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Old 21st April 2010, 14:09   #1
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Post Fantastic France -- Rennes, Paris, Normandy, Saint Malo, Mount Saint Michael

Scene 1: At home
I: I am going to France
Wife: Main bheeeeeee.
I: Ok pack the bags (she had a valid visa)
Wife: But I can’t……….. (and there were 101 reasons)

Flashback

At Office.

Boss: We have won the bid for “……..” project at “…..” client.
I: Congratulations. Presales team did a great job.
Boss: … (Edited because of non disclosure agreement)
I: … (Edited because of non disclosure agreement)
Boss: … (Edited because of non disclosure agreement)
I: … (Edited because of non disclosure agreement)
Boss: … (Edited because of non disclosure agreement)
I: … (Edited because of non disclosure agreement)

Teaser Pics
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:41   #2
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One thing about this travelogue will be sure ," pics will be fantastic''.

@SANJAY,
post your travelogue as fast as possible.
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:44   #3
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Wow, nice one.

The 3rd pics brings back my memories of 2002

Release it fast buddy!
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:45   #4
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Beautiful pictures and we are ready for the visual tour of the French heritage and architecture.

Keep it flowing in.
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:48   #5
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Interesting. You blanked her face with her own name. So how long where you in France? Did you also get to go to other countries in EU? Are we going to see a Eurologue (like the great Ramkya)? So many questions.

Did you blow 10000 euros on your wife's fashion accessories in champs de ellysees?
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:49   #6
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In this trip (being covered in this travelogue), I happened to get acquainted with considerable portion of France geography, culture and history. I can tell you upfront that I didn’t get the opportunity to go to South of France (the Mediterranean side) which is famous for its topless beaches and Monaco (This is to make sure that there are no expectations mismatch)

The Places that I will cover are

1. Rennes: This is Capital of Britney Region of France. At about 400 KMs from Paris, the place can be reached by fast train (TGV) in about 2 hours. (TGV on this stretch covers the first 300 KMs in 1 hour and the remaining 100 in another hour). I was stationed in this place for 3 months so spent quite a bit of time exploring the surroundings.

2. Paris: I don’t have to introduce this place. Spent considerable time knowing the place, its art, history and culture.

3. Normandy: If you know history, you will know what it is famous for. Yes the D-day attack of allied forces on German forces in WW2.

4. Mont Saint-Michel: Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune. It used to be one of the wonders of the world (some years back). French are very proud of the place.

5. Saint Malo: Saint-Malo is a walled port city in Brittany in north-western France on the English Channel. You have to Visit the place to know its beauty.

6. Concale: It is a picturesque fishing village popular with visitors, many of whom are drawn by its reputation as the "oyster capital" of Brittany. Though a small town, it is well served by a large number of restaurants, many specializing in seafood.


Started from my Noida home late in the evening (Air France flies mid night). Reached Airport, checked in, immigrated out and then realized that Airport lounge allows free entry to only Master Credit Card holders (I only have a Visa Credit and Master Debit card) and took a seat in one of the corners near terminal (some number). The flight was uneventful. Slept and only slept after having a light meal. Got up only when I realized that we were about to land at charles de gaulle airportat Paris. Came outa plane, went through a smooth immigration check and got my language in a few minutes. All the team, members were ready with their language as well. Came out, asked one of the helps outside the airport to help us getting taxis to TGV station named “Montparnasse” pronounces as “Mo-Pa-Nas”. Boarded 4 taxis (whole team) and “Chala kafila manzil ke aur”. The taxi ride to Montparnasse was about 40 minutes. We got the tickets, endorsed them at the platform and got on the TGV.

After 2 hours, we reached Rennes. The taxi ride to hotel was not more than 10 minutes. We checked in and realized we had issues to handle.
Because we were staying for long duration, we had booked apartment hotels (studio apartments). We were planning to cook our own food but we needed stuff. We reached Rennes on Saturday Morning and city was closed because of some holiday. Sunday was anyways holiday and we were told that we wouldn’t get much. Now, every city has one or the other places open on any given day but one needs to know and Language was a big issue. We struggled but we managed to survive for those 2 days. Thanks to Maggi and MTR (Packed Cooked food). One of the guy’s luggage was misplaced by the airline and he borrowed my clothes for complete week (sacrifices you make as PM).

Other than work, First few days were spent in getting to know the place, people and facilities.

Rennes: It is the 3rd fastest growing city in France, after Toulouse and Montpellier (1999 census). The city is capital and power centre of Brittany province after its union with France in 1532. It is said that the place was quite beautiful and picturesque until a drunken carpenter managed to set light to virtually the whole city in 1720. The city has a long history due to its location at the confluence of two rivers.

Here are some pictures of the city and its church.
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:56   #7
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Seems you just jumped out of a business meeting and started this travelogue.
One more question to my earlier list. Is that your regular mush or did you grow it specially as you are visiting gaul?

Mods: Sorry for reposting within 20 mins. Can you please merge both? I'm unable to delete one of them.

Last edited by MX6 : 21st April 2010 at 14:58.
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Old 21st April 2010, 14:59   #8
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Fantastic; hooked up to this thread now. Could you pls share some of your experience with TGV?
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Old 21st April 2010, 17:45   #9
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Nice trip there. It was right of you to set the expectations as everyone out here would be refereshing the thread the whole day waiting for Monaco beach pictures.

Did you get a chance to visit any wine region? I came to know from my BIL who visited France once or twice mentioned getting pure veggie food is tough. Is it true? Maybe your a NV and would not know?
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Old 21st April 2010, 21:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
One thing about this travelogue will be sure ," pics will be fantastic''.
You are very right. I do have a bunch of them to share. Keep looking at the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Wow, nice one.

