Sunday, January 30, 2011

France trip

The plans for our France trip are more or less coming together. 
It may seem early, but we are actually a fair bit behind when it comes to book accommodations for the Tour de France. The tour typically visits teeny tiny towns throughout France in order to give these towns a "tourism infusion" and the best rooms in the towns are booked the very same day that the Tour route is announced. The legs of the tour that we are wanting to see are the most popular and so the pressure was on immediately to begin booking rooms. 

Day 1/2: Fly out of DC, via Iceland into Paris. 
Day 2: Land in Paris and immediately head to the south of France. 
Day 2-9: In Apt France. We hope to visit Arles, Avignon, Aix en Provence, Marseille,  and Nice. It won't be time wasted nor will there be any ugly pictures from these days. I am positive of it. We have booked an apartment through vrbo.com and since we are splitting the apartment with our travel partner's the Murphy's, it is incredibly affordable. We had also looked at villas and apartments on homeaway.com. I think this is the way to book accommodations if your stay in any location worldwide is more than three days long. We do hope to still book a hotel for a one night get-away during this period. This way we won't be spending every night with the Murphy's and them us. 
I am getting a daily groupon email from several cities in this region hoping to score a cool deal for an experience in the region that we wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. Fingers crossed! (It's also very fun to get a daily email-in French from Aix en Provence offering me a coupon for somewhere delicious to eat or get my haircut etc.) 
After our week in the south of France (I really like saying that):
Days 9-11: French Alps.
We have to get into the Alps several days before the pinnacle stage of Alp d-Huez. 
This year Alp d' Huez stage is not setting itself up to be quite as epic as in years past. In fact, the day BEFORE Alp d' Huez, many are predicting is supposed to be the breakout day of the Tour. So we will be quite happy to watch that in a local pub. 
For this stage, yhe streets get shut off for days prior to this stage while people with campers are on the mountain for up to a week prior. We thought about camping on the mountain and realized that we aren't quite that hardy. 
So we are set up in an apartment on Les Deux Alps which is about 30 minutes away. We will have to make some arrangements to make sure to be on the mountain on the day of the stage, but we are quite sure that we can do it. 
In the meantime, we will be in a resort that we can go glacier skiing, ride the gondola to the top of the mountain or rent bikes and actually ride Alp d'Huez should we be that adventurous. 
Day 11-14: Paris.
The morning after Alp d'Huez, there is an individual time trial in Grenoble and we have to catch a train there to get to Paris. So we will probably try to watch some of the time trial stage. Then we are off to Paris for three days! 
Day 11: Travel day
Day 12: Champ Elysees. The final stage of the 2011 Tour de France. I can not wait to see the riders approach this section of the race, drink champagne and ride on the cobblestones. It is going to be amazing. Once it is over, we will move on to the business of enjoying the rest of Paris. 
Day 13: Full day in Paris. Who knows! I am getting a daily Groupon from Paris and hoping for something amazing on daily basis. 
Day 14: Morning in Paris and we fly out in the afternoon. Au revoir France! 

But while in France, I plan to eat lots of:
These are DEEP bowls of olives.
Matt is going to have to develop a taste for these, but I will probably eat my body weight before it is all said and done. Provence is known it's olive production. Pure delish. 
Now that the itinerary is semi in place, the fun part can begin! 

Research research research. 
Lonely Planet. Rick Steves, etc. 
Anyone have a hot tip I need to know about? 

2 comments:

MJG said...

I am beyond jealous. There isn't even a word for how jealous I am.

Becca said...

Team Eby is incredibly jealous. Just keep all your planning stuff so we can steal someday, por favor.