Going to the Frogs
May 5, 2004 4:37 PM   Subscribe

Brittanny, Lower and Upper Normandy. I'm planning a trip in these fine France regions, can you recommend me things to see, stuff to do in region ?

Ops forgot to mention: I'll rent a car so TGV is fine and extracool , but I like to do the trip at my own pace with my own schedules :)
posted by elpapacito to Travel & Transportation around France (19 answers total)
mt. st. michel -- you can only get to it at low tide.
posted by amberglow at 5:15 PM on May 5, 2004

(or something like that--i've always wanted to see it) : >
posted by amberglow at 5:18 PM on May 5, 2004

Normandy [self link]
Bayeux Tapestry

Do you like to walk? Great walking paths in the area.

How long will you be there? Where are you staying? There are many fine gîtes in the area. The area is such that you could stay in one spot for a week and travel about from a base.

Also, when are you going? I'll be in Paris next week which may jog my brain (plus all of my tour books are there.)
posted by Dick Paris at 5:39 PM on May 5, 2004

Elpapacito: eat, eat, eat! Brittany is gastronomic heaven: crepes, galettes; corbelets de Dinan; madeleines (the cakes that drove Proust wild); oysters; shellfish; pork "rillettes"; cider... Guerande salt... everything very fresh and very simply cooked.

P.S. The above link - utterly reliable - is in French, but here's one in English. Have fun looking for more to whet your appetite!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:14 PM on May 5, 2004

DickParis: Thanks for answering ! I'm going to stay about 10 days or 14 at best (August I guess) ..as for walking, I love trekking but will come with my gf who isn't so much seduced by the idea of walking...merde !!!! :)

Where am I staying ? I dunno :D ! Surely an hotel or some (pardon my awful french) Relais du Silence ...I'm thinking about moving from city to city...stay 2 max 3 days per city and use each city as an homebase, moving around the area with car.

As for Paris :) too bad I'll not be in Paris with you ..I utterly LOVE PARIS (Iiiiiii love Paris ..oh I do I do I love Paris) and visited almost every corner of it (Place du Terte my favourite place) during 3-4 travels to France.

What I most dig are historical places, extremely panoramic streets and places, living work of arts like FontainBleu. I'm used to the ruins of Rome, so I don't expect marvels comparing to Rome Forums, but I still look for the history of the place more then for the contemporary entertainments.

Thanks for the link list, I'm going to dig it right now.
posted by elpapacito at 6:21 PM on May 5, 2004

Should have been On preview: Thanks Miguel :) for some reason I'm a gourmandise too :) ...or "easy fork" as we say in Italy.
posted by elpapacito at 6:22 PM on May 5, 2004

amberglow: I just sent you a particular email about St.Michel , but it was bounced back saying I'm not allowed to send to verizon. Dammit ! Plz mail me alternative e-mail to elpapacito@diespammer@hotpop.com
posted by elpapacito at 6:34 PM on May 5, 2004

I'll second Etretat, as well as Honfleur. Honfleur is a great coastal fishing town, lively but still historic and even somewhat quaint. Not touristy at all, fwiw.
posted by whatzit at 6:42 PM on May 5, 2004

How about gardens? Lots of nice gardens in Normandy.

As a point of order, crêpes are accompanied by cider (in a ceramic cup-bowl), not wine. Normandy is France's premier apple growing region. (Aside: crêpes are really more bréton than normande but don't let that stop you.) This brings me to wonder how Miguel, of all people, could fail to mention calvados. /said with the utmost admiration and respect, of course.

Maybe this is the Parisian point of view, but the rule of thumb is one does not eat oysters outside of months with a "r" in them.

Normandy cheeses: livarot, camembert and Pont l'Eveque. Oh, and Normandy has the best butter in the world. Man, I can't wait to get back to France!

ViaMichelin Magazine. The Red Guide can of course be of great use in hotel and restaurant selections.

As far as your girlfriend not keen on walking: where are you coming from? My wife never thought she would become so interested in trekking but that all changed when we became familiar with the GR system of France.
posted by Dick Paris at 7:11 PM on May 5, 2004

"Easy fork" is it, Mario? That's interesting. Here in Portugal we say bom garfo, "good fork", as if you didn't know. This is probably the greatest compliment you can pay a fellow diner, although it means eating well but also, crucially, in enormous quantity! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:21 PM on May 5, 2004

Dick Paris: hey, not fair - I didn't even address Normandy. That would take too long. You're talking to someone who has often drunk himself into a hole due to too many trous normandes, specially those very old privately bottled Calvados that chefs will dig out if they like the way you lunched.. :)

P.S. Please excuse the chattiness, not at all appropriate on AskMe, I know...

posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:27 PM on May 5, 2004

elpapacito, use my gmail...i sent you a message.
posted by amberglow at 10:44 PM on May 5, 2004

If you visit Mt Saint Michel, then be sure to take a side trip to Saint Malo, a cool town just southwest of there.
posted by birdsong at 9:38 AM on May 6, 2004

Do you like oysters? Cancale, near St Malo, has the best oysters in France. Also the standing stones at Carnac in Brittany always give me a shiver.
posted by creeky at 9:43 AM on May 6, 2004

The Carnac region of Brittany is indeed worth a visit as well. Seeing the prehistoric stones is awe inspiring. Brittany is one of the most beautiful (and lesser-known) regions of France. Also be sure to eat, eat, eat!
posted by birdsong at 10:06 AM on May 6, 2004

How about a Battlebus tour of the various D-Day points of interest? I'm dying to take one.
posted by schoolgirl report at 11:07 AM on May 6, 2004

schoolgirl report: quoting from your link

Our Battlefield Guide will accompany you around the sites, giving you a "personal" service for the duration of your time with us

I'm so glad girls joined the military ! Hopefully she doesn't have moustaches.

Out of tangent: thanks for the good links everybody :) The more the post the more I'll have to drive so come on keep me running in circles in Normandy !
posted by elpapacito at 2:15 PM on May 6, 2004

Miguel: I'm such a goof, I did not even see that Elpapacito asked about Brittany as well. I skipped right on past the first word! Man, that's a huge trip to get into in detail. Back to my planning board.
posted by Dick Paris at 3:33 PM on May 6, 2004

DP: yeah it's quite a trip :) thankfully driving doesn't bother me too much , rather I don't want to drive to delusions :)
posted by elpapacito at 8:48 AM on May 7, 2004

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