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

Oct 9, 2018 - Back to Paris

We arrived in Paris at about 2:30pm on Tuesday. After buying our train tickets to go to Chartres on Friday, we headed home in an Uber and resettled in the apartment. Early evening we walked UP the 140 steps at the end of our street to Sacre Coeur and found a nice restaurant for dinner. There were so many people up there just hanging out enjoying the night view. We also saw a a “Pigalle Track Club” of about 20 people doing an evening run around Sacre Coeur. There is a lot happening in our neighborhood!

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Oct 9, 2018 - Locked!

This morning we headed out to Montereau where we were to meet the Elodie. We had a short ride to Pont-sur-Yonne where we stopped for coffee. We then continued on to Barbey where Nina found us a nice picnic spot to have our lunch. Again, despite our mishaps yesterday, Nina gave us more or less free reign to ride at our own speed. As the route was much more straightforward today, and having learned a salutary lesson yesterday, none of us got lost. The scenery today was pretty, as usual, with plenty of villages dotted along the way. A short...

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Oct 9, 2018 - Last day in Paris

Last year the Opera House was closed for some reason but today I was in luck and able to get a ticket for the 11:30 tour in English with guide Martin whose English was very good. Designed by Garnier it was built in 14 years ats aproject of Napoleon the Third who died three years before its completion and by the time it opened Garnier, as a friend of Napoleon p, was out of favour and not invited to the opening but was able to purchase a ticket. The magnificent entrance with grand staircase is in a mix of styles - baroque, neo classic,...

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Oct 8, 2018 - Chartres

Well today was a journey discovering how French women keep slim. I had booked my train tickets to Chartres as I have heard so much about the cathedral there. Left the nearest station "Villers" on Line three, changed at St Lazarre to Line 12 to Bienvenue Montparnasse which involved much walking up and down stairs and along corridors and then had to get to Gare Montparnesse which involved what seemed like never ending redirections not made any easier by the renovations going on. Very pleasant trip and arriving at Chartrescould immediately see...

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Oct 7, 2018 - Museum day in Paris

No photos with this posting as I deliberately did not take my camera. Saw both Helen and Dallis off this morning and Jan was to leave around midday. I left to go to Musee Marmottan which I'd wanted to see last time in Paris but it was closed on Monday. At least I knew where I was headed so off in slight rain got my train tickets, managed the transfer at St Lazarre and found my way out of La Muette metro stop into familiar territory. Walking through the park in a slight drizzle there were groups of cubs doing various activities and they were...

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Oct 6, 2018 - In Paris

Left very wet Corsica after a drive through the mountains with small waterfalls cascading down the hillsides and across the road while one river we crossed had become a fast flowing torrent. Apparently there are a number of drowning deaths each year as rain in the mountains quickly translates into fast flowing rivers and hikers can get caught. All smooth at the airport and we arrived in Paris to sunshine and 23 degrees. Picked up in a huge bus for just the five of us. Two American couples are staying at the airport as they have early...

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Oct 5, 2018 - The Yin and Yang of Art

Today was a great museum day. We started at the Musee d’Orsay in the morning and went through the special Picasso exhibit, learning about his early years. It was fascinating. I then wandered through the galleries finding all of my favorites and a few new ones that are pictured here. I enjoyed a cafe au lait and felt fulfilled when we left. We walked across the bridge near the Louvre and through Tuileries Garden to the Rue de Rivoli. By fate we walked out of the gate one block down from Cafe Angelina, so I introduced Betty, Diana and Maxine...

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Oct 4, 2018 - From Art Nouveau to the Decorative Arts

What a great museum day we had! We met my friend, Betty, at the Musée de Luxembourg just as it opened for a special exhibition of the works of Alphonse Mucha, a Czech artist who known for Art Nouveau painting, illustrations, advertisements, postcards and designs. Seeing his prints reminded me of how much I like Art Nouveau design. It was mesmerizing. Then we took the bus part way to her friend, Solange’s, apartment walking through a lovely residential area filled with energy and students, finally landing at a great place for lunch. We then...

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Oct 2, 2018 - I See Dead People

After a leisurely morning at the apartment we left around 11:00am to head for Pere Lachaise Cemetery to look for the graves of famous people. With our trusty maps in hand we found only a few...Since I was last there in July 2011 Oscar Wilde has been encased in glass. In 2011 the crypt was covered with lipstick marks all over it. It was unseemly. We looked for Sarah Bernhardt and a number of artists and never found them. We finished the walk following a guy who had a YouTube video of how to find Jim Morrison’s grave. I took the obligatory...

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Oct 1, 2018 - Arrival in the City of Light

Our flight left an hour late and arrived early, though we got to the gate right on time. Diana sat ahead of me on the plane so upon landing I headed to baggage claim to meet her. However, the train connecting us to the baggage claim area experienced a shut down because someone had left bags in the previous train so they called in the police and bomb sniffing dogs. This caused about a 40 minute delay for me. But Diana claimed our bags and waited for me. We then took the RER B train to Gare de Nord and then an Uber to the apartment from the...

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Sep 29, 2018 - Back to the Continent

What do you do when a friend has an apartment in Montmartre for two weeks and invites you to stay there with her and another of her friends? If you are me, you say "Oui!" Tomorrow begins another fun journey to France. We plan to go to Giverny to hang out with Monet and to Chartres to experience the Cathedral, along with a 3-day trip to visit with Betty and Pierre at their country home in Jumilhac-le-Grand in the Dordogne. I have one very special friend (since 1985 when I was a graduate student at UCLA and she worked for one of my major...

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Sep 24, 2018 - Our Bus Driver

The coach chauffeur for our bus was a great guy named Francis Van Crombrugge, a Belgian with a Kaiser Wilhelm mustache, a big pot belly, and usually about 3 inches of visible butt crack whenever he stood up. I really enjoyed him and always exchanged some funny conversation with him as I got on and off the bus. Francis managed to thread that huge bus through some unbelievably tight streets (where, I swear, if we opened the bus windows, we could have closed the shutters on the buildings on both sides) and around a lot of hairpin turns on...

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