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Old 11th August 2016, 14:16   #16
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Day 9 May 21 2015

After breakfast we planned to take the mountain lift to Aguille du Midi. The lift station was nearby to the hotel. We went to the ticket office. I noticed a bus load of Chinese tourists around the ticket office.

Unfortunately the staff informed that there was a technical problem with the lifts hence the trip for today was cancelled. She suggested we take the train to another mountain Montenvers Mar de Glace which leaves every hour from the Chamonix Railway station. We were a bit disappointed as going up Aguille du Midi would have been super fun. The main intention of coming to Chamonix was to experience snow.

Anyways we went to the Railway station bought tickets and got into the red train. The Chinese tourists also joined us since Aguille du Midi lifts were not in operation. The train took a steep climb and in about 30mins we were at the top station. Montenvers Mar de Glace is 1913M above sea level. Luckily for us as the train neared the top station it started snowing. Very mild snowing but still it was an experience. At the top we could find snow at the station itself.

Many people were going towards the snow valley below the Station where there was lot of snow. We did not go there as the path was very slippery and steep. With kids it was not advisable. We enjoyed with snow. The kids were ecstatic. It was really cold. The weather app was showing temperature in minus but I doubt it. It could have been single digit temperatures.

There was a cafe where we had lunch. After spending a good 2 hours playing in the snow we took the train back into Chamonix town.

The next day we were supposed to check out but I had not done any booking for the next 2 nights since only May 24 2015 the rooms were available at Cannes at my preferred hotel. Originally I wanted to Check in on May 23 2015 at Cannes since the Film festival was ending on May 24 all the rooms were booked. So that left with 2 nights in between. Since we had already seen most of Chamonix we did not want to spend more than 2 nights here. If the room in Cannes was available from May 23 I had planned to spend a night in a Motel on the highway between Chamonix and Cannes at it is a long drive of 650 kms if taking highways through France and 456kms if going via Italy as per options given in Google Maps.

I was thinking the whole evening on various options, I could take the highway through Italy and stopover in Turin for 2 nights before driving to Cannes. This would also give me an opportunity to drive through the Mont-Blanc tunnel. I check the viamichelin app it showed the toll cost at nearly 150EUR for this drive through Italy. If I drive through France the toll was only 35EUR but the kms was more. Also I dropped the plan to drive through Italy since my sim card was valid only in France. So without data I cannot drive since I used Google maps exclusively for GPS.

The other option was to go back to Grenoble and spend 2 more nights there. As I was checking various options I came across Lyon which was at a similar distance like Grenoble from Chamonix. I was also getting a good rate at Novotel Lyon La Part Dieu. Hence decided to visit Lyon for 2 nights. This was an impromptu plan and I was happy too that i could squeeze in another city in France.Immediatley made the bookings at Novotel through the Accor hotels iPhone app.

Went out in the evening for one last dinner in Chamonix-Mont Blanc. We had some nice Pizza and Pasta at an Italian restaurant. Soon after called it a night.

Pictures from Day 9 in Chamonix-Mont Blanc and Montenvers Mar de Glace

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Old 12th August 2016, 17:35   #17
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Awesome pics and superb narration. The idea of exploring one country at a time makes sense as it takes time to understand the local culture, food and architecture. Having said that, Europe has too many places that one lifetime might not be sufficient. I am intrigued by the option of using TGV for inter-city travel. Is it possible to use TGV to travel between different cities in different countries, say from France-Berlin (just an example) and is that economical?
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Old 16th August 2016, 11:55   #18
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Day 10 May 22 2015

It was time to bid adieu to the beautiful ski-resort of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. We checked out after breakfast around 11am started our drive to Lyon. We took the A40 highway google maps indicated a distance of 223kms with drive time of 2h8m. The highway had some arrow straight stretches with the beautiful Alps in the horizon and the road piercing the mountains through some long tunnels. There were also magnificent bridges. I exactly do not know the names of these bridges since we did not stop to check out or click pictures of these huge bridges, as we wanted to reach Lyon before 130pm to attend the Friday prayers. The A40 goes upto the border of Switzerland near Geneva. We reached the border to the right was Switzerland there was the Swiss Coop supermarket right at the Border but it was in Swiss territory. We turned left continued our drive towards Lyon.

