Traveling to Paris and the French countryside with MNA


From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
April/May 2012 Edition

By Carol Mallia

. MNA Photo
. Arrival Day: The quaint seaside town of Honfleur
  MNA Photo
  Day 6: Lily Pond in Giverny (home of Claude Monet)
  MNA Photo
  Day 7: The iconic Eifel Tower

MNA hosted another wonderful trip to Europe this past fall. We again partnered with Durgan Travel, this time on a tour to Paris and the Normandy countryside. The trip became so popular, we had two full groups of passengers. Priced at only $1,929, it included air, transfers, hotel, most meals and daily excursions. On this spectacular vacation, we toured one of the most beautiful regions in France and completed the trip in the romantic City of Lights.

Arrival Day: The groups departed Logan Airport on Air France. Upon arrival in Paris, our tour escorts, Fredericka and Carlos, assisted us in boarding our private motor coaches for our ride through the countryside to the quaint seaside town of Honfleur for lunch, shopping and sightseeing. In the afternoon, we were off to our hotel, the Novotel Caen Côte de Nacre, in Caen. The remainder of the day was at leisure to freshen-up prior to dinner at the hotel.

France, Day 1: We headed to the historic town of Bayeux, where we toured the museum to view Queen Matilda’s famous Bayeux Tapestry, which vividly depicts William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066. After lunch in Bayeux we visited the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy and the cemeteries. We returned to Caen and many toured the city before heading back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 2: We set out on a wonderful excursion to see the unique beauty of Mont Saint Michel, probably one of the most famous abbeys in the world due to its location—perched on a rock in the Gulf of Saint Malo. During high tide Mont Saint Michel becomes an island fortress. The causeway to the mainland is only accessible during low tide. We spent a full day touring the nooks and alleyways of this wonderful abbey and town. Dinner was at our hotel in Caen.

Day 3: Our next day in Normandy started in Rouen where we enjoyed a two-hour walking tour of the historic center, including the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame. We had time for sightseeing, lunch and shopping. We returned to Caen in late afternoon and many of the passengers stopped off in the city before heading back to the hotel for dinner.

Day 4: We departed Caen and toured the beautiful Normandy countryside on our way to Paris. En route, we stopped off at a distillery for a sampling of fruit ciders and calvados, a brandy made from apples. We enjoyed a panoramic tour of Paris before heading to our hotel, the Novotel Paris La Defense, for dinner.

Day 5: We spent the day in Giverny (an hour northwest of Paris), visting the home of Claude Monet and seeing the magnificent gardens, the lily pond and the famous Japanese bridge. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch before returning to Paris for a river cruise on the Seine. Dinner was at a local restaurant.

Day 6: On our last day of touring, we went to Versailles. We toured the opulent and breathtaking Palace of Versailles built in the 17th century by the “Sun King,” Louis XIV. We had ample time to wander the magnificent grounds and gardens and enjoy lunch. We returned to Paris to shop along the Champs-Élysées or for sightseeing and museum visits. Dinner was at another Paris restaurant.

Day 7: Our last day of our trip was completely at leisure. Many toured Paris museums while some went up the Eifel Tower for a panoramic view. Others strolled through the city, taking in its sights and smells. The weather for our trip was beautiful, with comfortable touring temperatures of 50-60 degrees.

Departure Day: We had a morning departure from Charles de Gaulle Airport. Our motor coach was waiting in Boston to transport us back to the MNA headquarters. This tour had the right combination of natural beauty, historic sightseeing and just pure fun.

The MNA group during the trip to France.

If you missed this tour and would like to join the fun on another MNA trip, you can be added to the database to receive annual flyers. We recently opened up an additional date for the Prague, Vienna and Budapest tour, Sept. 19–28, 2012. To request a flyer, send an email to cmallia@mnarn.org. Plans are underway for our 2013 tour, an Italian trip to Rome, Florence and Venice in May.