10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2016 11:52 AM by pluto77 RSS

Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France

lakeshore Platinum 11 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Hello Insiders! I haven't been on for awhile, as most of our travel involves basketball, track, and baseball tournaments, now that the kids are older. But, we are taking a last minute trip to France, as the big guys are studying Gothic architecture, and we want to take them to see some history in person. Professor, Chiara, I wish we could bring you along, and I know that many of you have been to these places Outside of Paris....Jerrycoin, phtourist, Pluto, etc, etc. I have read up on some of the threads, but not all, so any tips would be great. I can't change our itinerary, as bookings have been made, and are non refundable at this point. We will be staying at some Mercure hotels, as there weren't Marriotts in all towns, so that will be interesting. So far, all of my correspondence with them has been outstanding.

 

Here is our plan...

 

After a round table discussion with the kids at home, we asked them what would disappoint them most, if they didn't get to see it. So, we based our plans on that. Traveling with kids, it is always good to keep them involved and engaged. Happy kids make happy travels! And there is so much to do in France, we can't really go wrong. So here it is!

Day 1: Arrive at CDG, rent car. Drive to Reims. We could take the route through Soisson for lunch and the cathedral or just get to Reims, and go to St. Remi, place du Tau, and of course, the cathedral(which will be illuminated at night). If we have time, and I can book something, maybe a champagne cave tour(we have toured Moët before).

Day 2: drive and stay in Amiens, stopping at Laon on our way. Go to the Amiens Cathedral for audio guide tour, and later it will be all lit up at night!

Day 3: drive and stay in Rouen at the Hotel de Bourgtheroulde, Autograph Collection. It looks beautiful.  Tour ther cathedral. We want to walk the areas of St. Joan of Arc. Has anyone been to the new Jaon of Arc museum? Panorama XXL? We will also check out St Maclou, and the Abbey.

Day 4: drive and stay in Mont San Michel. Mass at the Abbey. Saltwater, grass fed lamb for dinner. Yum!

Day 5: drive to Paris, stopping at Chartres for a tour and hopefully see the crypt on the way.

We will stay at the Renaissance Vendome...my favorite location of all the Marriott family. Marina and Amandine have been outstanding preparing our stay. Relax in Paris for five nights, seeing friends, eating good food, relaxing, and going to St. Denis, and many Gothic churches in Paris. Maybe even take the train to Chartres for a day trip if we want to spend more time there.

Return home.   

We are all really excited! The older two have been to Mont San Michel when they were really little. We have some great pictures. They can't wait to go again, and bring their seven year old brother! They still have the wooden swords and Mont San Michel shields we bought them when we were there long ago. And they remember the beautiful Mass we went to at the Abbey, where the nuns asked the boys to bring up lit candles to the altar during the offertory. Precious memories. We hope to make many more on this trip!

Happly travels, and happy holidays to all,

Lakeshore

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Paris, France Renaissance Hotels Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel
Rouen, France Autograph Collection Hotel de Bourgtheroulde, Autograph Collection
  • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Lakeshore,

    Good to hear from you. When are you heading over?  If it's not this present Christmas school break, I can offer you at least a couple of perhaps useful nuggets next week, after the dust from Christmas begins to settle (I'm thoroughly buried at work.). Too bad profchiara isn't still around.  Rouen and upper Normandie have sublime offerings.

     

    Merry Christmas.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi lakeshore,

    I think that your trip is now(!) and Rouen is on day 3, so I thought I'd better get back to you sooner rather than later.

     

    The hotel is wonderful!  Staff is very friendly and accommodating.  The breakfast is good, as is dinner, if you chose to dine there.  They have an excellent chef.  The hotel property itself is comprised of gothic architecture, as it was built in the 15th century and played a role in an important meeting between two kings.  The background is interesting, and the hotel concierge can tell you its fascinating history!

     

    If you will dine in town, I recommend La Petite Auberge, also recommended by a couple of other Insiders.

    restaurant-petite-auberge.fr  The concierge will be happy to make the reservation for you (reservations highly recommended, it's a small place).

     

    SAM_2381.JPG

     

    The cathédrale and abbaye are magnificent and be sure to check out the pipe organs!  Église Saint-Maclou is only open on certain days of the week.  I hope it will be open while you are there.

     

    Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen

    IMG_1078.JPG

    Look at this detail!

    SAM_2408.JPG

     

    Abbatiale Saint-Ouen - don't miss the great park behind the abbey, where you can really enjoy the exterior architectural detail.

    SAM_2446.JPG

     

    Église Saint-Maclou - sadly, it was closed when I was there.

