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Visiting Paris in late Jan. '09

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  • Visiting Paris in late Jan. '09

    I'm visiting Paris in late January '09 on business and have a weekend where I don't have any business commitments and wanted to take advantage of my first trip to Europe to do some WWII sightseeing. I know the time of year is not perfect but wanted some thoughts on what to see and do over those two "free" days I have.

    I was thinking of a trip to Normandy but didn't know if I was crazy given the time of year. If I'm not that nuts -- then some suggestions on places to stay and modes of getting from Paris to there and then around once in Normandy would be greatly appreciated -- plus I'd love to keep things economically conservative if at all possible.

    Thanks in advance.

    -Charlie

  • #2
    I have been to Normandy and had the luck of being stationed with the US Army in Paris. My recommendations, for get war and take in the sights/sound/of Paris. It remains a city the leave most others in its shadow. As you have said, not the best time of the year. You can always split your time. Rent a car and drive out to the beaches. Make sure you life insurances is up to date.

    HP
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      I agree with Half Pint, I'd spend the two days in Paris. However, if you are determined to see Normandy I would suggest renting a car and driving out. When I was in France in 06 we stayed in Normandy. We rented a car at the airport and used it all week. I found the driving to be no problem, but then I drive in and out of NYC on a regular basis. I had a plan of all the sites I wanted to see before I got there and had procured the maps and information I needed before the trip. We spent a day touring the military sites I wanted to see. A little rushed but all in all a great day. Find yourself a current France road atlas and the driving will be a snap.

      Best of luck. I hope you have a great time and hope you post some pictures for us to see.
      "Looks like you guys are going to be surrounded."

      "We're paratroopers, Lieutenant. We're supposed to be surrounded."

      Rangers Lead The Way

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      • #4
        Take your wife with you to Paris and you will earn some major brownie points at the company's expense. Of course these would all be lost if you took her traipsing round the Normandy battlefields....
        "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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        • #5
          Thanks for the great info and advice -- I'd love to take the wife -- however she has to be away on business for the same time period -- the first time ever! and boy is she pissed!

          Although I did take her to Gettysburg once and scored major brownie points when we toured the battlefield -- but on horseback! She loved it and it really made for an interesting perspective on the field of battle. You really get a sense of just how compact that battlefield was and of how the terrain played a role. We were down by the Peach Orchard and you really were hidden from view because of some of the rolling terrain. Very cool thing to do.

          If I can and it is not too cold -- I will probably go to Normandy on Friday evening and see some of the sites on Saturday and travel back to Paris on Sunday morning and poke around Paris on Sunday.

          Or there is always Amsterdam and the red light district! Maybe thats a different forum!

          Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.

          -Charlie

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          • #6
            Definitely check out Invalides (in the 7th) which contains the Musee de l'Armee. You can see some Eagles up close, check out Napoleon's tomb, and don't forget to go to the top floor, where they have dozens of the most beautiful topographical dioramas you've ever seen!
            Come visit Lord Ashrams House of War, a blog full of wargaming goodness!

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            • #7
              Not to put a damper on your trip, but I think getting to Normandy in a weekend from Paris is a little too ambitious- it could use a week.

              See http://en.parisinfo.com/ for info.

              There's a very good bus tour (L'OpenTour). Maybe try two day ticket. Also get the water taxi one- I think there's a double deal. If you've only two days, this is the best deal.

              Try the Louvre, Les Invalides, Notre Dame (if you want to eat here go south down past the park off the beaten track- maybe Boulevard St. Michel) and there's a reasonable restaurant (hard to go wrong in France) at Versailles (take the subway, but an hour each way- it's remarkable and one of the best in the world) and make sure you use the little train- I had a hysterical time listening to a Parisian arguing with a German once.

              Watch out for Rumanian Gypsy scammers though. If someone approaches you, especially in the Metro, use your stupidity if you have any, which always works for me. Deaf, dumb and have you seen my white stick anywhere? If it gets persistent, tell them you only operate on credit cards, no cash, and if they've a CC scanner machine in 10 seconds or less you'll happily donate, but otherwise you're in a hurry.
              Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
              (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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              • #8
                Not to put a damper on your trip, but I think getting to Normandy in a weekend from Paris is a little too ambitious- it could use a week.
                cdomalik6, please take that advice to heart. It would be like opening tow bottles of fine wine and never having the time to taste either. Chance are better than 60% that you'll run into bad weather in Normandy without much to offer. In finding comfort. I did Utah and some inland batteries when a gale was blowing in of the Channel but I had much more time to spend being retired.

                HP
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                • #9
                  If you try Normandy, Hit the Pegasus bridge site first, good museum. Try and hit the beaches at low tide, you will be amazed at just how much sand the troops had to cross under fire. I was at the 50th aniversary parked at Gold beach. I walked the tide out for about 1800 yards from the sea wall.
                  Walk the grassy moonscape of Point Du Hoc, check out the bunkers.
                  The museum at Omaha beach had a good diorama.

                  Not recommended is standing in line at the Lourve for 6 hrs to get in the doors, or riding the elevator up the Awful Tower.

                  Recommended sites in Paris would be Notre Dame and the Rodin musuem.
                  It's not "Name,date,place" but Who, how, and why!!!
                  Remember, Murphy was an optimist

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vegascat View Post
                    Not recommended is standing in line at the Lourve for 6 hrs to get in the doors, or riding the elevator up the Awful Tower.
                    Yes but January should be light on traffic- it's a nightmare later in the year. Agreed on the Eiffel Tower- I just stood under it, it is impressive, then went for lunch somewhere less touristy off the beaten track.
                    Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                    (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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                    • #11
                      Like everyone else, I suggest you forget Normandy on this occasion and focus on Paris. It's arguably the best city to visit in the world.

                      Les Invalides makes a neat circuit with the Eiffel Tower and Napoleon's tomb. At Les Invalides, don't forget to go to the Second World War gallery and learn how Charles de Gaulle single-handedly beat the Germans
                      My board games blog: The Brass Castle

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                      • #12
                        http://www.city-discovery.com/paris/tour.php?id=957 I found very good.
                        Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                        (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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                        • #13
                          For the Normady : Good museum and events summary.
                          Though, if you are in Paris don't miss the Military museum of "Les Invalides".
                          A must see for any "Armchair General": Link In English.

                          Bon Voyage,
                          Raum_Schiff.
                          Last edited by raum_schiff; 07 Jan 09, 12:02.

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