Closer to the Lyon the traffic picked up. Also the weather turned warmer. We reached the Grand Mosque de Lyon in time for the prayers. The mosque was just off the Ring Road which we took from the A40. They call it the circular road. The Grand Mosque de Lyon was a bit modern with basement area and 2 floors. Once done with the prayers we proceeded towards Novotel Lyon Gerland which was about 30 mins away. I found the suburbs of Lyon to be a busy with lot of industries. We had lunch at an Algerian Kebab joint near the Novotel Gerland. Checked in around 4pm I found the Hotel very nice with spacious lobby kids play area nice swimming pool. It was situated in a complex where there was Hotel Ibis and some office blocks.

This Novotel was not exactly in the centre of the town but it was close to the old town centre and the new shopping district. After a bit of a rest we went to a Mall in La Part Dieu where Galleries Lafayette Carrefour and other major branded shops were located. The Mall was bustling with activity as it was a start of the weekend. Spent some time shopping it was similar to any mall in a major Indian city in the weekends with lots of crowds fun and games. It was a change from the quiet time we experienced at Chamonix.

Close to sunset we went to Vieux Lyon which is the old town across the River Rhone which is a major River of Europe. In Switzerland and Germany it is called Rhine. The city of Lyon lies on the banks of the River Rhone. The old town was beautiful with its cobbled narrow lanes. We parked the car at a public parking on the river side and walked to the old town. There were many restaurants cafes churches and a miniature museum. Though it was closed we peeked in to get some snaps. It was fascinating to see all the things in miniature size.

We had dinner at Mezzo Di Pasta. It was turning out to be a favourite of my family as they served some really nice veg pastas and sandwiches. Soon after we called it a night.

I was very happy with my last minute decision to visit Lyon since I found this city really nice with a modern as well as classic touch to it. It had a vibrant culture amazing food shopping and lot of things to see around. At the same time it was not a very big metropolis. The traffic was moving and not much congestion. I was looking forward to the next day to explore more of Lyon.

Pictures from the A40 Chamonix-Lyon Highway, Grande Mosque de Lyon, Novotel Lyon Gerland La Part Dieu shopping mall and Vieux Lyon the old town.

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Old 16th August 2016, 13:59   #19
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Some pictures from the Miniature Musee at Vieux Lyon...

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Day 11 May 23 2015

We had Breakfast at the restaurant in Novotel Gerland. All excited to explore Lyon we went to Place Bellacour which was suggested by the reception staff. This Place is a walking district with lots of shops etc. Its in the new part of the city. We spent the morning shopping at Printemps which is another huge departmental store like Galleries Lafayette. We found the prices were cheap here when compared to Paris. I had parked the car at a basement parking for 5 hours costing around 25EUR. After we were done with shopping we had lunch at a famous Pizza joint Pizza Pino. Being Saturday it was crowded. After a bit of a wait we got the table and relished some very tasty veggie Pizza's.

As we were finishing lunch just outside the restaurant on the street there was a procession going on. With people marching shouting slogans protesting and displaying some banners. There was a lot of Police presence as well. Upon enquiring I found out that the procession march was by the famers who were protesting the excessive use of chemicals in their produce(ironical we just had a lot of veggies in the Pizza!). They were protesting against the Government. The whole area was cordoned off. Though it was a peaceful protest but was very loud!

We walked towards Place des Terreaux which was about a 10 min walk from Place Bellacour. This place was kind of a square with a huge Gothic architecture buildings. It was bustling with tons of tourists.Place des Terreaux was not affected by the protest march. We spent some time marvelling at the Gothic Architecture and just taking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant area.

We got back to the hotel after spending some good time shopping sight seeing and eating in the bustling places of Lyon!

