Our trip to France was laid out to keep us on the move and see as much of Paris and Normandy as would be comfortable on a vacation. The trip met our expectations, and was very enjoyable as vacations should be. The weather was a little unsettling at time, some light rain, but for the most part most days just needed a sweater or light rain jacket, one day we needed to carry an umbrella.
Of course the pick up at the airport is wonderful, after being in a jet for 12 hours, having not to worry about taxi or shuttle or rental car to get to the hotel is wonderful. Our driver was very professional and wasted no time in getting us to our hotel. He was not overly talkative but very polite and competent in his duties. Key point here, we avoided driving a car is Paris!
Our hotel that Zicasso booked for us was perfect. Just on the edge of the city, not too busy but within easy travel of most points we were interested in. The room was clean, the staff very nice, and the daily breakfast was outstanding. The place where to relax and rest every day is very important, the the hotel was ideal for us... this made our time in Paris very pleasurable.
We scheduled some tours (both private and group) through Zicasso, all were nice. Some involved transportation, which for the most part was great.... we did have one little miscue on a taxi ride, but one phone call to the Zicasso agent quickly resolved the potential problem and we made the tour as planned (out to Giverny). We did schedule a couple of walking tours but we would suggest letting the Zicasso agent take care of the tour details, especially those involving travel (train or van).
One of the most enjoyable days for us was having lunch on a luxury boat traveling the Seine river. This was a 2 hour cruise on a glass covered boat, during light rain, enjoying French cuisine that is freshly prepared on board each day and served accordingly. It was wonderful being served this great food, with live entertainment, while slowly cruising the river and watching the Eiffel Tower pass in front. Actually was romantic, how very French!
We spent most of our time in Paris, but the last 3 days we journeyed over to Bayeux in Normandy, This was outstanding! We stayed in a B&B that was dated 1560, but was in perfect condition (huge rooms), the hostess was most pleasant and kind... she served a great breakfast each morning, and kindly arranged several reservations for dinner for us. We were less than one block from Notre-Dame Cathedral (unbelievable). Great shopping here too.
I'm kind of a history follower, so investigating this town and nearby places was wonderful. The tours that Zicasso arranged for us were right on. We visited Utah, Omaha and Sword beaches (we were able to walk on Omaha and Sword at low tide). We of course visited as many museums as we could, there are a couple of must do's, but there are many little privately operated places (like next to a restaurant or quick stop) that have may pieces of memorabilia... we actually had one of the tour guides do a couple of unscheduled stops at these little places so I might take a few pictures, very cool.
The trip back to the airport (CDG) from Normandy was taken care of by Zicasso, of course, on time with no problems. I want to give out special kudos's to our driver that took us to the train station for the trip from Paris to Normandy: Beside not having to drive on these narrow packed streets, he promptly took us and our luggage to the station, he pulled up onto the curb right at the traffic light at the intersection (parking looked crazy), and I thought he was going to kindly drop us off on the side walk and be off (this is what I would expect). He unloaded our luggage and took us into the station (leaving his Mercedes van on the curb), had us wait a few minutes in the main lobby while he investigated where our train dock was (we don't read or speak French), and then escorted us on a 3 minute brisk walk through the main station to a remote dock and found our train number, and then explained what to look for on the overhead monitor when the train was ready to board. This man is a true gentlemen.
The entire trip was wonderful!
Thank you Zicasso
The river cruise,
Learn some French.
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