Family Travels
Europe Trip 2004
Things to Do -- Places to See
Lessons Learned
***Plan relaxation time into your vacation
--Canoe Trip
--A picnic and swimming at Pont de Gard-
--A day at the beach in Nice
--Swimming in the Med off Cinque Terre

***
Arles has mosquitoes--buy insect repellent
***Beaches of Nice and Antibes are rocky--need water shoes

*** A Train is cheaper than car and sometimes faster
(from Nice to Venice--cheaper because of drop off fees
and insurance and also faster than driving
***Buy your train tickets as you arrive in town....not the day of departure

**Learn to visit market and buy fresh produce, cheese and meats, nuts,
and more....we probably visited at least 7-8 markets in France
                How We Traveled
***Arrived in Toulouse (because we could get  
frequent flyer tickets into there) and rented a car

***Used rental car entire trip.  Then realized that due
to  crossing international borders and the increase in
drop off fees, it was cheaper to take the train

***Train from Nice, France to Venice, Italy
(our first train trip with the kids)

***Water Bus to Venice hotel......we used water buses
to get around Venice....and then water taxi to the
Airport before flying home
By our third trip to Europe in 2004, we felt
like pros...
We have the Home-basing down to a
science...with a 22 day trip planned...we
spent 4 nights in Sarlat(Dordogne),
2 in Carcassonne, 4 nights in
Arles(Provence) 7 nights free in Nice using
Marriott rewards and three nights in Venice.

We learned to relax.  We actually spent a
wonderful day canoing down the Dordogne
River and we relaxed and spent a day at the
beach in Nice.  We researched the driving
times and decided to take a train from Nice
to Venice instead of driving.

Venice was so much more than we
expected...Everyone should come visit and
fall in love this  place
                       Highlights
*****Canoe Trip on Dordogne
*****Font du Gaume Prehistoric Cave Art
*****Cinque Terre
*****Venice
***Pont du Gard
**Exploring Provence.
**7 night stay in fancy hotel overlooking the
Mediterranean Sea...a few feet from Monaco
                      Try New Foods
***Gizzard Salad--well, we did by accident
***Walnuts on everything in Sarlat --salads, fish, dessert
***Salad Nicoise--French Riveria
***Mussels with Blue Cheese sauce....yummy
***Socca and Ban Bagnat - Cours Saleyna
France -- Dordogne Region and Carcassone
Arles and Provence Region
Nice, Monaco and Antibes
Cinqe Terre and Venice, Italy
July 30
July 31

Aug 1
Aug 2
Aug 3

Aug 4
Aug 5
Aug 6

Aug 7
Aug 8
Aug 9

Aug 10

Aug 11
Aug 12

Aug 13
Aug 14

Aug 15
Aug 16
Aug 17
Aug 18
Plane arrives in Toulouse France…we drive to the Dordogne Valley - get settled in Sarlat
Sarlat Market in morning…the Castlenaud  & Beynac Castles,
Walnut Museum & Picnic     Dinner in Rocamadour
Spend Brent’s 13th Birthday canoing down the Dordogne River..relaxing and swimming
Visit Les Eyzies market, the Prehistory Museum, and Font de Guame Cave Tour
Leave Sarlat….stop in Cahors at fortified bridge as headed to Carcassonne.  
Walk city at night
Carcassonne…visit castle, sightseeing    Attend Medieval Jousting Tournament   
Drive toward Provence…Stop at Nimes’ Arena.  Les Beaux Fortress and arrive at  Arles
Spend Dad’s Birthday at Pont du Guard-relaxing & swimming    
Visit Arles Museum & attend a Ballet at night
Explore Provence  Visit Avignon in morning…then Isle de Sourgue and Rousillon
Arles in morning…Drive toward Nice….check into hotel at Cap d’Ail  Dinner in Monaco
Spend morning at the beach relaxing…then to Monaco & Jacques Cousteau Aquarium,
The Cathedral, the Palace and Napoleon's Collection and shopping..dinner in Monaco
Antibes---wonderful local market, Archeology Museum, Picasso Museum and
afternoon at beach
Nice—take a walking tour of old town--buy olive oil and wine. Visit market Cours Seleya  
Cinque Terre—get an early start and make long drive to Cinque Terre…Manarola,
Corgniglia, Veranazza…enjoy swimming off the cliffs…stop in Portofino for dinner
Spend day relaxing at the beach…then La Turbie…..Mom and Dad go to Monte Carlo
Nice—Mark Chagall Museum and Matisse Museum.then back to Nice’s market & spend
afternoon at the beach…climb Capital Hill     Visit Grasse and the perfume factory
Train from Nice to Venice…get checked into B&B and have a nice dinner
Venice—San Marco Basilica, Correr Museum, Rialto Bridge, Scuola San Rucco
Venice—Doge’s Palace, Bridge of Sighs, Murano Glass Factory, Gondola Ride at dusk
Leave Venice by water taxi to the airport to fly home
France, Italy
                   New Adventures to Try
*****A Must Do.  Spend a day canoing the Dordogne.
*****Visit the Prehistoric Caves that are still open to the public...
 Make a reservation in advance before leaving the US
***Be Brave....jump off the cliffs around the Cinque Terre and
swim in the Med
***Take a Gondola Ride in Venice....negotiate a good price
before getting in the gondola
*Attend a Medieval Fair and Jousting Contest....even if you
don't understand a word of the local language.
View of the Mediterranean
View of the Mediterranean
Canoe the Dordogne
Water Taxi in Venice
View of the Mediterranean
Enjoy the markets of France
Gondola Ride  in Venice
Swim off the cliffs in the Med