On the way I filled up the tank of Fiat 500L for the first time since hiring the car at Grenoble 4 days back. It gave an incredible mileage of 21Kms per litre. This also says a lot about the driving conditions in the highways in France where one can cruise at a steady speed without braking/changing gears often which results in a very good mileage.

After bit of a rest in the room, in the evening we went to Parc de la Tete d'Or. It had some beautiful flowers and a pond. It was really massive. We spent the evening walking around the Park. It was so peaceful quaint tranquil and serene in the Park.

Close to sunset we visited the La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere. It was a 19th century Basilica located in a mountain just above the old town of Lyon. The drive up was through some steep and narrow roads. From the top the view of the city was beautiful in the evening sunset time.

After sunset we had dinner at the same Algerian Kebab joint where we had lunch on our first day in Lyon. Being Saturday night football match was going on hence there was a lot of crowd in the restaurant watching the match.

The next morning we were driving down to the French Rivera down south to Cannes!

Pictures from Place Bellacour, Place des Terreaux, Parc de la Tete d'Or and Notre Dame.

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Novotel Lyon Gerland offered free basement parking which was secure and shared with Ibis and TNT. They would give us a card which we need to show at the vending machine overtime for the shutter to slide open leading into the parking lot.
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Old 16th August 2016, 14:10   #20
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReluctantRebel View Post
Awesome pics and superb narration. The idea of exploring one country at a time makes sense as it takes time to understand the local culture, food and architecture. Having said that, Europe has too many places that one lifetime might not be sufficient. I am intrigued by the option of using TGV for inter-city travel. Is it possible to use TGV to travel between different cities in different countries, say from France-Berlin (just an example) and is that economical?
Hi there,

Thanks for the appreciation glad you are liking the pics and narration!!. Yes you can travel in TGV from Paris to Brussels Frankfurt Berlin Zurich Milan etc.

You can visit www.voyages-sncf.com to check on the TGV routes and rates. The key to scoring a low fare is to book as early as possible as 3 months ahead the tickets go on sale. As the date of travel gets closer the fares get really high even more than air fare.

Personally I feel it is better to take TGV for inter-city Europe travel than flying low cost carriers as it is an amazing experience the trains are super fast and on time. The LCC might offer lesser fares than TGV but they have lot of add on charges as you need to pay for hold bags which is more than the cost of the air fare also need to pay for seat selection etc. In TGV bags go free no restrictions on the weight.
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Old 16th August 2016, 14:37   #21
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by sameer sultan View Post
Day 10 May 22 2015

It was time to bid adieu to the beautiful ski-resort of Chamonix Mont-Blanc. ...
Very well written, will bookmark it for whenever we visit France.

Btw the Macaroons are quite pricy inside the Paris Airport, are they cheaper outside ?
But they do taste awesome.
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Old 16th August 2016, 18:15   #22
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
Very well written, will bookmark it for whenever we visit France.

Btw the Macaroons are quite pricy inside the Paris Airport, are they cheaper outside ?
But they do taste awesome.
Thank you Mate!

Macaroons are an expensive pastry everywhere!It was around 2.50EUR each at many places we had the macaroons in France.

As for the CDG Airport I think you must have had the Macaroons at the shop just after the immigration. We also had the last of the Macaroons of our trip at that shop!
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Old 17th August 2016, 11:49   #23
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Day 12 May 24 2015

We had an early morning start since today the drive to Cannes via A7 and A8 would be about 445kms taking 4h21m per the trusted Google Maps! The speed limit in French highways is 130kms with it going down to 110kms at curves and hilly roads. I stuck to 130kms right through with cruise control most of the time(I would regret later for not following the Speed Limit). We by passed the towns of Valence and Avignon. This highway was leading straight down to the south coast to Marseilles. At some point we needed to take the deviation to Cannes which was to the east of Marseilles. Now I was used to the French highways having driven almost 700kms in the past week. By the way this highway had tolls. In the first toll booth we have to just collect the ticket and in the next we needed to pay by cash or card. There were dedicated lanes for cash and card payments which we needed to make a note of earlier itself to avoid getting into the wrong lane as all of the toll booths are unmanned. We just had 1 stop for having some snacks and toilet break at Carrefour. Being a Sunday we saw a number caravans in the highway. These caravans are towed to a SUV people hire them for Camping during the journeys. I also noticed a couple of Caravan parking zones.

