France
Île-de-France

Here you’ll find travel reports about Île-de-France. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day45

    GAHS: And the stresses of travelling and the long journey back to reality intensified early this morning!  😬

    The Uber driver who brought us to our room after our Douro River Excursion yesterday suggested we best leave for the airport by 9:30am (even though our flight was not until 1:30pm).  He contended that we needed to allow time for traffic jams and accidents and other delays that tend to tie up traffic here. Like he said "You never know ... and you don't want to miss your plane." Given that our 10 minute ride to the boat launch took us 30 minutes yesterday, we took our driver's suggestion seriously and I ordered an Uber to arrive between 9:20 - 9:35am. My anxious mind really likes it when I am on top of things like that ... 😉

    GROANS: Since we had arrived back to our room very late last night from our River Cruise, we had not eaten anything except for the very nice lunch they had fed us at NOON! So, by 9:00am this morning we had eaten nothing at all since then ... other than the bag of chips on the boat and a half eaten tube of Pringles Potato Chips that we had left over in the room! This wouldn't normally present a problem but our Airbnb is in a residential area and food service is very scarce. In fact, this might be the third or forth time we had Pringles for supper in Spain/Portugal. 🙃

    GULPS: It occurred to my anxious mind that if we didn't get something to eat before we got into the Uber this morning that it could be 24 hours before we eat anything substantial!! 😟

    GOSH: The only place we could think of was a little cafe in the shopping mall about 10 minutes walk away. We worried, however, that it might not be open early enough for us to get packed up and get there and get back before 9:15am.  But ... it was our only choice!! 

    GRATITUDES: Fortunately... it was open!  We got got two large coffees ... which were the size of thimbles ... and three sandwiches "to take away".  We hurried back to our place to eat quickly (on our little deck one last time!) and then hustled down to wait for our Uber. We positioned ourselves in full view in front of our building so he would easily see us upon arrival.

    GROANS: It showed that " Renaud" was one minute away ... so all seemed well.  But then ... it looked like he wasn't moving anymore.  Was he stuck in traffic??  We weren't sure ... but then ... Uber was telling us to meet the driver.  We were standing in clear view ... with all our bags ... but couldn't see him.  what the heck?? Finally John looked way down the street and noticed a car with his emergency flashers on.  We grabbed all our stuff as quickly as possible to run down to where he was waiting. And I could see from his license plate that it was our Uber!

    GROWLS: Just as we got to the car... he started pulling away.  And then ... I was notified by Uber that our ride had been cancelled!!! What??? We were right beside the car!

    GAHS: It was only about 9:25am ... but Renaud thought he'd been stood up and was already leaving.  He asked me to just call him back.  I don't know Uber well enough to do THAT ... so I just requested the ride again. 🙄

    GOOD GOLLY: But Renaud was too slow to respond and that is how we ended up with Jorge as our driver instead. I apologized to Renaud for the mix up ... but it was probably a blessing in disguise because Jorge spoke English very well ... and ... drove at sensible and sane speeds.

    GEEZE:  So guess what? No real congested traffic this morning. We arrived at the airport by 10:00am ... for our 1:30pm flight!!  😒

    GRRRRRR: I had not checked in online because we had bags to check and I didn't have access to a printer ... and ... I didn't know if the Transavia airline offered e-tickets or not. I thought it would be easier up to just do it all at once ... but no.  No one was at our ticket counter. There was a sign directing people to check in online.  So there I stood ... right in front of the ticket counter, using up my data ... checking-in on my phone. It did, however, offer to give me an e-ticket to download and save on my phone.  So ... I did that. 

    GARGANTUAN GRRRRRRS: BUT ... do you think I could find where my phone put the tickets!!  Without downloading the Transavia Airlines App (which I doubted I'd ever need again!) the link in my downloads wouldn't work.  So I saved the boarding passes to memos ... hoping their scanners could read the condensed version of the barcode. Or, better yet, that they would print out boarding passes when we dropped our bags.

    GRUMPIES: And well ... with that ... we found our way down to the arrivals level to the only place to sit and have a coffee on this side of security.  I was cranky pants extraordinaire... so ... the old boy went off in search of a bigger coffee.

