France
Seine-Saint-Denis

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Travelers at this place
    • Day 2

      Arrive in Paris

      June 15, 2022 in France ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      We arrived in Paris after about 5 hours of sleep in the past three days. (The flight put us in Paris at 2am Indy time but 7 am Paris time- since it is pretty hard to sleep on a plane and I was distracted by the plane’s trivia game (I felt the need to smoke PJ whoever that was) none of us slept that night and the check in for our room was 3pm. That meant we had the whole day with all our stuff to wander. Aiden got an A on his test on French public transportation and he proved it by confidently getting us into the city. Since the point of the trip is to walk with all we need for the trip on our backs I decided we couldn’t really complain. But it is HOT in Paris and always crowded. We rented bikes and decided to hit the top sites all around the city since Jon and I decided that popping up from the subway doesn’t give you a good feel for where you are (we’ve done that method of site seeing here before but both times it was winter and cold). The biking seemed like a good idea because Paris is supposed to be a bike friendly town but I felt like cars and pedestrians were just daring me to play chicken with them and I always chickened out. I decided biking around Paris is not as romantic as it sounds. The trail on the Seine is fine but the Champs Elysees by bike is not for the faint of heart (more power to you, Tour de France riders. That’s some bumpy cobblestone!). I had never seen the Arc de Triomphe so close up and it was a lot bigger than I thought! Napoleon is still taking revenge on the foreign cultures because Jon got his ATM card eaten by a machine at Napoleon’s tomb. Now we are a little concerned about how to acquire cash for the little alburgues in Spain. We still have one more but now we are hesitant to use it.

      Aiden and Ollie’s French has been useful to me and especially their knowledge of culture and history. Aiden even understood the significance of the bike locks on the bridge to Sainte Chapelle. I would have missed that detail had he not known. Madame Blaz has done her job! We even ate baguette hot dogs today because Aiden did a presentation on them for school once. Ollie always acts like he doesn’t pay attention in school but he definitely can pick up where Aiden leaves off. He’s pretty sharp.

      We are staying in a hostel because we had to really spread the grant money thin since I did the budget 2 years ago. We have our own room and many families are here but in true French style what they advertised as air conditioning is really just a fan that doesn’t stay on and a window that doesn’t open all the way. It is hot. (Did I mention that?!) The cool breezes of the Pyrenees will be welcome.
      Read more

    • Day 44

      Ile de la Cite

      May 4, 2022 in France ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

      We had an exhausting day today - the adrenaline couldn’t hold the jet lag back any longer. But what a beautiful city Paris is!

      We’ve mastered the metro and are getting around pretty easily. (Adam would be proud). We headed to Ile de La Cite (a small island) and saw Notre Dame (the outside as it’s still being repaired from the fire in 2019), St Chapelle Cathedral, The Conciergerie (prison where Marie Antoinette was held), the Luxembourg Palace & gardens and finished it up with Musee d’Orsay. (Impressionist museum built in an old train station). It was a full day seeing places I’ve only seen on TV or in the movies. Crazy.

      Paris’s public water is some of the best in the world. It is natural spring water that is piped in everywhere. We saw a documentary on it at home. Jordan found one of the fountains. Have to say, it DID taste better!

      We went back to fall asleep early at 8:00 but we’re so messed up our bodies won’t let us fall asleep (probably because in our heads it’s only noon). Oh well, I’m sure we’ll adjust eventually!
      Read more

    • Day 5

      Paris

      June 20, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Galleries Lafayette .. such a beautiful shopping building ! No €€€ spent here ! Mastered the Met 🚊 spent the day wandering all the little streets. Weather a bit like home ! Warm amd sunny one minute then raining the next ! Almost need a pair of jeans and long sleeve top - which I don’t have !Read more

