Here is update on our 23 day trip in France. We planned our trip this time of year to avoid the heat and the crowds. We are traveling all by train. Currently we are in Arles.
Arrived at Paris CDG on direct flight from ATL on Sunday September 22 at 630am. No long lines and we cleared passport control, picked up our luggage, got a taxi and we were at our hotel in an hour after landing. 50 euros for a taxi to our hotel near Gare St Lazare. We stayed at Hotel Wilson Opera near the train station as we were headed to Bayeux on Tuesday. Hotel was fine. Staff were all friendly and our room was just right for two people. Had a small balcony where we get a partial view of the Eiffel Tower. Rained off and on so we walked around the area to get our bearings. No eventful meals that day. Found that train strike would affect our travel to Bayeux on Tuesday so we rebooked to take the train on Monday afternoon. Got up Monday morning and went and had coffee and croissant at a cafe near the hotel then walked twenty minutes to see the Arch de Triomphe.
Arrived in Bayeux mid afternoon Monday and walked from the train station to our Airbnb which was almost directly in front of the cathedral. The Airbnb was perfect for two people and about half the cost of a hotel. Or original plan was three nights in Bayeux but we had four due to change in plan due to the train strike. Bayeux is nice town but a little touristy. While here we ate at several places. Had wine and planche (meat and cheese board) at LeMontMarte across from the Carefour grocery store, bought yogurt, cheese, meat and bread at Carefour to eat some evening meals at the Airbnb since it had a fully furnished kitchen and had a very nice dinner at Au ptit Bistro behind the cathedral. Family owned with husband is the chef and wife and one other take orders and deliver food. Reservation required.
We did two tours with Bayeux Shuttle while here. On Wednesday we did the full day American beaches dday tour. Saw Utah Beach, St Mere Eglise, Pont du Hoc, Omaha Beach and the American cemetery where we had time to look around and then see the lowering of the two flags with taps being played. 14 people were in our tour van which left and returned to Bayeux. Tour guide Nev was good at explaining what we were seeing and made a full day (845-6) interesting but not boring. We typically like to tour sights on our own but glad we went on this guided tour as we learned a lot that we would not have gotten on our own. On Thursday we did the Mont St Michele tour with the same group. This tour is a ride to the site and a ticket to get in the abbey. No guide but the driver got us to the Mont well in time to catch the free English tour of the abbey which lasted 1.5 hours. No line to get in the abbey but be aware that there are alot alot of steps to get to the abbey entrance. No elevator. We left Bayeux around 845 and were back by 330. The Mont and abbey were awesome and glad we went but not something we would need to see again. Next we went to Beaune and then Lyon. Report to follow.