    GIFTS:: He came back with two soup sized terrines filled with cappuccino. I broke out laughing ... and ... he argued we did several hours to kill. Which was true ........................🙄

    GRIMACES:  And the saddest part of it all is that the flight we were catching wasn't taking us home.  It was taking us back to Paris so we could catch another flight home tomorrow from there.  We had presumed it best to choose our outbound flight home from a central destination because we didn't know for sure where we would be when it was time to come home.  We were regretting that we had not chosen Lisbon  ... but ... I guess it's the price we must pay for the flexibility we wanted. 

    GRIMACES: We took the 2 hour flight with Transavia from Porto to Paris ... and then ... spent almost 1.5 hours with Uber just getting across the City of Love and Lights (during rush hour) from the Orly airport to our hotel ... which is cleverly situated right next to the airport we fly out of tomorrow. And so ... another $69.45€ .. and no food or snacks or drinks provided! We were sure wishing our go-cup had been full! 😉

    GASPS: And then ... we arrived in a hotel like we have never ever before seen!!  It comes with an IPAD that controls everything from the blinds ... to projector that screens the TV onto the wall ... to the colors of the lights over the clear round shower that is prominently positioned in the middle of the room.  I have been seriously pondering what color lighting will be the most flattering for a wet 60 year old?? Fuschia? Lime? Periwinkle? Citron? The possibilities are endless!!😂

    GRINS: The old boy is having such fun playing with all the electronic controls!! It's fun for me to watch him delight in all his discoveries!

    GRATITUDES: We are here ... sipping Duty Free wine in our techno-room ... and heading out for dinner before 9:00pm. We are in the air with Westjet for over 13 hours tomorrow ... but for tonight ... we are content.

    Sending love .... k&j
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  • Day25

    Paris ... by Metro And Big Bus

    September 13 in France

    Gosh ... we had a good sleep ... except for the frequent rumbling because we are right over the Metro!! We tend to look for locations near the Metro but we've never stayed over one before! 🙃

    So ... we had a fairly lazy morning. I googled places nearby for breakfast and off we went. We strode past some beautiful patisseries on our way ... but resisted the temptation and stayed on course. I was hoping for something more brunch like and substantial so my blood sugar didn't get triggered by sweets first thing.

    GROANS: And then, much to our surprise ... we ended up at a very tiny, unassuming spot that claimed to have good coffee and offered bread with jam for breakfast.. Yep. That was it. John gave me that look like ... "we walked past so many nice places for this?" And all I could do was apologize. ☹

    GAHS: And as I was piling on the butter ... John was teasing me about being like "oma" ... who loved her butter thick. And I was poking fun at him for being like my "dad" because he was complaining about our 'breakfast' costing $15 Euros! That is well over $20 CAD ... argh! Tomorrow we are going to the patisserie! 😋

    GASPS OF GRANDEUR: We took the Metro to the Opera House ... Palais Garnier. As Doug mentioned, it was the setting for The Phantom of the Opera! It's hard to describe it's magnificence and ornate grandeur. 

    GASPS OF SURPRISE: They were also showing a special exhibition of art .... by none other than .... Picasso!! I am embarrassed to admit we had no idea whose work we were looking at until later when I saw a sign! DUH.

    GRINS: And then we boarded the "The Big Bus" and took a tour of the city! It is hard to imagine ... but there is so much to see and John was taking so many pictures ... he got tired of clicking the camera!! 

    We'll be touring a few of the main monuments over the next couple of days, but we learned that Des Champs-Elysées has been described as the most beautiful avenue in the world. It is loaded with shops highlighting high end designers and posh restaurants. Apparently they didn't want H&M to get a storefront there but after a couple years in battle .. H&M won a spot ... much to the chagrin of the locals.

    We also learned that at the Arc de Triomphe, there is an elevator in the columns and then you can walk 42 more steps to the top. I guess the Tour de France ends here on des Champs-Elysées.

    We drove past the Eiffel Tower. Apparently it has 7 million visitors per year. It is the 'most visited paid monument' in the world and has been nicknamed "la dame de fer"by the locals. That is: the iron lady.

