I'm trying to fill in some blanks in my family history.

In May 1805 an ancestor of mine traveled from Koblenz (Germany) to Paris (France).
He left most likely on May 16 or 17, maybe a few days later.
He embezzled a large amount (approx $200.000 in today's money) on the morning of May 16. He knew he had at least a week before it would be discovered and I assume he probably wanted to create some distance fairly quickly.
He was accompanied by his accomplice and girlfriend, a French woman.
My ancestor was a good horseman, but the woman most likely was not. They probably traveled by stage coach or just purchased a coach or wagon and horses.

They would have avoided the Moselle river and river valley at all costs as my ancestor was well known along the river all the way south to the city of Trier.
(I presume that up the Moselle to Metz or Thionville and then west to Paris via Reims would be the logical route otherwise.)

I know from family records that end of January 1806 my ancestor was in Paris, had lost all his money and his girlfriend (or she took of with the money) and he had to enlist (maybe forced by a press gang) in Napoleons army.
There is no record of when exactly he arrived in Paris, but it was at least 2-3 months before that.

To complicate matters the French Grande Armee was that summer on the move, redeploying from the Atlantic coast to southern Germany because of the "War of the 3rd Coalition". But my ancestor was probably early enough to have avoided that troop movement altogether. According to my sources the Grande Armee reached the Moselle around September. My ancestor should have been clear of the area already by that time.

What route could they have traveled? How long would it have taken?
(West of Reims would river-travel on the Marne have been a possibility?)

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    It looks like this was slightly before railways or steamships, which pretty much leaves river barge travel, horse/stage travel, and foot as options. – T.E.D. Jul 13 '20 at 21:00
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    I feel you really overestimate the travel time, Koblenz - Paris are roughly 500 km. That's around 12-18 days on foot. On horseback, coach or boat, the journey should be 6-10 days. So, he'll have easily avoided any force movement happening in September, a good three months after his arrival in Paris. – Dulkan Jul 14 '20 at 6:58
  • @T.E.D. Regular stage coach routes were already a thing then. I just don't know if they existed along that route. Likewise if river barges were taking passengers along the river Marne. Heck.. I even don't know how far up stream that river is usable for barges. – Tonny Jul 14 '20 at 8:50
  • @Dulkan The Grande Armee reached the Moselle in September but they big troop movements on the coast must have started much earlier. I think you're right, as I mentioned in the question myself, but I just don't know enough about that period. Hoping someone can enlighten me. – Tonny Jul 14 '20 at 8:54
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    @JeanMarieBecker Good find. Unfortunately my French doesn't go any further than ordering a drink in a cafe. I do know that "diligence"' is a stage coach. 6 days is a bit faster than I expected, but it does fit with a (tentative) arrival in Paris late May. Since I wrote the question a couple of letters written by my ancestor have surfaced in a family archive. One letter (written years later to his mother, in which he apologies for his misconduct) has a brief summary of his travels and says "I arrived in Paris a few days before my birthday" and his birthday was June 2. – Tonny Jan 22 at 23:21

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