    SAM_2469.JPG

     

    It is said that Jeanne d'Arc was held in this tower while awaiting trial.  profchiara, in her book, The Virgin Warrior, the Life and Death of Joan of Arc says otherwise, that she stayed at an optometrist's office (correction) and not imprisoned in the tower.  I never found the optometrist's office.

    SAM_2466.JPG

     

    There are some stunning gothic and medieval ruins not far from Rouen if you have the time.  Château Gaillard is located above the commune of Les Andelys overlooking the Seine, about 25 miles from Rouen.  Construction began in 1196 under Richard the Lionheart, who was at that time simultaneously King of England and feudal Duke of Normandy.  Though advance and complex in design, it was quickly built and utilized early principles of concentric fortification.  It was captured in 1204 by the French king, Philip II, after a lengthy siege.  It then changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War, but in 1449 the French king captured Château Gaillard from the English king definitively, and from then on remained in French ownership.  Its early background between Richard the Lionheart and Philip II is an interesting read.

    SAM_2334.JPG

    SAM_2364.JPG

    Beneath the castle lies the commune of Les Andelys.  There are a couple of medieval period catholic churches there of interest.  Église Saint-Sauveur du Petit-Andely, just near the river, and Paroisse Gaillard sur Seine.  Église Saint-Sauveur du Petit-Andely was spared (by King Philip Augustus) during the siege of Château Gaillard, though the rest of the village was burned on his order.

    SAM_2347.JPG

     

    Also quite near to Rouen, is Jumièges Abbey, a Benedictine monastery originally built in 654 during the Merovingian reign of Dagobert I.  In the ninth century, it was pillaged and burnt to the ground by the Vikings, and then rebuilt on a grander scale by the Duke of Normandy and consecrated in the presence of William the Conqueror.  The French Revolution ended its existence as a monastery, leaving only these impressive ruins.

     

    Oh, I do hope you can stop and see this place!

    SAM_2487.JPG

    SAM_2495.JPG

    SAM_2496.JPG

    SAM_2501.JPG

    SAM_2503.JPG

     

    Finally, everyone should stop and spend a day at Les Falaises d'Étretat (the cliffs of Étretat.)  They are nature’s architecture!!

    IMG_1050.JPG

    IMG_1067.JPG

     

    Bon Voyage!

     

    Message was edited by: pluto77

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Pluto and everyone else,

      I just got your message on email so I thought I'd check in.

      My favorite restaurant in Rouen is La Couronne in the Old Market.  I've even taken the train there from Paris just for lunch occasionally.

       

      Joan was kept in jail above an optometrist's office (now), that was once part of the much larger castle built by Philip Augustus.  You wouldn't know without looking (especially since they give you incorrect information in the remaining castle keep).  The only part remaining of where Joan is kept is on rue Jeanne d'Arc, left side, not far from the train station. If you see an optometrist (there can't be that many that close to the train station), there is a little plaque above the door that tells the true story.  You can also walk in and look at the lowest level, which is all that remains of where she was kept. Keep in mind the original castle structure.  The road that leads to the remaining tower goes one way and the rue Jeanne d'Arc the other.  They are practically across from one another, with modern buildings in between.

       

      Amusez-vous bien! Et bonne fêtes a tous!

      ProfChiara

       

       

       

       

      Hi all,

       

      I got some of your messages so hope this is a way to reply since I've forgotten my password. My favorite restaurant in Rouen is La Couronne in the Old Market.  I've even taken the train there from Paris just for lunch occasionally.

       

      Joan was kept in jail above an optometrist's office (now), that was once part of the much larger castle built by Philip Augustus.  You wouldn't know without looking (especially since they give you incorrect information in the remaining castle keep).  The only part remaining of where Joan is kept is on rue Jeanne d'Arc, left side, not far from the train station. If you see an optometrist (there can't be that many right there), there is a little plaque above the door that tells the true story.  You can also walk in and look at the lowest level, which is all that remains of where she was kept.

       

      Amusez-vous bien!

      ProfChiara

       

      On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Marriott Rewards® Insiders <insiders-emails@marriott.com> wrote:
      Marriott Rewards® Insiders

      You have been mentioned

      by pluto77 in Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France in Marriott Rewards® Insiders - View pluto77's reference to you

      Hi lakeshore,

      I think that your trip is now(!) and Rouen is on day 3, so I thought I'd better get back to you sooner rather than later.

       

      The hotel is wonderful!  Staff is very friendly and accommodating.  The breakfast is good, as is dinner, if you chose to dine there.  They have an excellent chef.  The hotel property itself is comprised of gothic architecture, as it was built in the 15th century and played a role in an important meeting between two kings.  The background is interesting, and the hotel concierge can tell you its fascinating history!