    GRATEFULS: At the suggestion of Marian ... we found our way to "Galeries Lafayette" and ended up on the Gourmet food floor ... a huge floor dedicated to exceptional food preparation and consumption ... either to take away or to order and eat right there! It was a smorgasboard of gastric delights. We opted to gobble up a 'Parma Pizza' but were really tempted by so many more!! John bought himself some aged goat leg ... and we shared a coffee flavoured macaron. And ... we brought home a raspberry creation of some kind. The cakes and desserts are works of art in and of themselves!!

    We also wandered up to the 7th floor and had s look over the city! And then ... we found our way to Printemps ... thank you Doug! Wow. What an experience. They also have a rooftop bar and restaurant that offers magnificent views of the city! Both department stores had spectacular ceilings with stained glass designs that were beyond belief!

    GRATITUDES: And ... with our hearts filled with awe we stepped under ground and came back to our room to rest a bit before supper. 

    It's been a full day! A good day! John got lots of pictures and a few videos! We are limited to 10 in total. Perhaps I will post more in an 'aside'. But for now ... some supper. I wonder where we will end up! 😀
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  • Day28

    We started off the day on foot ... walking from our hotel to the area of Montmartre. We stopped for a nice breakfast at Republique du Coffee and enjoyed eggs with pancakes. They butter and syrup the pancakes for you and put two eggs ... sunnyside up ... on top. It seemed very French. I prefer my egg whites cooked through however ... so ... I was a bit more careful with my bites! 😊

    GRACE: Most of the shops were still closed and traffic was light ... so we enjoyed the stillness on the streets. We stopped for coffee at a place called Bouquet du Nord. We noticed that it costs more to sip coffee in the afternoon after 3:00pm than in the morning ... and so ... we felt like timed it right.

    GRIMACES: But then, we decided to venture on when the server ignored us. I'm wondering if we should be taking these service trends personally??😉

    GIFTS: Once again though ... it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we found a glorious little place called "33cl de Montmarte" which gave us another opportunity to sit straight in a row on the street side comfortably in the cool shade with our warm cappuccinos tickling our spirits as we enjoyed the view! We gazed right up the hill to the Sacre-Coeur. Simply sublime! 💥

    GRATITUDES: We wandered up the hillside and explored the grounds ... and then, we did as our good neighbor Doug recommended! We ambled down the narrow, winding streets to the left of the basilica and ended up at the Moulin Rouge. 

    GRINS: It was such an enchanting walk ... all the little pâtisseries and boulangeries and brasseries and cafes and fruit stands and fish markets and florists and créperies and ice cream shops and fine clothing retailers and shoe stores and sex shops too. A feast for the eyes for sure!

    GRATEFULS: We walked past one restaurant where a patron had a large serving of what looked like scalloped potatoes! We weren't hungry yet so we kept on going .... but ... the thought of those potatoes just wouldn't let me be. So, we circled back to have some!! John tried the frog's legs. It was all so decidedly and delectably delicious!! Sadly, however, we never did find any more of those babas though! They shall remain on the "I wish I had ..." list! 

    One of the things that struck us is that the Fench take great pride in beauty and artistry and quality and elegance and style.You see it in their architecture... their food ... their apparel ... their footwear ... and ... their decor.

    GASPS &GRATITUDES: And so ... for our last day in Paris ... we logged 15.91 kms (22,083 steps). It was a lovely finish to a warm and wonderful time here in France. We are ever grateful for the mobility to be able to log all those steps and
    we could not have enjoyed better weather here!

    Tomorrow morning we must find our way to the train ... after one more croissant ... and then ... see what Barcelona holds for us! They are forcasting 10 - 20mm of rain (100% chance) on our first day ... so ... we shall see how it all turns out!

    Sending warmest smiles from our hearts to yours ... k&j
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  • Day27

    After our late night visiting the 'Iron Lady' we enjoyed a very leisurely start to our day. We took breakfast in our room and finally took the metro towards Notre Dame Cathedral around noon. We mosied down a little cobblestone lane and had some crepes! And one of the stores had little buns soaking in rum in jars! Has anyone ever tasted these things called 'babas'? Iwas entirely entrigued! And after our window shopping ... we stopped for a glass of wine. 

