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France, Paris and the Dordogne 2022

I have decided to start a trip report here so that as the days progress I will not forget things I want to pass on the help future travelers. We flew from Atlanta to Paris on Delta…..even an empty seat between my husband and our 3 seat grouping…..💃💃💃…..so that was really nice! Landed in Paris and to the hotel at 8:15 am so the hotel in the Marais was not ready…..so we walked 9 miles yesterday killing time and getting a few things off our list of Paris “to-do’s”. We toured the Opera house……INCREDIBLE and I would highly recommend doing so…..just bought the tickets to do the tour on our own. We walked to the roof of Galeries Lafayette and enjoyed the beautiful rooftop view in nice weather. Crowds everywhere but very very few masks. No one has even mentioned a mask until we got on our train to Tours this morning and a young man across our aisle pointed to his and asked us to put ours on…..seems to be something people request if they so desire. A random train employee also singled me out and asked where my mask was……as I was surrounded by people without one on……do I just look easy? We enjoyed a delicious brunch at a restaurant called HOLYBERRY near Galeries Lafayette…….google it for directions and go…….food was delicious and the wait staff incredibly kind and helpful…..worth a visit! We pick up our rental car today and set out for Sarlat……looking forward to the Dordogne! Stayed in Hotel Saint-Louis Marais in Paris……small but clean rooms and a great location and breakfast! Paris looks busy and alive…….will be back in a 8 days to enjoy more!

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Sounds like a great beginning to a long-planned trip! I also loved the tour of the Opera House and the view from the roof of Galeries Lafayette!

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1542 posts

Isn't that view from Galeries Lafayette amazing. I always try to work in a visit, not to shop, but just to go to the top and look out over Paris. The inside view of the store is pretty amazing, too.

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We will be in the Dordogne early June so I look forward to your trip report!

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We did much the same trip years ago and it was one of our most memorable. We stayed in Beynac while in the Dordogne but spent a lot of time in Sarlat. Enjoy. Look forward to your reports.

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We are now in Sarlat…….WOW! We spent yesterday catching the Montparnasse train form Paris and trained to St. Pierre de Corps near Tours to pick up our rental car and head here. The drive was beautiful……did not realize that WAZE was international……I use them in Nashville all of the time so it is nice to have them here……they guided us, we think, through an almost toll-less trip….some really strange back roads that were truly lovely……we had only 1 toll booth and they can be CRAZY so we were relieved. Will add that my dear hubby let me shop in 2 china outlets in Limoges…..was hoping for a treasure find but was disappointed at the outlet choices and prices. Would not do that again. Got here in the dark and into our MEDIEVAL airbnb lodging in old Sarlat…..I think the door was made by monks 1000 years ago…….but it is a lovely 2 bedroom apartment and we are thoroughly enjoying the kitchen, washer and dryer and extra space…..we can throw a stone out the window and hit the lovely old cathedral so our location could not be better…….just glad the church does not ring its bells after 9 at night! We are excited to be so well located for the market tomorrow in town. Took today to enjoy an incredible brunch at MAISON LISSAJOUX…..if you are in Sarlat EAT HERE….their chocolate croissants and brownies are so good you will want more and more. We had a croissant egg Benedict……..so good. We drove to Domme……..charm, charm, charm. It’s flowers were too pretty for words……roses, irises, wisteria draped over every doorway. It’s one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES OF FRANCE and as usual it does not disappoint. We then drove to the Gardens of Eyrignac Manor and what a visit…..it is so worth making this trip if you are in the Dordogne…..delightful weather and a garden that will blow you away……the care and mastery to make it so perfect. We wanted to go to another village but by then it was 5 and we headed back to Sarlat to enjoy a sidewalk cafe dinner. Hopefully after the market, if we can still move, we might slip away to Rocamadour or Limeuil. I was disappointed we only saw 1 village today, and they seem so close, but these back roads take more time to negotiate than the mileage lets on…….back again later for a market report!

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11905 posts

So glad you are having a wonderful time!!

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The Sarlat market is everything I heard it would be….great food in all of the stalls and plenty of samples to enjoy. We were located just up the hill so it was an easy morning to spend buying walnut oil and foie gras. Amazing how they fit all of those vendors in these crowded streets! Things were slow by noon so we drove to see Monpazier and Belves, another two of the MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES OF FRANCE. These villages are quiet and slow and so nice to walk through from shop to shop. The flowers have been GORGEOUS…..seems there is wisteria or roses wrapped around every doorway. Met a wonderful lady in her shop in Monpazier and she told us of a Brocante that would be the next day in Villeréal. We made our plans to go as soon as we checked out of Sarlat. Left Sarlat Sunday morning and drove to Villeréal…..cars everywhere. This Brocante was such fun……thought the French vendors would have difficulty understanding my English but they were great……prices were ridiculously low. I love vintage linens and lace since i use them in my sewing so I had a ball checking it all out. Lilies of the Valley fresh bouquets everywhere! Drove on to Beynac for our check in and an afternoon at the Marqueyssac Gardens……don’t miss these. They are something to behold! How they keep it so well groomed is amazing and watching the peacock spread its tail and prance along the property was fun…….a dinner in La Roque Gagaec watching the hot air balloons and then to bed for more adventure tomorrow!

