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Verdun visit May 2005


channelhopper

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If you like the experience of sleeping under canvas, unlike many people who had no choice about staying in the area 90 years ago, I can recommend the camp site.

It is within walking distance of the town centre and close to the Meuse.

Cheers,

David

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Interesting description of the performance at the Village Gaulois. I never saw that but the service was unusual, to say the least. If you like spending 4 hours over dinner after a day on the battlefields, go ahead. If not, stay somewhere else. They had a wonderful breakfast, I remember, but I wouldn't try them again.

I gave the wrong name for my favourite Turkish restaurant to Mike Cross - it's Snack Marmaris, not Snack Istanbul (that's here in Luxembourg).

You'll like the Prunellia. The breakfast buffet is wonderful and there's a buffet option in the evening too.

Christina

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Many Thanks Christina.

Incidentally is there any site or memorial that should not be missed whilst we are there ?

Peter

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  • 4 weeks later...
Many Thanks Christina.

Incidentally is there any site or memorial that should not be missed whilst we are there ?

Peter

Which is the best route to take to verdun, ferry from dover, chunnel? Is it possible by train? plane? How far from Dover?

Robbie

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While I need to update some of the aspects of this part of my site, you should find these notes on Verdun of some use:

http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/verdun_battlefields.htm

Thanks for the super fast reply.

Robbie

PS. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has done the trip by train via Paris. Seems a good way to go if you hire a car on arrival.

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sorry not to have answered your question, channelhopper. I've had hardly any time to check the forum recently.

You can get the train from paris to Verdun but you will have to change at Chalons-sur-marne, which is now called Chalons-en-Champagne. There's a Paris train around 7am that arrives in Verdun at 10am, with a return around 6.30 pm. There aren't very many choices and only a couple of direct trains per week.

Re car hire, I had an experience last year with some American friends who arrived by train and had arranged to pick up a 7-seater Peugot. They booked it with Hertz, who didn't tell them that cars of that size have to be picked up in Metz. Having got themselves from the station to Hertz, they were then lent a car and told to get into the centre of Metz to pick up the Peugot. If they had wanted the Peugot brought to Verdun, they would have had to wait to the next day! So make sure that the car you want is really going to be at Verdun when you arrive.

As to sites and monuments, I'm sure Paul's website has helped you. All the main monuments must be seen. I'd add the Ouvrage to Froideterre and the walk along the ridge to it from the Ouvrage de Thiaumont. If you want a ruined village with atmosphere and two French bunkers on the main street, drive up to Haumont, which is near Samongneux. If you want to see something unusual in the town, go to the Cathedral and visit the crypt under the high altar. The columns have been rebuilt with capital showing trench scenes. It's just a little thing but it's interesting.

Got to run. I'm due in Verdun in 2 hrs and it's pouring with rain.

Christina

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Thanks Christina. Very helpful.

Robbie

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  • 2 years later...

Sorry to open this up again, but better than starting a new thread! Just wondering if those who have stayed at the Formule 1 or the Prunellia can comment on the walk into central Verdun - I usually prefer to eat in the town rather than the hotel in the evening, but these look to be on the outskirts - is it a do-able walk for an evening meal and glass or few of wine (so wouldn't be driving back to the hotel!)?

Also, has anyone stayed at the St. Paul recently - this seems to be more central but I can't find a website for it.

Many thanks for any tips!

Alan

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I liked the St Paul, no English ans unfortunately restaurant is closed, it's basic, friendly well located. The walk from Prunelia isn't too bad but rooms are especially sharing and restaurant isn't much either.

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Thanks Paul. I think I'll e-mail the St Paul, if needs be will go to the Prunellia, as long as the walk is reasonable I don't mind - just don't want a three mile hike after a good dinner!

Alan

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Well it's close to 2 and uphill on the way back, alternative in center is Coq Hardi, former gestapo HQ, pretty nice place. Eat at Table d Alsace around the corner, terrific!

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  • 4 weeks later...

As Paul says, it's a good two miles from the Prunellia or the Formule 1 (which is next door) to the centre of town. It's not a difficult walk. I've done it often enough and it takes you through some of the old town and the Vauban walls. You don't need to go that far from the Prunellia or the Formule 1 - there is a nice Italian place right opposite the Formule 1 and also the Buffalo Grill if you just want something cheap and cheerful.

Haven't stayed in the St. Paul for a couple of years but it's OK and was then being redecorated. If you're staying in the centre, there are a number of very decent restaurants you can get to without driving. The town centre is quite small.

Christina

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Most of our party did not like Prunelia but there is not a lot of choice. Those who tried the Italian restaurant Christina mentions all liked it and while I just can't see going all the way to France and eating in a Buffalo Grill, you know what you are getting and won't be surprised. They do a large business but there are good places in the center. The town is much better than 10 years ago especially along the Meuse.

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Christina,

Thanks for your comments - I don't mind a bit of a walk before dinner, it works up an appetite and usually the walk back (if the dinner has included wine, which it usually does!) seems easier! If there are other places not far away, then I may not walk into town every evening. Thanks also for producing your excellent book on the area - I've been planning my days out using it amongst others.

Paul, I think I'm with you on the Buffalo Grill, hopefully many other far nicer places to eat but it's there if I need it!

Alan

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Hi Alan,

The Italian restaurant (called the Beausejour), which is a couple of hundred yards away from the Prunellia on the other side of the road (going away from town) is very popular, so if you want to eat there, make sure you book. Food's good but it's incredibly noisy when full.

I'm glad my book is useful to you. I hope you're including the gun pit at Duzey and Camp Marguerre in your visits.

Christina

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Sorry to open this up again, but better than starting a new thread! Just wondering...