Anyways around 1230 we were entering Cannes. BTW the coastal areas in the French Rivera are hilly. The views from the highway to the Mediterranean Sea on the right are breathtaking. The climate had become more warmer than Lyon. It was almost in the mid 20ís. We discarded our warm clothes after almost 11 days. Cannes seemed to have up and down roads as it was hilly region. There was a bit of traffic at the entrance of the town. I had booked Suite Novotel at La croisette which was in walking distance to the Place de Festival. We got to the hotel much before the check in time of 2 pm. As it was the last day of the Cannes festival the reception was busy with many people checking out. I found the reception very small and not modern also. I was wondering whether I made the right choice by booking this hotel since I also had the option of booking the Novotel which was a bit away from the town as Novotel is a higher category Hotel than Suite Novotel. We were told to leave our bags and come back by 3pm to get our room keys. I parked the car in the underground parking which was actually a public parking and not exclusive to the hotel. There was a per hour charge but the hotel offered a flat rate of 15EUR for 24 hours. We thought of taking a walk to the Palais des Festivals which was about a 10min walk from the hotel. Cannes gave me a feeling of a typical seaside resort town like Phuket it did not look like an European city also with the warm climate. The Palais des Festivals is near the seaside. The road goes down hill towards the sea. Near the water front is where all the action takes place. The area was bustling with tourists media personnel and probably celebrities come to attend the Cannes Festival. I say probably because I did not recognise any celebrity though they were looking all important with security guards in tow and also few giving interviews etc.

We walked to the waterfront where tons of exotic Yacht's were parked. Cannes is famous for the Yacht's which the rich and famous hire and go mid sea for a few days. They are equipped like a five star hotel with all amenities. And yes only the rich and famous can afford it as I called up the no displayed on one of the Yacht's to check on the hiring cost, it was like 5,000EUR for 12hours! We spent some time near the water front taking in the opulence of the place. It was just reeking of money and power with everything flashy.

We could see every now and then a black helicopter would land and take off at pier opposite the water front. I guess it was a helipad as there were a couple of helicopters parked. A fleet of black limousines would drive into the pier near the helicopter someone important(again just going by the security around the person also the entourage of cars) would get off the car and board the black helicopter which would take off in a few mins. The cars will zoom off from the Pier. All this happened at the edge of the blue sea with a mountain back drop. The scene was like a movie though we were watching it live.

We wanted to have lunch so walked back towards the hotel. On the way we saw an Indian restaurant named Jaipur where we had lunch. It was run by a person of Asian origin as I cannot say whether he was Indian or Pakistani as he refused to have a conversation with us. He looked like an hassled man as the restaurant was busy being a Sunday afternoon. The food was tasty authentic Indian vegetarian but we were disappointed by the attitude of the owner. He seemed very pleased to serve the westerners dining and when it came to serve us he was very abrupt. Pathetic attitude though we were also paying in Euros like the westerners!I wonder what was his problem. I have reviewed the Jaipur restaurant at Cannes in detail in Trip advisor. At this restaurant we spotted Tisca Chopra hindi movie actress having lunch. Probably she was visiting the Cannes film festival.

After lunch we checked in to our room at Suite Novotel. Though the lobby looked dated the Room was very good. Spacious with a full bathroom and a powder room. Four beds small dining table wardrobe etc. We were very happy with the room. It was as spacious as any room one would find in hotels in Asia.

While resting in the room i opened the Uber app in my iPhone just to check whether the options of Uber service in Cannes as I am a regular Uber user. To my surprise I saw Uber was offering a helicopter service in Cannes. The Uberheli would pick up from Cannes and fly to Nice airport for 160EUR per person. The flying time would be 20mins. This was a special offer ending today as it was the last day of the Cannes film festival. Now I realised that the helicopters taking off from the Pier at the waterfront were Uberheli service. The Uber helicopter service was very popular and busy going by the number trips it was making.