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We took a 3 hour canoe trip down the Dordogne this morning……very quiet and few boats on the water this May morning…….should have taken 3 hours, from the Domme send-off spot to Beynac but we did not paddle intensely and it took us a little longer. A fun way to spend a day in the Dordogne! The canoe accompany was Canoe Loisiers. They give you a waterproof bucket for your wallet, etc so you are taken care of! I would advise as a fun day in the Dordogne!

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Left Beynac yesterday and drove to Amboise. We stayed at La Source’s lovely guesthouse in Beynac and throughly enjoyed it. Do check it out if you need a place to stay……just perfect. Took the morning to see Chambord and Chenonceau……..wow……..beautiful chateaus that everyone should see. The rain held off and the sun came out midday. I will say that the headsets at Chambord are lacking though the audio guide is good. Take your own……you will be glad you did! Amboise is a wonderful town and we love being here and staying at Hotel Le Manior Les Minimes.

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I wanted to add here that we are seeing very few masks…..the servers and attendants in the hotels are wearing them out of kindness and respect for the people they serve but not even all of them have them on. You might see a few people walking the streets wearing one but not many.

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Spent our last two days in Amboise touring Villandry and Clos de Luce. Villandry is one of our favorite spots so it was a joy to tour it again and see the handiwork of those gardeners……it was a beautiful day as well so it was fun. The roses and irises this trip have been outstanding and they did not disappoint in the gardens. So few people there that we almost had it to ourselves. The chateau is filled with fresh flowers and they add so much. We base ourselves in Amboise because we love the ambience of that town after touring all day….we drove back there and enjoyed dinner. The last day in Amboise we found a wonderful mall with laundry and toured Clos De Luce, Leonardo Da Vinci’s home. The grounds surrounding it on this gorgeous day were full of visitors and we loved reading about all of his many accomplishments. We missed this chateau on the first visit and were glad to see it this time. At dusk on this day we took a hot air balloon ride from Chaumont de Loire over the Loire River……..what an experience! 16 others in our big basket and 10 other balloons in the air that afternoon……..so calm, peaceful and well done. So glad we splurged and took this beautiful time to see the valley from the air! On to Paris tomorrow!

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Arrived in Paris midday after training from Tours…….once again (!!!!!!) the train conductor insisted I have a mask on as my maskless husband stood beside me…….almost comical!!!!! People here must be completely over the Covid warnings as they are EVERYWHERE……..crowds, crowds and more crowds. The weather is beautiful so maybe people are just ready to be out. Notre Dame is sad to look at but the progress looks good…….cannot imagine what working on it will be like if they are truly shooting for summer Olympics 2024 here to see something of her finished. Paris seems busy and full of tourists, especially the Marais, and everyone walking outside and enjoying themselves. We walked the Marais, enjoyed a falafel and came home to rest up for a Paris flea market trip today.

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8628 posts

Jane, it sounds like you are having an absolutely fabulous trip !! You couldn't hope for better at any of your stops. I like your itinerary, too. Thanks for sharing your trip report as you go.

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Oh my goodness………the Vernaisson Paris flea Market was INCREDIBLE. The vendors wares were gorgeous…..and so so many beautiful things. If you are like me and curious about this market take a taxi on your next trip and enjoy it. It helps tremendously to take pictures as I was trying to buy some pearl handled forks and all I had to do was show the picture to the vendors…….they all bent over backwards to help me……did not find any but if you need gorgeous china, silver or crystal it is here…..wish I had a crate to ship all I wanted back home. I sew so the purchase of some vintage lace made my day…..will use it in my grandchildren’s clothing I make…when I showed the lace vendors pictures of my sewing they were delighted that i would be using their wares. They worked on making good deals for me! We taxied to Montmartre and the sea of humanity that was there enjoying this weather……seems the sun comes out everyday at noon here! Great day in this beautiful city! People are out enjoying the same…….

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Enjoying your report Jane. My next trip to France will be the Dordogne. May I request you send the link to your bnb in Sarlat? You can pm it to me if you prefer. TIA!

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Took today to enjoy Versailles with my son and his wife who are also here. We took the opportunity to do something really fun and hired a local chef to pack a picnic lunch for us……she included EVERYTHING…….even flowers! We picked it up at her home and spread our goods out in the beautiful field and pond right next to the castle. It was a gorgeous day to do so and we made a sweet memory that we will never forget. If you are interested in her name DM me and I will send the info to you. We entered Versailles at 1pm……..no lines but we had purchased tickets online early and walked right in…….even the security line moved very quickly. The last time I walked through the chateau it was July and about 110 degrees……and people everywhere…….so glad the weather was nice today and that the crowds were not too bad……lots of school kid groups………grabbed a smoothie before leaving Versailles…….what a charming town……..and caught the train home……..wonderful day.

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Just got our negative Covid tests at the pharmacy around the corner on the Ile St. Louis…. Whew…a relief to know we have the right documents in hand!