       

      If you will dine in town, I recommend La Petite Auberge, also recommended by a couple of other Insiders.

      restaurant-petite-auberge.fr  The concierge will be happy to make the reservation for you (reservations highly recommended, it's a small place).

       

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33762/450-600/SAM_2381.JPG

       

      The cathédrale and abbaye are magnificent and be sure to check out the pipe organs!  Église Saint-Maclou is only open on certain days of the week.  I hope it will be open while you are there.

       

      Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33763/450-600/IMG_1078.JPG

      Look at this detail!

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33785/450-337/SAM_2408.JPG

       

      Abbatiale Saint-Ouen - don't miss the great park behind the abbey, where you can really enjoy the exterior architectural detail.

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33786/450-600/SAM_2446.JPG

       

      Église Saint-Maclou - sadly, it was closed when I was there.

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33787/450-600/SAM_2469.JPG

       

      It is said that Jeanne d'Arc was held in this tower while awaiting trial.  profchiara, in her book, The Virgin Warrior, the Life and Death of Joan of Arc says otherwise, that she stayed at a dentist's office and not imprisoned in the tower.  I never found the dentist office.

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33788/450-600/SAM_2466.JPG

       

      There are some stunning gothic and medieval ruins not far from Rouen if you have the time.  Château Gaillard is located above the commune of Les Andelys overlooking the Seine, about 25 miles from Rouen.  Construction began in 1196 under Richard the Lionheart, who was at that time simultaneously King of England and feudal Duke of Normandy.  Though advance and complex in design, it was quickly built and utilized early principles of concentric fortification.  It was captured in 1204 by the French king, Philip II, after a lengthy siege.  It then changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War, but in 1449 the French king captured Château Gaillard from the English king definitively, and from then on remained in French ownership.  Its early background between Richard the Lionheart and Philip II is an interesting read.

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33789/450-337/SAM_2334.JPG

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33790/450-337/SAM_2364.JPG

      Beneath the castle lies the commune of Les Andelys.  There are a couple of medieval period catholic churches there of interest.  Église Saint-Sauveur du Petit-Andely, just near the river, and Paroisse Gaillard sur Seine.  Église Saint-Sauveur du Petit-Andely was spared (by King Philip Augustus) during the siege of Château Gaillard, though the rest of the village was burned on his order.

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33791/450-337/SAM_2347.JPG

       

      Also quite near to Rouen, is Jumièges Abbey, a benidictine monastery originally built in 654 during the Merovingian reign of Dagobert I.  In the ninth century, it was pillaged and burnt to the ground by the Vikings, and then rebuilt on a grander scale by the Duke of Normandy and consecrated in the presence of William the Conqueror.  The French Revolution ended its existence as a monastery, leaving only the impressive ruins. 

       

      Oh, I do hope you can stop and see this place!

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33792/450-600/SAM_2487.JPG

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33793/450-600/SAM_2495.JPG

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33794/450-337/SAM_2496.JPG

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33795/450-337/SAM_2501.JPG

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33796/450-600/SAM_2503.JPG

       

      Finally, everyone should stop and spend a day at Les Falaises d'Étretat (the cliffs of Étretat.)  They are natures architecture!!

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33797/450-337/IMG_1050.JPG

      https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/2-207769-33798/450-600/IMG_1067.JPG

       

      Bon Voyage!

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      • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        profchiara, Ask and ye shall receive!  Thank you.  I knew there was something not right about - dentist - but didn't have time to look it up.  Optometrist office, of course.  I remember the street, probably walked right past it!

         

        Were you actually able to post simply by replying to your email notification?   If so, most fascinating.

         

        So nice to hear from you!

         

        Bonne fête à toi aussi!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Pluto,

          It is very easy to walk by if you don't know it's there .   But worth a look inside -- and they don't mind at all.

           

          Anyway, my email post came back with a fatal error, so I managed to retrieve my password.

           

          Where are your next travels taking you to?  I just got back from Venice, and am supposed to go to Florence for research in March but I don't want to (too Renaissance-y for me, plus I've been there many times). I do love the rest of Tuscany and Umbria, though.  But I may just trade in my ticket and go to Greece instead.  That's the place I've come to love more than any other.  My first trip to Greece was in 2009 and I've now been there (from mountains to islands to Athens) and I have now been over 25 times. So if anyone wants Greece advice, direct them to me.

          Cheers!

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
            pluto77 Alumni Steward Platinum 25 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Say, your email post actually worked! 