    • Day 1

      Paris mit Lili

      April 14, 2022 in France ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      Als ich nach Flügen gesucht habe, war der von Westjet mit ab Paris mit Abstand der günstigste. Damit auch kein Stress aufkommt und nichts schiefgehen kann, habe ich mich dazu entschlossen, in Paris eine Nacht zu bleiben. Als Lili das mitbekommen hat, kam sie auf die Idee auch nach Paris zu kommen. So ist sie Mittwoch Abend schon mit Zug nach Paris gefahren und ich dann Donnerstag Morgen ab Hamburg per Flugzeug.
      Nach anfänglichen Internetproblemen haben wir uns in Paris dann zusammentelefoniert😅
      Als erstes wollten wir zum Louvre, da gab es für den Vormittag allerdings keine Tickets mehr, daher sind wir dann erstmal zur Seine spaziert. Dort am Ufer haben wir uns ein Crêpe geholt. Dann ging es weiter zur Notre Dame. Die Türme sind ja zum Glück unversehrt geblieben. An den Seiten konnte man auf Infotafeln den Wiederaufbau nachverfolgen, das war sehr interessant. Danach sind wir dann am Ufer entlang wieder Richtung Westen geschlendert. Für uns der erste richtige Sommertag dieses Jahr: bei 22 Grad und strahlendem Sonnenschein ☀️
      Nach einer kleinen Stärkung auf dem Vorplatz von Louvre sind wir dann endlich reingegangen (schlauerweise über den nördlichen Eingang, der normalerweise für Gruppen reserviert ist, wo wir überhaupt nicht anstehen mussten). Dort haben wir uns einige Ausstellungen herausgesucht, die uns interessiert haben, alles wäre uns zu anstrengend gewesen. Für die Mona Lisa musste man extra anstehen, das haben wir uns dann gespart. Zwischendurch waren wir mal draußen in der Gartenanlage Sonne tanken.
      Gegen Abend haben wir uns dann etwas bei der Patisserie geholt und am Ufer der Insel gegessen. Hammer lecker 😋
      Danach ging es dann per Metro und Tram zur Jugendherberge und dort auch direkt zu Bett: totmüde und mit schmerzenden Füßen, so viel bin ich lange nicht mehr gelaufen - aber daran werde ich mich wohl gewöhnen müssen…

      Freitag morgen nach dem typischen Jugendherbergenfrühstück sind wir dann direkt los nach Montmartre, um uns Sacre Cœur anzuschauen. Von dort hatten wir einen super Blick über Paris, wieder bei strahlendem Sonnenschein. Wir haben sogar einen Teil des Karfreitag-gottesdienstes mitbekommen. Dann zu Fuß zum Gare du Nord, dort hieß es dann wieder Abschiednehmen.
      Ich werde dich vermissen Lili❤️
      Ab in den Zug zum Flughafen und das erste mal den Kontinent verlassen…
      Read more

    • Day 43

      Paris!

      May 3, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

      We started at the airport in Costa Rica on May 2nd at 11:00am and touched down in Paris on May 3rd at 5:00pm. Taking out the 8 hr time change, we traveled 22 hrs to get here. It was definitely tiring, but also so exciting.

      We’re staying in our first official hostel - no private room this time. 8 bed dorm bunks with privacy screens - actually very nice set up. Some won’t allow me to stay, if it’s a “party hostel” — no one over 35 yrs old. But many do.

      So we arrived, took the metro to the hostel, dropped everything and headed to where else but the Eiffel Tower for the first night! So amazing! Can’t wait to see all the history and sites. It doesn’t get dark here until 9:00 so lots of time to explore every day.
      Read more

    • Day 5

      Sunday in Paris

      April 14 in France ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      This is our last day here, with no commitments and no time deadlines…very relaxed. We set off a bit after 9, and found that the Bastille markets were on (they are on Thursdays too, but that was the disaster day and we didn’t enjoy it!) so that was a fun start, then we got the metro to Place Clichy to have a wander round Montmartre and Sacré Coeur. Another beautiful day, cloudy at first, then the cloud burnt off and it was sunny and warm.

      First we wandered through the Montmartre cemetery where quite a lot of famous people are buried…rather like finding needles in haystacks though, and the only notable one we saw was Hector Berlioz. Zola, Offenbach, Dumas…and others we didn’t find, but it was a very pleasant place to walk! Then we walked past the Moulin Rouge, many tourists and lines of sex shops and general sleaze! But when we ventured further, and up the hill it was much more pleasant, millions of cafes and being Sunday, lots of people out and about.

      We were high, but still Sacré Coeur was higher still, and we climbed many, many stairs to finally get to its heights. Again many cafes etc, but now just too many people to be fun. The was an enormously long non-moving line of people to enter the basilica and we weren’t going to join it…we have been inside before when all normal, so we cut our losses and made our way down, another way but many many steps (next to a funicular we now discovered!)….

      So we had a crepe sitting on a park bench, lovely, and then had a coffee and chocolate and felt restored. There was a metro entrance right there (Abbesses) so we headed in there, and had to descend a LONG spiral staircase down to the actual train line! Good walking practice today.

      Next we left the metro at Assemblie Nationale and walked up Blvd St Germain into the Latin quarter, and had a short respite in the little park next to hotel Esmeralda and St Julien Le Pauvre. Very pretty and soothing, and we checked the progress on Notre Dame…the spire is now back, but the roof all scaffolded. The front and towers look so clean, they look almost too new! It won’t be ready by the Olympics, but there is progress.

