Travel Advice Makes Our Trip

Wendy Swenson talks about a trip she took with her son to France and how the importance of excellent travel advice made the trip memorable.

A few years ago I planned a trip to France with my son, a history teacher with an interest in World War II. Of course we would go to Paris. But being the type of person who does not do advance research, I needed an inspiration. Then I hit upon it. I had always wanted to visit Mont-Saint-Michel in northern France to watch the tide change. It is an Abbey on a lonely hill surrounded by water at high tide and land at low tide. I had read that the tide came in so fast that horses drowned and people could not outrun it.

When I told our owner, Tom Jackson, (who has been everywhere and gives great travel advice) that I was planning this trip, he came in the next day with a tide chart for Mont-Saint-Michel, so I could pick the best date to view the biggest change of tide. So we built my trip around that date. The next thing he told me was that I had some “must-sees” for my trip which we integrated into my plan.

After flying to Paris we enjoyed 4 days seeing the wonderful places in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, Eiffel tower, The Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Opera House, Bateaux Mouches Dinner cruise, 3 day Metro pass, Museum passes so we did not have to stand in long lines, City Tour etc. We left Paris with wonderful memories including a climb to the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral where the spiral stone steps were worn in the middle from the hundreds and thousands of people climbing these stairs for so many years.

We had taken a train to Caen where we picked up our car for a self-drive tour which gave us a general outline and Michelin maps of the places we would visit for the following week. The car was a stick shift Jaguar sedan that I had to accept as our car as they had nothing else! I also had to adapt to Round-abouts instead of intersections with traffic signals.

Tom also gave us travel advice that we must see the Bayeaux Tapestry which is an embroidered history on linen cloth which portrays the history of the conquest of England by William the Conquerer in 1064. They do not allow you to just see the tapestry until you have viewed a movie presentation, and other presentations, so that you had a full appreciation of this tapestry which was 70 meters long and spanned many walls of the building.

Then we visited the Normandy coast to see the historic Normandy beaches, the Memorial to the soldiers, battle damage, and wonderful little restaurants where one said “We welcome American liberators” on the window.   I remember my son eating mussels at an outdoor café by the ocean and where I thought I ordered “crepe” but got “tripe”, and a wonderful roasted duck dinner that we enjoyed later that night. We waited a long time for our dinner bill, because we learned later that in France they believe it’s rude to offer the bill until the diner asks for it.

The next day we drove up to Mont-Saint-Michel and at 4 am the next morning we got up to watch the tide come in. I remember the pink sky as the sun was rising and the soft roar of the water filling in the depressed areas of the mud. The water was relentless, moving forward about an inch per second, so when you stood by the water’s edge, you had to continue to move backwards every second to avoid the water, so if you got stuck in the mud, you could drown. We stood on the parking lot concrete which eventually was covered by about 6 feet of water. They had signs each day which told you the time of day when you had to remove your car or it would be covered.

With our maps we were given suggestions of places to stop and see along the way. St. Malo was a fantastic medieval town surrounded by a thick wall upon which we could walk to view the area and look down upon the town inside! It had an aquarium inside the thick wall, as well as pay restrooms which flushed the walls along with the toilets to prevent people like me from holding the door open for my son to use. Imagine his surprise when the walls started to flow with water!

For the next few days, we proceeded to explore the Loire Valley visiting lots of Chateaus, Chartres Cathedral (wonderful stained glass windows), and also the place where Leonardo Da Vinci died and was buried (Chateau d’Ambroise) What a treat that was! We had lots of adventures and had a great time exploring and learning.

That’s the fun of traveling, such sights to see and wonderful memories and photos to take home. Please take a look at some of my photos in the gallery. I’m so appreciative of the wonderful planning and travel advice that I received to make this trip really memorable.

View the photo gallery by clicking here.

Now don’t forget that if you’re going on a business trip or a leisure trip your team at World Travel Business Elite are always available to give you great travel advice. Our team will work with you to plan a trip that will be remembered.

 


Click here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get great travel advice on your next business trip with one of our travel advisors.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin and get your daily dose of good travel advice.

 

Wendy Swenson, CTC is the VP of World Travel and is filled with great travel advice.

Europe

Europe is packed with culture, diversity, and history. Europe is the world’s smallest continent in land surface area, however, there are profound differences between the cultures and ways of life in its countries. Europe has an amazing wealth of sights, sounds, and peoples. There are beautiful cities, architecture, history, mountain ranges, seas, and many countries.…

Read More

The Caribbean

The Caribbean is a dream tropical destination. The islands of the Caribbean Sea are an extensive island chain in the far west Atlantic Ocean. Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos are just some of the destinations available. Here, there is year-round good weather with…

Read More

Canada

Canada the great white north. Canada is the largest country in size in North America and the second largest in the world overall (behind Russia.) Renowned worldwide for its vast, untouched landscape, its unique blend of cultures and multifaceted history, Canada is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and a major tourist destination. It houses…

Read More

Australia & South Pacific

Australia and New Zealand are ready to be explored.
Australia and New Zealand offer travelers unique cultural experiences and posses majestic beauty in both the people and the landscapes. Australia is world-famous for its natural wonders including beaches, deserts, and the Outback. Most of the country receives more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. Australia…

Read More

Asia

Asia is rooted in culture and history. Asia is a vast continent that encompasses such countries as China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, India, Tibet, Nepal, and South Korea. It is home to Pandas, Geishas, Temples, Sushi, East Asian Tigers and Mount Everest, the world’s highest point along the border of Tibet and Nepal. You can visit…

Read More

Alaska

Alaska is majestic any way you look at it. Majestic is a great word to describe all that is Alaska. It is known as one of the last wild frontiers in the United States. Situated in the northwest extremity of North America, it is the United State’s largest state. Alaska houses Mt. McKinley, the highest…

Read More

Antarctica and the Falkland Islands

Antarctica and the Falkland Islands are breathtakingly beautiful.
A land of extremes, Antarctica is the 5th largest and most Southern continent. It is also the driest and coldest continent on Earth with the highest average elevation. Antarctica is scarcely touched by humans and houses only a few thousand permanent scientist residents. As a result, Antarctica has…

Read More

South Pacific and Micronesia

South Pacific and Micronesia are a real remote paradise. The South Pacific and Micronesia are undeniably the ultimate locations for paradise seeking travelers and scuba diving enthusiasts. The South Pacific houses Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands. It is famous for amazing snorkeling, sunset evenings, beautiful beaches, live volcanoes, lush forests, shipwrecks to…

Read More

South and Central America

South and Central America have amazing travel destinations. South and Central America boast amazing places to visit like the Amazon rainforest, Panama Canal, Machu Picchu, and the Galapagos Islands. Central America is the thin section of land that links the North American continent with the South American Continent. It is made up of seven small,…

Read More

Hawaii

Hawaii is a tropical paradise with amazing natural wonders. Hawaii is an island chain of over nineteen distinct volcanic islands located over a geological “hot spot” in the Central Pacific. The breathtaking, natural beauty, warm tranquil waters, lush rainforests, and lava flows to beautiful white sand beaches are some of the most inviting aspects of…

Read More