The 3rd pics brings back my memories of 2002

I have many more. Keep looking at the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikoneer View Post
Beautiful pictures and we are ready for the visual tour of the French heritage and architecture.


Keep it flowing in.
Thanks @ikoneer. Will try to live up to expectations.

[quote=MX6;1848902]Interesting. You blanked her face with her own name. So how long where you in France? Did you also get to go to other countries in EU? Are we going to see a Eurologue (like the great Ramkya)? So many questions. quote]

Not may would know her real name. Also, taking a picture there is banned. I stole a bad shot because the security shouted on me and the camera shook. I was there for about 3 months. No, I didn’t. I was actually planning to go to Rome (and Vatican) but it didn’t mature because of some work related issues. Also I didn’t want to fly there but take Mount Blanc tunnel through Turin (Road and Train Trip). May be next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Interesting.
Did you blow 10000 euros on your wife's fashion accessories in champs de ellysees?
Wife doesn’t use much makeup. I remember I bought some stuff from Vancouver last time and she gave it all to people (relatives). Champs de ellysees for me is synonym for “window Shopping”

Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Is that your regular mush or did you grow it specially as you are visiting gaul?
.
That mush is regular but………(It is a sad story). I removed it (first time ever) few days back because of “Alopecia areata”. Nazar lag Gayee yar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Fantastic; hooked up to this thread now. Could you pls share some of your experience with TGV?
TGV is fantastic (and fast). The ones I have traveled in, touched the speed of 300KM/Hr. The interiors are great and people behave well. Tracks are secured so that nobody (human or animal) wonders on them. The staff is well behaved. They run on time. Tickets sold is equal to number of available seats. Overall, it is simply superb (and fast).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Did you get a chance to visit any wine region?
There is a wine district near Paris (about 2 hrs drive) but I didn’t go because of less time available (remember, I was there for work). I had to make a choice and made my list of preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
I came to know from my BIL who visited France once or twice mentioned getting pure veggie food is tough. Is it true? Maybe your a NV and would not know?
Getting Vegetarian food in French restaurants can be an issue but I guess one has to be innovative. If you are cooking your own food, you get enough (and far better) raw vegetables. If you have to buy, most of the mid size restaurants will have option on menu but it is a little difficult to spot. If you are able to communicate, you can get the regular menu altered to your need. I have seen Indian restaurants in most of the French cities. Paris has ample of them. I am a chickeneterian (I eat chicken and Fish only)
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Old 21st April 2010, 22:23   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjaykaul View Post
Not may would know her real name. Also, taking a picture there is banned. I stole a bad shot because the security shouted on me and the camera shook.
That mush is regular but………(It is a sad story). I removed it (first time ever) few days back because of “Alopecia areata”. Nazar lag Gayee yar.
Sad to hear about your Alopicia areata. But on the brighter side, you are in great company. Cho Ramaswamy (Lawyer, political thinker/ adviser, Playwright and publisher) from Tamil Nadu, who I consider as modern day Chanakya suffers from Alopecia areata universalis.

And I'm surprised tht they don't allow pictures of La Joconde.
Here's La Joconde captured thru my camera.
Fantastic France -- Rennes, Paris, Normandy, Saint Malo, Mount Saint Michael-mona-lisa-1.jpg

Mon Ange with La Joconde. The security personnel behind didn't seem to mind. Many people took many photos too. La Joconde obliged, but she didn't smile much. Just like Mon Ange.
Fantastic France -- Rennes, Paris, Normandy, Saint Malo, Mount Saint Michael-mona-lisa-2.jpg

Don't you find a similarity in them?

Last edited by MX6 : 21st April 2010 at 22:36.
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Old 21st April 2010, 22:27   #12
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Nice Pictures. Waiting for more. Thanks for sharing. By the way, your conversation with your boss was to notch and throughly professional.
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Old 21st April 2010, 22:55   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post

Mon Ange with La Joconde. The security personnel behind didn't seem to mind. Many people took many photos too. La Joconde obliged, but she didn't smile much. Just like Mon Ange.


Don't you find a similarity in them?
what a lame excuse. We know you stood no chance
(experience speaks)
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Old 21st April 2010, 23:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivekiny2k View Post
what a lame excuse. We know you stood no chance
(experience speaks)
Beats me. I frankly don't understand what you wanted to convey. I stood no chance for what?
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Old 22nd April 2010, 10:10   #15
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Thanks for your comments and encouragement.

Here is next part of the journey.

After about 2 weeks, I decided it was time to see places around. The first one I wanted to Visit was Normandy because of its historical significance. If you have seen the Movie "Saving Private Ryan" there surely would be a renewed interest in visiting the Normandy coast of France the sight of the World War II D-Day invasion. I did some research and realized that I could be there in 2 hours and all I have to do is figure out what train to catch from Rennes. When I discussed this with few of my team members, there was mixed reaction (good for me). Luckily our Boss had arrived from India for some meetings. He also wanted to join and offered to drive. He has ample experience on driving on “Ulta side” and also has an IDPL. Finally only 5 of us decided to rent a car and start. We got the keys on early Saturday morning and when we went to Parking to get our car, we were surprised by a brand new beauty with just 35 KMs on its meter. We had chalked our plan to go to Bayeaux and then to Beaches of WW2. We took Highway A84 till just a few KMs before Caen and then exit to Bayeaux. In Bayeaux, we spent time in a WW2 museum. It was a great insight into a very sad part of our planets history.
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