My wife and I, both in our 30s, will be visiting France in the 1st half of France. The itinerary that we have sort of finalized is:
Fly into Paris, 3 nights in Paris, TGV to Nice, 2 nights in Nice, Train to Annecy(via Lyon), 2 nights in Annecy, Annecy to Camonix, 3 nights in Chamonix, train/bus to Geneva, 1 night in Geneva, and fly back to Mumbai from Geneva. Had some basic questions about train travel in France:
1) What is the best site for booking TGV tickets? I've found idTGV and TGV-Europe(when I click on the 'English' link of voyages-SNCF, it takes me there). Also, is it possible to buy e-tickets of TGV(take a print-out at home and board the train)? If not, if I choose collect the ticket in France, from where can I collect it in Paris(want to avoid the heavy delivery charges).
2) How do train bookings work in France? TGV obviously should be booked as much in advance as possible, but what about normal trains? Do I need to buy in advance or make reservations, or can I just buy tickets to the next location from the ticket counter on the same day and hop on? Also, if I have to change 2-3 trains from point A to point B, can I just specify destination B at the ticket counter in point A(the first departure station), and they will give me tickets for all connecting trains? Will these tickets be valid for all trains on that route on that day, or only on specific trains at specific times?
3) Do train ticket counters accept international credit cards(Visa)?
4) Can we survive all these train journeys/changes without knowing French? :-)
Sorry for the slightly long question, but first-timers to France, so better safe than sorry :-)
Thanks a lot in advance.