      Then home for downtime before dinner at Bofinger - fabulous Alsace restaurant we’ve been to before. It never disappoints, and Amr had their specialty of sauerkraut but with seafood (rather than the typical sausage accompaniment), and I had a wonderful dish of trout (from the Pyrenees) with fab veges - peas, potatoes, artichoke, asparagus and also clams, with a delicious sauce…yum…I resisted the calves liver as I’d had kidneys last night. So now about to crash, and tomorrow brings new adventures to unknown places…catching the TGV to Arles at 12.13 from Gare de Lyon.
      Read more

    • Day 3

      Paris, and a much better day

      April 12 in France ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Having crashed at 6pm (Amr) and about 7pm (me) last night, we both woke about 3am and didn’t get back to sleep, but had had good long sleeps. So eventually we gave in and were officially awake - looked at emails, did wordle, planned the day, and by the time it was getting light we went for a walk to find the police station as we had been advised by the embassy to file a police report for the theft. So that was a fun brisk walk round the neighbourhood where we hadn’t been before, quite cold to start, about 10°, and we found the police station but were told to come back at 9. So we wandered on, bought a pain aux raisins and a baguette, stopped for a coffee and returned to the room. Relaxed and set off again at 9 and a very nice policeman heard our story and recorded it all - his English was about equivalent to our French but we managed fine - he was really lovely. So we have an official report, and I think he sends some notification to the embassy.

      With that done, and the passport to be picked up today, we decided to calm down and begin to enjoy Paris. And we did! It was a beautiful day…a while ago I checked the long term predictions for Paris weather and it showed raindrops for the entire time we are here…well so far it was totally wrong…not surprisingly! So our plan was to go to the Musée des arts décoratifs which Amr had booked on line a while ago…entry was for 11am, so we turned up at about 20 to and joined a queue and found it only opens at 11, so we had to wait standing in the sun for quite a while…and not good for us as Amr hadn’t been feeling 100%, thought it was jet lag and stress from dramas, but standing there he felt dizzy and shaky…not good he bent down to help but wouldn’t go and sit on the grass…finally the queue moved and he felt much better, but once in we would have headed straight for the cafe but we found there wasn’t one inside the museum…so he said he was now ok enough to continue and see the exhibits which we did…interesting new exhibit of the history of the big Paris shops, and another of Iris van Herpen, a Dutch outlandish fashion designer…anyway we had fun and Amr survived so all good.

      After the museum we headed straight to a cafe where we both (even Amr! as a sugar boost) had hot chocolates and then over to a boulangerie where we bought yum baguette filled with chicken, avocado, salad and ate it sitting on chairs in the Tuileries. Just divine…trees with their new greenery, blossoms out, tulips colourful, children pushing boats on the round pond….

      After a lovely relax there, and Amr declaring he was restored, we got the metro to the embassy to get my passport….success! …I now have a valid emergency passport, which I will not be carrying with me again in a visible bag until I board a plane! After that excitement we returned to the hotel to have some R and R and unwind before we have dinner. We have a booking at a little place from last time, in the Marais, for 7pm, looking forward to that, and afterwards I think it will be straight home to bed!

      Now the report from dinner…Amr had a little nap during our downtime and we set off walking to the restaurant a bit after 6. It is light till quite late now, broad daylight when we walked back around 8.30 ish…anyway, had a delightful wander through the Marais where there are so many little eateries, and being Friday night they were all buzzing. Ended up at our place, Le Progrès, and had great meal till Amr started to run out of steam…poor thing, he has done such a stirling job holding up during our passport panics and sorting out solutions, but he is fighting a bug and for the first time ever couldn’t finish his beef tartare! A true sign he wasn’t feeling well. At first it was good. We shared a salad of barrata with tomato, rocket, peppers, pesto, just perfect, then he had the tartare and I had some skirt steak with salad and fries, really good. And a half litre of house red. Ambience great, but when Amr started to fade it was time to go back and he is now tucked up asleep, and very soon I will be too! Only just after 9.30 but we’ve lasted well, and it was a great day!
      Read more

    • Day 2

      Ah Paris, but not so gay…

      April 11 in France ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      We are in Paris…a smooth uneventful trip, and even had priority boarding and check in being Velocity gold, even though travelling economy! So we landed at CDG at 7.30, almost exactly 24 hours after taking off from Melbourne, all good so far, but the not gay Paris is because in the metro on the way to the hotel my passport and phone were stolen…and I was, unlike in Madrid last year, totally on my guard…it was crowded, but they were in my shoulder bag, zipped up, velcro flap over, and it was hanging in front and was very aware of it…just can’t imagine how it was possible, but when I went to take out my passport at the hotel found the bag empty…just a sickening feeling.

