on the way to the drop off point, but that's another day. I did this trip with my wife a few years ago and we really enjoyed it. I am sure that you will too.
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