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France! Next up looking for lodging in Bayeux and Giverny

Lakeshore

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It’s awesomely magical!!!! And no matter what time of year you go…just being there after the crowds are gone is sooooo cool!
 

JudyH

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Giverny is indeed a magical site. Just loved seeing Monet's gardens and house. But it's not an overnight stop, IMHO. It's worth 2-3 hours.
I am going to disagree because if you can get there the minute it opens in the morning you will be ahead of the hoards of tour buses and crowds. At least for a little while.
 

Lakeshore

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Is it spooky at night?
I wouldn’t call it scary spooky…just really magical as I and others have said before. Just make sure that if possible you stay right there on the island. That is why I am posting to you again. 😊 Believe me, most people that say they went on a day trip and did not like it, it’s because of the crazy day trip crowds. If you can stay there, on the island, you can walk around at all hours after the tourists have left and then return to your hotel room to sleep, then get up before the crowds come again…it is truly magical. Our first trip there for my husband‘s birthday about 18 years ago we splurged and stayed on the island and it was awesome!
We also have stayed in a hotel across the bridge five years ago, which may show up as Mont San michel, but it’s not on the actual island. So when you are looking at hotels, be sure to look at the map and make sure it is on the island. The hotels on the island will be more expensive, but it really is worth it for a trip of a lifetime. The only reason we didn’t stay on the island that time was that there was nothing available as it was a last minute trip. If you can’t find anything on the island, then there is a bus that can take you back across the bridge to the hotels right there…not sure what time it ends, so check before…you want to have time to get back after the crowds have long gone. Happy planning! You are going to have an amazing trip!
 

Lakeshore

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I am going to disagree because if you can get there the minute it opens in the morning you will be ahead of the hoards of tour buses and crowds. At least for a little while.
Yes, if you can get to Giverney early, it’s best..the buses will come but a bit later. My boys were 4 and 6 years old sitting on a green bench by Monet’s pond watercoloring the famous scene of the pond and bridge in their sweet precious way, for about 30 minutes, then the big crowds started comeing in…it was actually funny, as the people were hovering around and surrounding my little ones, taking pictures of them painting Monet’s bridge! Ha! Precious memories! Enjoy it all!
 

Carolinian

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The old DAE Europe used to get quite a few deposits of privately owned holiday properties in France and the UK, and some elsewhere in Europe. Since RCI bought them and changed the name to 7 Across, I have not used them, but you might check to see if they still get some of those deposits. The Dordogne was one region that seemed to get a fair number of deposits in the old DAE Europe.

For some European countries, I have had much better luck with private rentals through Booking.com than through airb&b, including staying at several castles in Poland.
 

dmharris

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It is fabulous at night! I hopped out of bed half a dozen times to look out the hotel window and up at the stone walls and abbey above. Magical!
Where did you stay? At La Mere Poulard? There's a variety of rooms and places to stay. Annette Poulard Historic House - Annex or Red House Room Bay View - Annex or Bay View Inn Room. I really can't tell which would give the best night view. Thanks,
 

dmharris

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Yes, if you can get to Giverney early, it’s best..the buses will come but a bit later. My boys were 4 and 6 years old sitting on a green bench by Monet’s pond watercoloring the famous scene of the pond and bridge in their sweet precious way, for about 30 minutes, then the big crowds started comeing in…it was actually funny, as the people were hovering around and surrounding my little ones, taking pictures of them painting Monet’s bridge! Ha! Precious memories! Enjoy it all!
With getting from one place to another we may have to get quiet time on the evening side.
 

dmharris

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The time we stayed on Mont San Michel we stayed at La Mere Poulard. It was soooo worth it! They have a nice bar upstairs for late night drinks and a pianist….it was wonderful after a night all by ourselves walking the ramparts and streets after the crowds have left.
Did you also do the half pension with another meal included? I'm not sure whether to book the main building or an annex. Any advice? Thanks!
 

Lakeshore

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Did you also do the half pension with another meal included? I'm not sure whether to book the main building or an annex. Any advice? Thanks!
We didn’t do the pension, as at the time our sons were little and we didn’t have much extra money back then. 😊 We splurged on a beer and a coke at the bar😉(when we returned years later we got champagne!), and they were so nice…still brought out delicious olives and nibbles, and the piano man played as we danced. We had the whole bar which is on the upper level practically to ourselves! But now I think I’d get the pension just to make it easier. We stayed in a room in the main hotel of La Mare Poulard.…I remember it being the least expensive that would get us on the island. Really I’d think anywhere on the island will be pretty much the same. You will just be in the room to sleep….you get the value by going out at night after the crowds are gone and walking the ramparts, and by going out in the morning. Both are magical. During the first day you are there make sure to take a tour of the abbey, it’s fascinating. It will make you appreciate the whole island when you are there at night. Then you can always go to the bar if you want a drink later after your walk.
The last time we went a few years ago, we couldn’t get rooms on the island…we’re were a family of five then, so two rooms needed. So we had to stay on the mainland. We still had a wonderful time because we got to go to midnight Mass at the abbey which was amazing! So we got to do the ramparts too. But the hotel(Mercure) on the mainland was not that nice…sufficient, but nothing fancy. The next time we return, I will plan more ahead (I planned the last trip a week before😬😁), so we could get rooms on the island. Hope all of this rambling helps! You will have a great time!
 

dmharris

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Wonderful insights. Thank you for taking the time to type this out.
 

clifffaith

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Where did you stay? At La Mere Poulard? There's a variety of rooms and places to stay. Annette Poulard Historic House - Annex or Red House Room Bay View - Annex or Bay View Inn Room. I really can't tell which would give the best night view. Thanks,
Timeshare reception in Connelles made the reservation since we don’t speak French, so the name didn’t stick. Water and abbey views — abbey is lit at night. I wouldn’t be able to make the steep walk again — at the time we regularly walked the hills at our local seaside park and it was still an effort to get up to the abbey.
 

Conan

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This is very helpful. We want to do the WWII beaches, memorials and perhaps a museum. Should we make the effort to see Mont Michel? We'll probably never be this far north west in France again.
Mont Saint Michel is a one-dimensional experience. The walking street spirals up, and on the way you pass one big name restaurant and endless souvenir shops. The restaurant is La Mère Poulard famous for its unique and overpriced omelettes, shown here:

An alternative if you're an oyster lover, is Marché aux Huîtres de Cancale, on the other side of the bay.
affiche_mah-of.jpg

https://www.marcheauxhuitres-cancale.com/en/
 
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