Subject: Madrid to Paris
Does anyone have suggestions for the best way to get from Madrid to Paris? We don't want to take the night train and miss all the sites along the way. We can rent a car, but are wondering if there's a train or series of trains (nothing too complicated or time-consuming) that we can take so that the trip can be relaxing for all of us.

Also, for daytrips out of Paris to Versaille and other places, we have limited time in Paris. Is it worth it to pay $100 for coach tours for these sites? It seems like a lot of money to me, but maybe its a good idea as we only have about 5 days in Paris. I've checked a number of day tour websites and all seem to be about the same amount of money. Is it pretty easy and cheap to take trains from Paris to Giverny and the Loire Valley etc. rather than the canned coach tour?

Any assistance would be much appreciated!

JH Seeley