Later in the evening we drove out to Boulevard de la Croisette which was to the left of the Palais des Festivals near the waterfront. This Boulevard was a long stretch of road where all the super luxury hotels shops and restaurants were located. All the celebrities visiting Cannes stayed at one the hotels located here. The most popular hotel was the Grant Hyatt Martinez. Apart from this there is Intercon Sheraton hotels etc. The walking path on the Boulevard was very nice. We parked the car and walked the entire stretch. The festivities were still going on as it was a Sunday evening and also the last day of the festival. The atmosphere was very vibrant and jovial.

Pics from the Lyon-Cannes highway, Palais des Festivals at Cannes many exotic Yacht's and the Uber helicopter!

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Old 17th August 2016, 12:17   #24
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Continuing on the trip log of Day 12.....

I spotted tons of luxury sports cars and bikes in Cannes. In addition to the Rolls Royce's and Bentleys! The luxury cars out numbered the regular cars especially in the Boulevard de la Croisette. It was a feast for the eyes.

I noticed luxury brands like Hermes Louis Vuitton etc had the shops on Boulevard overlooking the road. I mean usually such shops would be inside a Mall but here they were just on the road side! Cannes was literally the playground of the ultra rich and famous!

I also spotted a few artists doing canvas painting on the Boulevard. They were on sale as well. Then there were displays of the schedule screening times of the movies which were being played in the Festival. There was open air theatre by the sea side where the screenings take place after sunset. There were a number of Cabanas where the people would relax have food and also watch the movies. Though the screenings all had got over a day earlier itself.

Close to sunset we drove down to Antibes which is about 12 kms from Cannes. It is a small fishing village with a number of residential houses without the hustle and bustle of Cannes. The sea front had quiet a few Yacht's and fishing boats but the area was very quiet unlike the water front at Cannes. We had dinner at a Tunisian Kebab shop which was recommended by a local. The kebabs were very tasty and the service friendly.

We drove back late in the night back to our hotel in Cannes.

Rest of the Day 12 Pictures from Boulevard de la Croisette....

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Old 17th August 2016, 13:58   #25
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Day 13 May 25 2015

I had planned to drive down to Nice on the Cote d'Azur coast of the French Rivera which was about 33kms from Cannes. There were 2 route options showed by Google Maps, I took the faster option through the highway. The other option was the coastal road going via Antibes which I came to know later that it is one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world leading up to Eze and Menton near the Italian border! Seriously I regretted not taking that route. I wish I could go back and drive on that coastal road!

Anyways after breakfast at the Suite Novotel we drove to Nice. First stop was the beach. We parked the car and walked upto the sea shore. The parking was free as it was some holiday in the region. There were a lot of people taking in the sun the beach. The water was a dark blue shade. To the left we could see the Nice skyline. To the right was the Cote d'Azur international airport we had a good view of the flights during the landing approach and after take off. Cannes does not have an international airport hence the Cote d'Azur airport serves as a major getaway for tourists visiting this region including Monaco which is another 20kms away from Nice.

After sometime at the beach we went to Nice city centre. We found parking after a lot of going around as being a holiday it was a busy day though it was a Monday. I found Nice very beautiful with brightly painted buildings. The city centre had some nice shopping areas. There was a tram service as well. The pavements were laid out in black and white tiles like a chess board. I thought Nice was more trendy than Cannes. I thought I could have stayed here itself instead of Cannes!!

We had lunch at a Hyderabadi restaurant Nooris. The service was friendly food tasty. After lunch we drove past the Sea port at Nice. Lots of fishing boats and ferries were berthed.

I contemplated driving further to Monaco which was about 20kms from Nice, but the kids were tired so we drove back to the hotel in Cannes for some rest. In the evening we went to Rue d'Antibes which is a shopping street in Cannes. Later that night we again went to Antibes for some Tunisian Kebabs as we did not find any interesting restaurants in Cannes.

