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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Paris, Île de France, France

May 14, 2018 - Parisian Bakeries

Before coming to Paris I read about the flaky, buttery croissants made here along with the long, thin crispy-crust baguettes. I’ve seen pictures of people toting around their banquettes in paper bags. I heard that both these items were “to die for” but being the skeptic that I am, I didn’t set my expectations too high. However, I am happy to say YUMMMMMMY. Near our apartment and in nearly all the other neighborhoods we’ve visited, there are many bakeries on every short block. Each bakery has its own personality and often has something a...

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May 11, 2018 - Time for History Lesson 101

(Art writing) One of the first things that struck me as we walked the streets of Paris was the design of most of the buildings. I mean that all of the building are 5 to 7 stories and look the same. You can stand in the middle of the street and see a mile in either direction with no obstructions. Hmmm, there must be a story behind this… In 1853, Paris was dark, dirty, foul-smelling and overcrowded. Aside from a few wide thoroughfares, the city was a tangle of narrow, twisting streets that made travel difficult. Between 1800 and 1850 the...

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May 10, 2018 - Mastering Paris’ Metro and Bus

After a week in Paris we have gotten a really good understanding of Paris’ metro and bus systems. We purchased a monthly pass and we’ve used it nearly every day. The metro is the busiest system after Moscow with 133 miles of track, 302 stations and a ridership of 4.2 million people a day! On some days it feels like we encountered half of those 4 million people on one train car. Still, we prefer the metro over the bus. It is quick, efficient and easier to use. Despite the crowds, the people are actually fairly civil and orderly. Unlike the...

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May 8, 2018 - Luxembourg Gardens

With a population of central Paris being at 2.5 million, land is at a premium. As you can imagine, there isn’t a lot of open space for parks. There are mostly “pocket” parks or postage-sized parks in some odd places and parks in the back of some of the cathedrals. The one park that is a favorite with the locals is Luxembourg Gardens. It is only about 60 acres but is quite a refuge in the city and has something for everyone. It is flanked by the huge Luxembourg Palace which is now the home of the French Senate but that is not why people...

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May 6, 2018 - Hello from Paris!

Our flight to Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport in Paris was, thankfully, uneventful. Boy, this airport is huge! It took about 30 minutes just to leave the terminal (there are 3 terminals that comprise CDG airport). No need to pick up our luggage since we pack light but we had to get a transportation ticket to use in Paris. We opted for a monthly pass since it would give us the flexibility of getting on any train, metro or bus within Paris proper. Everything was going smoothly until we got off the train in central Paris and tried to find...

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Apr 27, 2018 - Eiffel Tower Exploration

We needed to be back to the resort by 5:00pm to sign paperwork for the rental car which will whisk us to Reims (which we now know is pronounced "rance") tomorrow, so we planned an easy day back and forth to see the Eiffel Tower up close and personal. The RER A took us to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and then we boarded the Metro to Trocadero. When you come up out of the station and walk around the corner, there it is, in all its glory! We also were met by hoards of tourist groups so, after taking pictures, we walked across the bridge to the...

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Apr 26, 2018 - Back to Paris

I didn't make an entry yesterday because I stayed at the house all day nursing a sore throat with green tea and honey. It seems to have knocked the cold to the next stage and I felt much better when I woke up this morning - still dependent on throat lozenges, and now also tissues, but fully ready to head to Paris with Steph and Dennis. We rode the train in to town and our first stop was Montmartre/Sacre Coeur. We went up in the funicular and looked at the view, searching for the Eiffel Tower that was hidden by a building from that angle. In...

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Grand Tour

Apr 23, 2018 - Pantheon, Luxembourg Parque, Notre Dame, L'Arc de Triomphe

Today we were greeted with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. Nice. We walked to the Pantheon. It is a large Christian church built by Napoleon. He modeled it after the ancient Greek and Roman temples. Inside it has several cupolas and lots of columns...cement not marble. Of great interest was the astrological clock which uses Foucault's Pendulum. The pendulum moves always in a straight line but as the earth turns, the pendulum appears to tell time. By our watches it was correct. Using this methodology Foucault proved the earth was...

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Apr 22, 2018 - Orsay Museum

I settled to sleep at 3a. With nothing planned, awakening late was no problem. We were able to change rooms to a quiet room at the back of the hotel. Nice. As we missed breakfast, we bought breakfast crepes...ham, cheese and eggs...at the corner store. We then walked the 4-5 blocks to the Orsay Museum. The Orsay Museum is housed in the old train station. The high arched ceilings gave it a spacious feeling. The center is open with sculptures displayed. An old large gold (colored) framed clock hangs high above the entrance. 6 floors along the...

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Apr 21, 2018 - The Louvre

After a sleepless night ( who cares at 3a that 2 girls are friends forever...sung at the top of tneir lungs at 3a), we walked back to the Louvre, found the Carosel arch with the 'borrowed' Venetian horses originally stolen from Istanbul by the Venetians. Here we met Adam a young Canadian student doing a PHD in Metaphysics. He is from Colesburg, Ontario (southwest). He is Norse descent....blond, blue-eyed...filled with knowledge that he took great pleasure in sharing. We also met the rest of our small group...10 people....mostly American...

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Apr 20, 2018 - Paris Tour, Eiffel Tour and Seine Cruise

We set off early....before 10a....to walk to Rue de Pyramides to locate the tour office where we were to meet the tour bus for our tour. Seems simple but after crossing the Seine using Pont des Arts and strolling through the grounds of the Louvre, stopping to take pics of the pyramids and the triumphal arch we found ourselves lost. Where was Pyramides? After several wrong attempts to locate it and finding our instructions too confusing, we hailed a cab. When he saw the address he laughed. He drove through the Louvre, turned left a block and...

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Apr 19, 2018 - A Perfect Spring/Summer Day in Paris

Why do I say Spring/Summer? Well, yesterday the high was 80F and today it was 82F. I loved seeing everyone out in their shorts and sleeveless dresses, soaking up the sun. Luckily I came prepared with some summer clothing in case the weather got hot and plenty of sunblock which I slathered on myself before leaving the hotel. Walking outside the front door, the Thursday market was in full force on the sidewalk. When I arrived yesterday I noticed the metal piping for the stalls with the covers turned back and presumed the market was probably...

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Trip Journal


Grand Tour

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