I, too, would welcome up-to-date recommendations. Planning is underway in earnest for a trip to Verdun at the end of March 2008 for twenty to thirty people. In addition to the Formule 1, Prunellia & Saint Paul hotels, research has pointed us towards the Hostellerie Coq Hardi + Le Priviledge + Du Tigre + Les Columbes [sister hotel to Saint Paul].

Feedback from pals who have stayed recently at any of these hotels would be greatly appreciated.

David T.

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I, too, would welcome up-to-date recommendations. Planning is underway in earnest for a trip to Verdun at the end of March 2008 for twenty to thirty people. In addition to the Formule 1, Prunellia & Saint Paul hotels, research has pointed us towards the Hostellerie Coq Hardi + Le Priviledge + Du Tigre + Les Columbes [sister hotel to Saint Paul].

Feedback from pals who have stayed recently at any of these hotels would be greatly appreciated.

David T.

David,

I stayed at the Prunellia again this spring and only have good things to say.

Paul

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Hi David,

Where you stay in Verdun depends on what you want to pay and how mobile your group is. The Coq H is the most expensive by far. Parking is very difficult in the centre, which is why I tend to use the Prunellia - out of town with its own car park. The city centre has a one-way system in the middle - which can be a pain - and car parking in the street is expensive. Access by car to the Coq H is along the quay, which is blocked by bollards. There is a stand to one side of the bollards that has the name of the various businesses along the quay and in the side street. You have to ring the right name and ask for the bollards to be moved. It's all a big pain. The Coq H's advertised car park is about 200 yds from the hotel. You have to pick up a swipe card from the hotel - assuming you've got past the bollards - find the car park and then take the swipe card back as they do not have enough for everybody.

The Cloche d'Or in the town centre has its own car park, the St. Paul has a couple of parking spaces but is beside a paying car park. The Colombes, which is very simple but acceptable, has its own car park. The Montaulbain, which is even more simple but makes the Michelin guide, has no parking and you can't park in the street either. The Prunellia, Privilege, Formula 1, Tigre and Orchidee are all out of town but have parking - in the case of the Prunellia and the Formula 1 the car parks are gated.

The Coq H has some rather grand rooms and of course prices correspond to that. The others are all simpler. The Tigre is fine but a bit too far out of town for my taste. If your party is able-bodied, mobile and wants the centre of town, I'd go for the St. Paul or Cloche d'Or. The Colombes is fine too but of a simpler standard than the others just named, which does not mean that it is bad. I've stayed there a couple of times and the room was clean and quiet. You should note that none of these hotels has a lift - the Coq H is the only hotel in town with a lift as far as I know.

On the question of breakfast, as Paul Hederer will tell you the Prunellia has a really great breakfast buffet at 9 euros (all you can eat and it will set you up for the day). The Coq H also has a big breakfast buffet that features sausage, bacon and eggs, but I believe it costs 16 euros. For anyone who doesn't eat that much for breakfast, I'd suggest going into one of the bakers/confectioners in town that have a 'salon de consommation', where you can get coffee and a croissant for 3 euros or so.

I hope this will help your planning,

Christina

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Where you stay in Verdun depends on what you want to pay and how mobile your group is...

Christina,

This is really helpful, thanks for taking the time to go to so much trouble.

While most of our party are reasonable mobile, several of us [me included] are a little limited in what we can do, so we're tending to think on the lines of the Hotel Le Saint Paul or the Hostellerie du Coq Hardi, which assures us it has coach parking about fifty metres from the hotel... thru' the bollards, of course!!

At the time of writing, I'm still waiting to hear from the Saint Paul despite having sent two contact form enquiry requests. I don't suppose you have a contact name & / or e-mail address handy?

Funnily enough, one of the other two I'm disappointed with not hearing from, yet, is the Le Prunellia. The other is Les Orchidees.

Thanks, again.

David T.

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...Funnily enough, one of the other two I'm disappointed with not hearing from, yet, is the Le Prunellia.

David,

That does seem strange. One thing I like about the Prunellia is that you can book via e-mail. They have always responded within hours...

Paul

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Hi David,

Glad it was helpful.

Email for the St. Paul: The only email address I have for them is: contact@hotel-a-verdun.com

which I think is a collection address that the various hotels can check into. Is that the address you've tried? I haven't any other email address but the postal address is 12 St. Paul Place 5100 VERDUN, FRANCE.

Tel: 0033 3 29 86 02 60. Fax: 0033 3 29 86 02 16.

The St. paul has no lift, so you might want to ask for rooms on the first floor.

Re the Coq H and coach parking. There is a DROP OFF only spot about 50 mtrs from the hotel. It is not parking. The coach - providing it gets through the bollards - can drop you off there and - presumably - come back for you in the morning but it can't park overnight. I have no idea where coaches park overnight since they did a big refurbishment of the town centre and moved the bus park out of town.

Re the Prunellia: I'm also surprised you haven't heard. Have you tried to email them? The address is: hotres.prunellia@wanadoo.fr

Re Les Orchidees: that is the only hotel I've ever stayed in where they didn't make the bed and clean the bathroom. I think it was probably by mistake but since it was in the depths of winter and there were only about 5 guests in the place, I couldn't see that they were too busy to have overlooked it. As a result, I've never been back.

Christina

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Christina - thanx for the info - I am looking at a trip to Verdun next Spring and what you have posted is invaluable

Stephen

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Stephen,

Glad to be of help.

Two other things you should know about Verdun:

- there is no public transport between the town and the battlefield, which is about 3 miles out of town.

- if you do stay in the Coq H, do not accept one of the four poster beds if you are taller than I am - I'm 5ft 3 and my feet stick over the end!

Christina

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