On the way back in the night it was raining and I took the coastal road to drive back to Cannes from Antibes. Though it was dark I could feel it would be beautiful drive in the day time as there was a train track and road running along the coast.

Pictures from day 13 at Nice...

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Old 17th August 2016, 17:48   #26
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Day 14 May 26 2015

We checked out from Suite Novotel at Cannes and we were driving to Avignon our last destination in France. We took the A8 going towards Avignon which was 236kms away. Avignon is in the Provence region of France which is famous for the Lavender Fields which bloom in the summer months.This as well as good TGV connectivity to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport was the reason I picked Avignon as our last stop in southern France.

My wife wanted to see the Lavender fields hence I decided to take a detour from the A8 to get into the interior roads of Salon de Provence where the Musee de la Lavande was located. With whatever info I could gather over the internet about the Lavender fields was that they are located near the towns Luberon Banon Carpentras and Sault in the region of Salon de Provence. The interior roads were fine as well 2 lanes with minimal traffic. The region was pretty dry we reached Luberon.But we could not find any Lavender fields upon enquiring we were told we might find the Lavender Fields in Carpentras and Sault which were another 60 kms away. Also the locals informed us that the Lavender fields usually bloom in peak summer which is end of July early August. We dropped the plan to search for Lavender fields and head to Avignon as we also had to drop the car later in the evening.

We reached Avignon around 1 pm I had booked the Adagio Access Avignon TGV which was walking distance from the TGV station. Though the Avignon centre was about 10 mins drive or 5 mins by the shuttle train. I opted for this hotel since we had to catch the early morning TGV the next day to Paris CDG airport. Avignon was very windy. The hotel as located in a leafy road there were a lot of cars parked I guess being close to TGV station many people park their cars and take the train. We checked in to the Aparthotel which was pretty basic but it was new and a clean spacious apartment. Since this had a kitchenette we had some home cooked lunch.

After lunch we drove to Pont du Gard where there is an aqueduct bridge built by Roman's across the Gardon tributary of the River Rhone.It was a sightseeing spot prominently displayed on all the tourist information pamphlets of Avignon. It was about a 30 min drive from our Aparthotel. That place also was very windy there were quiet a few tourists though it was almost 5pm in the evening. We parked the car and walked up to the aqueduct bridge for some photo ops. After sending around 40mins we drove back to Avignon TGV.

On the way I filled up the Fiat 500L for one last time. I was to drop the car at the Europcar office located at the Avignon TGV station. The customer service agent checked the car for any damages and accepted the car. The car was with us for 7 days we were going to miss it as we had a comfortable drive around southern France in the Fiat 500L. After dropping the car we went to the Avignon TGV station to take the shuttle train to Avignon central station. It is a 5 minute journey. Avignon centre is surrounded by medieval stone ramparts. As we come out of the central station there is a fort like structure from where the main area of the city starts. We walked around for an hour sightseeing the centre of Avignon. It was another interesting French city with its ancient monuments set on the Rhone River. We could spend only an evening in Avignon due to scheduling.

We took the shuttle train back to the Avignon TGV. As we reached a TGV from Paris pulled in many people got off and started heading towards the car park to drive out. We had dinner at the Adagio Access it was very cold outside with crazy winds. I guess this is a very windy region.

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Shuttle train
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Day 15 May 27 2015

Today was our last day in France. Adagio Access Avignon TGV does not have a 24 hour reception as we were checking out early in the morning there was no staff at the reception we just had to drop the keys in the key deposit box and leave the Aparthotel. We walked to the Gare de Avignon TGV to catch the 7h15m TGV 5065 to Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport TGV in Paris. The ETA at CDG was 10h33m. The TGV would be covering a distance of 700kms in about 3h18m! Our Srilankan flight to Colombo was scheduled to depart CDG at 3pm so we had enough time at the airport. I booked the TGV tickets 3 months before as mentioned in my planning report I could score the 4 tickets for only 72EUR which was a steal considering the last min fare on the same TGV from Avignon to CDG was 125EUR per head!!

