Another travel to northern france
July 24, 2007 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Planning a trip to these locations ; Caen , Rouen , Amiens, Reims , Metz and Troyes (long trip to relatives) . What to do, what to see ?
posted by elpapacito to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Caen Memorial is definitely worth a visit. I found it very impressive.

I really liked Rouen, though only spent a few days there. It was raining and overcast the entire time, but that really added to the whole gothic feel of the place. We just spent the day wondering around the old part of the city looking at the amazing architecture.

Does it have to be the larger cities or are you willing to go a bit out of way?
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 3:47 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'll have a car and GPS, nough said :D
posted by elpapacito at 4:04 PM on July 24, 2007

Bayeux, famous for the Bayeux Tapestry is 30km from Caen. It's a wonder, a beauty, a marvel, a must.

There is a Gothic cathedral in every town you'll go through, so you can make a cathedral photolog. I am interested in viewing too many pics of cathedrals.

Reims is smack in champagne country. Drinking a lot of high quality champagne at low prices (or for free) for a few days in a row is a treat that every man and woman should experience at least once.
posted by bru at 5:17 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

The cathedrals in Reims and Amiens are both very gorgeous, as is the cathedral in Beauvais, which is nearby, if you can go. Beauvais is, in fact, my favorite cathedral of all the ones I've been to or studied. It is awesome to behold and if you can go, you should. Definitely get champagne in Reims, as it is worth it, tasty, and better than even buying French champagne anywhere else.

Amiens, I'm pretty sure, has a nice sort of river-walk area right next to the cathedral, which is pretty cool, and Beauvais has a beautiful park-like area that we wandered through on the way to the cathedral. Reims was more commercial to me, but this was in 2001 last I was there, and I think we were in Reims on a weekday, so that might have been part of my impression. That whole area is ridiculously pretty though, so you almost can't make a mistake.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:38 PM on July 24, 2007

nthing bru.

If you are an architecture junkie, you MUST go and see St. Therese de Lisieux, the Rouen cathedral, and Reims. Metz has St. Etienne.

If you drink, don't miss the chance to sample some old Calvados (apple brandy) while you're in Caen-Rouen. As you hit Metz, you'll be in Moselle country, so you'll have a chance to try some lovely sweet white wines. In terms of food, you may want to experience the real quiche Lorraine (which is quite heavy- just like my mother used to make! To die for.)

If you're a cheese lover, you're in Camembert (Isigny sur Mer is amazing!) country. Also try the Pont-l'Eveque (a soft, strong cheese- although not a Camembert) which has been produced since the 13th century. Incroyable!
posted by solongxenon at 6:44 PM on July 24, 2007

If you can escape your relatives in Troyes, you could stay at La Maison De Rhodes, one the most wonderful hotels I've ever had the pleasure to stay in. Again, if you feel the need to splash out, the restaurant at Hostellerie La Briqueterie just outside Epernay is supposed to be exceptional.
posted by patricio at 7:45 PM on July 24, 2007

Take a tour of the World War 2 beaches. There are a bunch that run out of either Caen or Bayeux.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:46 PM on July 24, 2007

posted by blue_beetle at 8:39 PM on July 24, 2007

Have you thought about a good travel guide perhaps? Or you know, asking your family?
posted by oxford blue at 2:06 AM on July 25, 2007

Yes, but asking more people is intrinsically better :)
posted by elpapacito at 2:23 AM on July 25, 2007

Someone hope me? Either Rouen or Reims has the most amazing stained glass windows. It is seriously worthwhile to get a guide to talk you through the history and if you can bring some binoculars to get a close up view of the detail (sorry for confusion, I'se a sick bunny today!)
posted by Wilder at 4:06 AM on July 25, 2007

You absolutely cannot miss Amiens's Cathedral. Les Hortillonnages are another cool and unique thing to visit in Amiens. Be there early if you're on a summer trip.
posted by rom1 at 4:59 AM on July 25, 2007

Seconding the beaches and the Bayeux tapestry. Both very, very worthwhile trips. You don't need a tour for the beach, we just went and walked around. Saint-Malo, Dinard, and Honfleur are beautiful too.

I know it's about 120km away, but if you haven't been to Mont Saint Michel before you must go. It is possibly the best place I have ever been. Here are the directions. I strongly recommend making an afternoon of it.

solongxenon's cheeze recommendations are spot-on, and you should try the calvados. It's not something you are likely to find in most other places.

Also don't call anyone from Caen a con or a connard thinking it's funny. The've heard the joke before, many, many times :)
posted by cmicali at 7:03 AM on July 25, 2007

Eh M.S.Michel I visited many years ago when I was a kid..I still have nice memories of place, it's really as unique as the coliseum !

About the con :) in italy there's a joke about a famous italian politician that went to France, didn't speak french well and he answered the phone say "con qui parle ? " :D !
posted by elpapacito at 7:18 AM on July 25, 2007

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