Trip Review April 16-29, 2023 2023 part 2
Day 1. I was lucky that my time in Versailles was over the weekend, so I was able to enjoy the fountains being on and music being played. This day was beautiful, so I walked and enjoyed the Grand Canal. I ended the day with a visit to The Coach Gallery which houses many of the carriages the royal family used over the years – total opulence! Covered in gold leaf, the weight of these carriages created a need for large teams of horses to be able to pull the carriage and the people.
Then we gathered for our Welcome dinner. The Gordan Ramsey Restaurant was hotel food for sure. I don’t think Gordon Ramsay knows what’s being served here. Chicken was ho-hum. I’m sure the fish was a better choice.
Day 2. Chartres and an evening at a chateau. Drove to Chartres where we visited our first cathedral. Beautiful example of gothic art and stained glass. Lunch on our own in town. We were there on Monday and the town does not open up until about 2:00 as they have a big market day on Sunday. We all found a place to have a quick lunch and then off to Chateau de Rochecotte for a two-night stay. That evening we went to Chateau De Champchevier which is a private country estate. We were treated to a hunting hound demonstration, tour of the estate and a very delicious dinner. Really special.
Day 3. The Loire Valley’s Chateaux Country. Beautiful day for visiting 2 Chateaus and a vineyard. Dating back to 1491 the morning was spent touring Chateaux Langeais. Very medieval with beautiful tapestries and 15th Century furniture. Then to the vineyards of Le Moulin Bleu. We all enjoyed a lovely, albeit long lunch with wine. Then to Villandry, a large Chateaux with beautiful formal gardens. It was a beautiful sunny day and while it was still too early in the season to see many flowers, it was none the less beautiful. I wish we could have taken a guided tour of the estate, but that was not part of the day. Dinner at the hotel which was very good.
Day 4. Medieval Angers and Port Crouesty. This morning was a prerecorded tour of the famous Apocalypse Tapestry. I was a bit confused following the guide as he explained the different tapestry panels. I was never quite sure whether I was on the right panel as the explanations didn’t seem to match the commentary. Walked the town a bit and grabbed lunch somewhere unremarkable as I have no memory of it.
On to Port du Crouesty where we stayed at Miramar La Cigale. This resort looks like a cruise ship…. really. It is very contemporary and one of the oddest hotels I’ve been in. Maybe its because I’m not a fan of contemporary architecture, nor do I care for large cruise ships, but the whole thing just didn’t go with an old seaside port, in my opinion. I nearly killed myself getting into the tub to shower as all the controls were as far away from my grasp as they could be. I’d love to know who designs these rooms sometimes. Then the fact that there was filming for a French drama going on in the lobby which caused us not to be able to use the elevators or sometimes the front door. A little annoying.
Day 5. La Petite Mont & Golfe du Morbihan. Don’t miss the walking tour in the morning. It is very interesting and the views of the coastline are beautiful. The weather was just beautiful! There are remnants of WWII bunkers and the gal who gave the tour was excellent. In the afternoon we boarded a boat to do a sightseeing cruise of the area’s islands followed by an excursion of Rochefort-enTerre. Very pretty town and time to shop a bit. Lunch was on the boat and then we walked into town that evening and had dinner at Le P’tit Crabe. It was delicious seafood with large portions.
Day 6. Lovely day seeing some of Brittany and the seaside including Vannes and Josselin.
Day 7. Mont St-Michele is fascinating and quite a walk to the top. There is the option to stay in town to explore, but town seemed touristy to me and the tour was very good. There is time to grab a take away sandwich after seeing the Abby. The optional tour of St Milo was also interesting. Very windy the day we were there. Dinner on our own tonight. A’Lbri Des Flots is a nice restaurant with tasty seafood and only a short walk from the hotel.
Day 8. A visit to see the Bayeux Tapestry is amazing. Afterwards, be sure to go upstairs to see the museum. Bayeux is a beautiful town. Afternoon at the Peace Museum and Memorial Gardens. This is a large history museum with different sections to explore. I love museums and ran out of time and was not able to see much of the wing dedicated to D-Day. If I had it to do over, I’d go the wing that talked about D-Day first and then explore the rest of the museum.
Day 9.- Day memories. This was a very emotional and powerful day. Our guide Jean’ Paul was fabulous. There is so much to this day that can only be experienced by being there. That evening was dinner on our own and most of us walked over to an Italian restaurant named Parasole. It was delicious.
Day 10. Monet’s Giverny. Beautiful gardens. No matter what the weather it is just beautiful. Weather was cold and a bit rainy for our group, but none the less it is beautiful. Monet’s house is charming, so don’t miss it. After lunch on our own, we headed to Paris.
Day 11. I can’t speak about the city bus tour as I decided I was “bused out”. The traffic in Paris is very heavy and as I had been to Paris before, I opted to have a morning to myself. The others who did go loved it and said the guide was fabulous. You will want to see Notre Dame all wrapped up in scaffolding (which I was able to do on my own). I heard the optional walking tour was excellent. As for me, I made arrangements with a private guide to tour the Jewish Quarter of the Marias District in the afternoon. The tour started at Notre Dame. Excellent tour. If your interested in who I booked my tour with, send me an email. Happy to share.
Day 12. Musee D’ Orsay. This is a fabulous museum that if you have the time, you can easily spend the entire day. Tour was from 9:30 until noon, giving us an entire afternoon to explore on our own. I purchased tickets to tour The Opera House about a month ahead of the trip. I was glad I did as others on my trip wanted to join me and the guided tours were all sold out. A couple of folks were able to get general admission tickets from the hotel. Tour started at 2:00 and ended at 3:30. It’s an easy walk from The Le Scribe Hotel.
Farewell dinner at Fouquet’s. I enjoyed this Restaurant and it was a great way to say “au revoir” to a great trip and wonderful traveling companions.
Next I'll try to insert some photos.