      Anyway, better than a hospital visit, and we went to the Oz embassy quickly as shuts between 12 and 2, and they were amazingly helpful and kind. I filled in forms and they understood I didn’t have license etc…on my phone, or know my passport number…they have all that anyway, and I can pick up an emergency passport tomorrow after 2pm!! Only lasts 7 months, and doesn’t have a chip, but fantastic - so that is the main problem sorted - we leave Paris on Monday, and I wouldn’t be able to fly back from Madrid without it…and will just have to live without a phone for 6 weeks…bummer - photos etc. we are both a bit paranoid now and I look on everyone as a possible suspect. A group of probably Gypsy girls tried it on on another metro ( they didn’t know everything was gone by then!) no success for them there, but it feels just horrible and can’t wait to be out of the big city. Can imagine these pickpockets will be out in force over the Olympics.

      After the passport operation we did walk and try to forget the problems and enjoy being here, but it has cast rather a blight on the day. It’s nice and coolish, my perfect temperature, and the spring leaves are looking lovely and the blossoms and tulips, so not all bad. We managed quite a lot of walking - by the end of the day about 15 kms. Stopped and had a drink at our favourite cafe near the opera, wine for Amr and Campari for me, and we shared a baguette with ham, cheese and salad, and had planned to go to a nearby bistro for an early dinner but have decided to call it a day and give in to being horizontal…Amr is already passed out I think and I will very soon be following.

      We have good plans, and more cheerful news tomorrow!
      Read more

    • Day 4

      Perfect weather - day of culture

      April 13 in France ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      A wonderful sleep last night - we both woke about 6.30…I can’t remember when I have had 8 and half hours without waking!! And Amr 9 and half hours, and he thanks all for messages and says he is now 105%!!

      Today we had bookings at the Musée d’Orsay and Pompidou which was sort of by accident on the same day, but worked well anyway. It is quite cold in the mornings, lovely, but warms up quickly and gets hot by afternoon, today and yesterday, so you spend the day peeling off layers. A perfect Paris Saturday, lots of people out and about, but not unbearably crowded. And surprisingly it was so easy to get into the museums…not mile long queues, just comfortable and civilised.

      So first we went to d’Orsay, amazingly uncrowded and pleasant, but when we went in to the special exhibit on the history of the beginning of Impressionism it was busier. Very interesting, and paintings of many original impressionists who are no longer well known or even heard of. Emerged from there, bought a Vietnamese baguette, yum, and sat in our favourite Place Dauphine to eat. It was also many other people’s favourite place, and more crowded than we’ve seen, being a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

      Now restored, we walked to Pompidou centre, and before starting on the art we sat in the cafe and had coffee/chocolate. The special exhibit there was works of Brancusi, a sculptor. Beautiful, simple…then we went into the modern art section. One special thing for us was the Christian Dior famous outfit from his first showing that we had seen on the Netflix series about him, The New Look! It was all good, but we felt done and wandered back for some downtime before dinner.

      After an hour or so, totally restored, we walked to Le Petit Celestin, a perfect bistrot where we went a year ago…our booking was for 7.45 and it was light and sunny and my memory of it a year ago was in the dark, cosy and wonderful…this time, still wonderful but everyone outside on the pavement as the sun set..(maybe last year it was before daylight saving??) great meal..we shared an entree of asparagus, feta, rocket, and for mains Amr had fish and I had kidneys, and we shared an ile flottante for dessert!! All perfect…now back and ready for another big sleep! My Apple Watch says I have walked 16 kms today, so we are in training for our walks!
      Read more

    • Day 3

      Art Day

      June 16, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

      We had early morning tickets to see some art so after a lovely breakfast and good strong coffee we hit the bikes again and risked our lives in the Paris streets. We were 30 minutes late for our time slot but Aiden said it was very Parisian of us to be late. It didn’t matter anyway because no one even checked our tickets! (Note to self, just walk in like you belong there and save the dough!) Here’s where Daniel shined. He has read every Rick Riorden book on the planet and really knows his Greek and Roman gods. The Mona Lisa was in the new room which is nice considering the last time we were there she was in a dark hallway. I prefer the big art anyway over her. The Wedding at Cana is more my style.

      Then Saint Chappelle- I heard Daniel walk in and say “whoa!” That says it all.
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Département de Seine-Saint-Denis, Departement de Seine-Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, Sena Saint Denis

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android