             

            Last year I did Cabo with the hubster, thought I would be bored out of my gourd (not a sit around by the pool kind of gal, or so I thought). I was wrong. It was pretty phenomenal. We saw whales. Lots of whales, up close and very personal. Tremendous experience.  This past year and next year I'm mostly just going where my peeps want to go.  In the fall, we went back to Italy, to fulfill my Mom's desire.  Florence was nuts with all of the tourists, as was Cinque Terre and Venice, oh and also Bellagio, but there were saving graces.  Hiking the coastal cliffs above the towns of Cinque Terre and their crowds was memorable and for Bellagio, we cyber stumbled onto a newly constructed, all modern amenities, beautiful villa for rent, that was perched on a hillside with a beautiful garden and lake view in the village of Pescallo, on the other side of the peninsula (but still within walking distance of Bellagio, though I found Bellagio to be too touristy).  It was fantastic, we did our own cooking, bought fresh fish from the fishwife and rented our own boat.  Venice was also nuts with a crazy amount of tourists, but the saving grace was the new JW Venice, located entirely on its own island, reachable only by its own water shuttle, or the more expensive water taxi.  I am convinced that the best time to enjoy Venice (and like you, I still love Venice) is November/December, even with the risk of flooding.  Perhaps the best part of that trip was our stay in beautiful, peaceful Barga.  Very relaxing, good food and a great medieval walled historic center.  France was a civic trip made to solidify a sister cities partnership between my city and the city of Chateauroux (my french keyboard is suddenly not working), but Rouen and Normandie (all 3 days, ha!) was all for me!

             

            This next year, I'm headed to Ireland, where my stepmom of 50+ years would like to visit, seeing as how we're of Irish descent.  She's only been outside of the U.S. as far as Canada.  Hates to fly, but is willing for this, so strike while the iron is hot.  The other mother has her heart set on going back to Spain, so off we'll go in the fall.  She also wants to hit Lisbon. I'm not feelin' it. What's in Lisbon that's worth the time?  I'm thinking Madrid.  I'm actually now considering spending the month of December in Europe this next year.  I will be retired and in need of detox.  Life's been a bit of a nightmare lately.

             

            Greece is where I really want to go!  (And back to Normandie.) I know you love it!  There are Marriott's there again, but I know you've outgrown them, but maybe might take a moment to review.

             

            So nice of you to offer advice on Greece!  I'll plan on more conversation as time approaches.  Any books in the works?  (And would you be willing to sign another book for this year's Tombola?  Another year has passed us by.)

             

            Do you have to go to Florence or could you accomplish the same elsewhere in Tuscany or Umbria?  How was Venice?

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
      AZDesertRat Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      pluto77  "Like" is too weak to convey how enjoyable it is to review your wonderful photos and details.  Sure hope one day that I get to "stop and see" the beautiful places you have shared.  But if not, I've seen them through your account and I'm grateful.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Our whirlwind gothic cathedral tour in Northern France
    lakeshore Platinum 11 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Pluto and Prof Chiara,
    Thank you!!! Oh my goodness, what great pictures and a wealth of information!

    Unfortunately we will not have time to venture out of Rouen, as we have to keep moving on to Mont San Michel. However, we hope to return in a few springs or summers when the weather is nicer, we have more time, and our youngest is a little older. We will definitely add Les Andelys and Chateau Galliard, and also the Jumieges Abbey to that itinerary, long with the war memorials for our WW2 tour.

     

    Saint Maclou will be closed the day we are there. We have looked at pictures of its interior and it is gorgeous. Pluto, your photo of it lit up is gorgeous. All of your pictures are outstanding. I am so excited! Thank you so much!

     

    Professor, we will try to find the optometrist's office by the train station. How sad they don't tell they whole truth about. Why is that? Have you been to the new museum? If so, what do you think? I know you have written a book on St. Joan, and didn't you film a documentary a few years ago? Is it possible to view it? We have been watching "The Great Courses-The Cathedral" we got on Amazon. So far it is very interesting, especially all of the close up detail on the stain glass and the sculptures. There is so much to look at, both on and in the cathedrals, I always long to be able to know more, so this is helping.

     

    Thanks, too, ladies, for the restaurant recommendations. I don't think we can go wrong!
    We usually don't spend just one night at a location, as we like to relax and take things in slowly. But due to time constraints, we have to do this trip pretty quick. But we will get to see a lot. I have sketchbooks for the boys, and they are very excited to see it all. They have watched more of the lecture series than I! And they have read quite a few books on Gothic architecture in addition to their school studies. I think they will probably be the tour guides for my husband and myself! Lol! The roles have reversed!

     

    I truly appreciate the time you have taken during this busy holiday season to help me out. I miss not being active on insiders much anymore, but how nice it is to be able to get on and have insider friends like you to give of your time and knowledge to help out. Someday I will have more time, and will do the same for others.  

    May you all have a blessed holiday season!

    Lakeshore

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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