The Avignon TGV station was busy in the morning with many trains passing through. Our TGV was coming from Marseilles going upto Lillee and also to Brussels thats what the display board was showing. I later realised that there were 2 TGV trains attached to each other pulling together as one train continues to Brussels after Lillee where the other train terminates. So I had to carefully see the coach no displayed as there were multiple coaches in the 2 trains. Also the TGV will stop only for 2 mins so we had to correctly position ourselves in front of the coach so has to get in with all our bags in the short 2 min time. We managed to get in but it was a tense situation as if we miss the TGV then we would end up missing our flight as well.

We reached CDG Airport as per the ETA. Even at CDG the TGV stops only for 2 mins so well before the train reached I got the bags down from the upper deck as the door opened at the Platform threw the bags out literally and got off the TGV! We had to change terminals as the TGV station was located at the different terminal than the terminal from where our flight was departing. We took the CDGVAL airport shuttle to Terminal 3. I had to claim some tax free amounts before departing. There was a long Q for this as there were tons of Chinese passengers who were claiming the tax free before their departure.

The check in was a mess as the departure hall at CDG is a bit confusing with its circular shaped terminals without clear indications. After immigration we had some Macaroons for 1 last time in France. Our flight departed on time and we landed in Colombo next day early morning at 445am after a 10hour flight. We spent 2 days in Colombo before getting back home.

Thus our 15 day trip to France came to an end!

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Old 18th August 2016, 11:38   #27
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Itinerary

May 13 - 17 2015 Paris

May 17 - 19 2015 Marne la Vallee Disney Land Paris

May 19 - 20 2015 Grenoble

May 20 - 22 2015 Chamonix Mont - Blanc

May 22 - 24 2015 Lyon

May 24 - 26 2015 Cannes

May 26 - 27 2015 Avignon

May 27 2015 Departure from Charles de Gualle Airport Paris.

Below is the Google Maps link to all the places we visited.

https://goo.gl/maps/e7V59yFQry62

Useful Links

TGV Train Tickets www.voyages-sncf.com

Disneyland Tickets www.dlpguide.com

Seine River Cruise www.vedettesdupontneuf.com/home

Lavender Fields www.theluberon.com

Route/Toll info www.viamichelin.com
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Old 30th August 2016, 17:52   #28
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Default Re: French Macaroons! A holiday in France

Contravention

After the conclusion of my France trip whilst I was in Colombo I received an invoice by email from Europcar for 30EUR as administrative fee fines. Almost immediately I also received a notification from my Bank that my credit card has been charged for 30EUR.

I was wondering what were the charges for. Hence I wrote to the customer care to enquire about this administrative fee fines. Europcar customer care replied saying that I have been charged an administrative fee related to an infraction to the French road traffic laws.

I recollected not following the prescribed speed limit particularly on the Lyon-Cannes highway, where the standard speed limit was 130kmph it would go down to 110kmph in ghat roads or steep curves. I stuck to 130kmph throughout as I had engaged the cruise control. I did not have an intention of overspending but for convenience purpose I had stuck to 130kmph on the cruise control. Also I thought the traffic police in France might give a grace limit as it was a difference of just 20kmph. But I was wrong.

Well the story did not end with this.Around a month later I receive a traffic ticket by post from France stating that I had committed a Contravention. They had fined me 45EUR, If I pay within 45 days of receiving the ticket. If I don't then the fine increases to 68EUR if I pay between 45-75 days.

The entire notice was in French

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Thanks to Google Translate I read it completely. They had mentioned the traffic offence details where at the place where 110KMPH was the limit I was doing 124KMPH also stating that the grace speed was upto 117KMPH. .

They had given a few options to pay up. The easiest was using their iPhone App. I downloaded the app and paid up the fine and learnt another lesson to follow traffic laws or any law for that matter to the T!

Europcar had charged the administrative fee of 30EUR just to share my contact details with the French Traffic authorities.


iPhone app screenshots
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Last edited by sameer sultan : 30th August 2016 at 17:55. Reason: Correction
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