Posted by Carter | Under Where to?
Thursday Mar 27, 2014
Day Trips Out of Paris
The dictionary has been thoroughly exhausted of superlatives to extol the virtues of vacationing in Paris, so I am not going to try. I am, however, going to pull out some adjectives and adverbs to explain why your trip to France should include some French cities that ordinarily get lost in the shuffle next to their illustrious capital. Rent a car in Paris and day trip your way to these marvelous destinations, and discover more hidden gems along the way—here’s a peak at some lovely locales to add to your itinerary!
Reims – Appx. 144 kms. northeast of Paris
Less than two hours northeast of Paris, the city of Reims is located in the Champagne region, and is in fact one of the centers of champagne production.
Treat your taste buds further with dinner at Chez Nous. Ranked in the top tier of restaurants in Reims, the menu is simple and hearty fare of a traditional French variety. The prices are affordable, especially considering the ample amount of food provided. After a day of exploring Reims, your appetite should be amply ready to tuck into good meal.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is a sight to behold, and no one can pass up photographing kilometer zero, located in the square facing its main entrance, but the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Reims could easily rival its Parisian counterpart for extraordinary gothic architecture, intricate stained glass windows and unique atmosphere. In its heyday, many monarchs held their coronations within the Reims Cathedral, only contributing to its impressive history.
Rouen Appx. 135 kms. northwest of Paris
Make your way to the cobblestoned Rue du Gros-Gorlage, where the historic atmosphere and bustle of modern-day commerce beg you to take a leisurely stroll for the photo opportunities and to window shop. Make sure your route takes you under the stone arch where one of the world’s last working astronomical clock the Gros-Horloge rests, after which the street is named.
Visitors to Rouen are undoubtedly familiar with Monet’s series of works depicting the Rouen Cathedral. The building was captured on canvas in a spectrum of light and shadow throughout the day, and varying weather conditions. One of these paintings can be found locally in Rouen’s fine art museum, while still more can be viewed in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The Cathedral itself lies conveniently along the path you’ll tread, by the great clock. The last factoid I’ll make mention of, is Rouen’s ties to saint and martyr, Joan of Arc, who spent her last days in captivity before being burned at the stake in the city. Numerous buildings bear her name and there are exhibits providing a more in depth history. Discover more about Rouen with a tour of its array of fascinating features that fairly scream quintessential French city.
Chartres Appx. 90 kms. southwest of Paris
Chartres may not have as many sights to recommend as some of its neighbors, but it is a town of beauty and significance nonetheless.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral of Chartres is well known as the destination of an annual pilgrimage that takes place in June from the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Chartres Cathedral is yet another gothic architectural masterpiece of French history, in an exceptional state of preservation. Two contrasting spires dominate the skyline and the number of flying buttresses utilized in the construction provided the support for the original architects to create stained glass panels of a significantly larger proportion, adding to the exceptional detail. Chartres blue is a vibrant hue that was used in the first stained glass window creations using a method that countless glaziers have tried to replicate since to no avail, resulting in a difference in color between the old and new panels.