    GAHS: The server brought me a carafe instead!! An intentional mistake I am sure ... because he turned his back and walked away before I could say a word. He also plopped the bill on the table so I couldn't even correct the mistake because it was already charged. I wonder just how many tourists he has snagged with that mistaken 'misunderstanding'? Mis-taken ...or ... just taken ... or both? It's all part of the experience. 😏 

    GRINS: In Holland we had to watch out for the bicycles! In Paris ... it's the servers!! Clearly we must become more savvy in our touristing!! It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we dumped the remnants of the carafe into our go-cup and sipped on the wine inconspicuously at our pleasure throughout the day! 🥂

    GRATITIDES: Our tour through the Notre Dame Cathedral was also exceptional. I wish I could have jotted down all we were learning. The facade of the cathedral tells many stories of deep meaning in terms of religious significance and historical relevance. "Notre Dame" = Our Lady. The cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary
    It took 200 years to construct and it is not symmetrical. It was started in the 12th century ... and then ... had to be restored in the 19th century after it was severely damaged during the French Revolution. 

    FUN FACT: On the Big Bus they spoke about the difference in philosophy between those who live on the left bank of the river and the more conservative who inhabit the right side. I wondered how they decided which was left and right. Seemed to make more sense to describe it as north and south .. but ... apparently the direction was determined by those exiting the Notre Dame Cathedral. They turned left or right! Voila! I guess I would have been joining those who turned to the left!! 😊

    After hiking all the way up the 400 stairs to enjoy some incredible panoramic views of the city in the sunshine ... it goes without saying ... we stopped for a refreshment! John also enjoyed more oysters! He said they were the best tasting oysters he has had. I think he's said that before ... right?? 🤔 I enjoyed the bread that came with it! I made it look so delicious he wanted the rest! 😁

    GIFTS: And then we mosied along the banks of the river to find our departure point for our dinner cruise. And ... the food was lovely! It was a great way to end our day ...almost!

    We still had to find the subway ... and ... navigate the changes in the lines to get home!! And ...with the kind help if some passers-by ... they headed us in the right direction. And, we arrived here promptly and in good order!

    So ... we are tucking in shortly ... see you all tomorrow! 😊
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  • Day24

    "Bonjour" Paris!

    September 12 in France

    GRATEFUL: We began our day in the quiet, peaceful stillness of Utrecht.  Because we were travelling by train ... we had extra time to enjoy the morning before we had to get into travel mode.  We have loved the simplicity of train travel as opposed to flying.  In fact ... we opted to book a train  from Paris to Barcelona because ... although it was much cheaper to fly ... it would be so much more stressful to do so!   And so ... we pay a little more in cash and save a whole lot more in stress ... and surprisingly ... if you do the math ... it doesn't actually cost much more in time!

    GRATITUDES: And so ... we boarded our intercity train in Utrecht ... bound for Rotterdam... where we would transfer to the International Rail of Thalys to continue our journey to Paris. 
    We noticed some etching on the windows of our train car ... which suggested we were in a SILENT car!!  I had no idea there even was such a thing ... but ... my introverted self was tickled to the core with glee!!  And ... it really was silent!!! 😍

    GAHS: We chose to arrive a bit early to the station ... to allow time for checking the direction of our seats and passport checks ... only to learn that none of it was necessary! Apparently no customs check are needed between travel from Amsterdam to Paris!  And so .... we were left to cross our fingers that we were facing forward for our almost 3 hour trip!! 🤞🤞🤞

    We had some time to spare so we were looking for a nice place to have a  little lunch and a drink ... but ... could not see anything! 😕 

    GIFTS: I needed to find the WC,  so I found my way there.  AND... low and behold,  adjacent to the washrooms was an "International Lounge" ... with tables and wifi and lunch menus too!!!  I doubled back and rounded up the hubby and we enjoyed a lovely lunch while we waited for our train. John had one more fill of krokets before we left Holland. 😊

    It was all so seamless. A lovely local directed us to a signpost which tells you where to queue for the car you are in seated in ... which really helps so that you are not running at the last minute (with your backpacks and front packs!) ... trying to find your car on the train. Some of them are very LONG!

    GRINS:  And so ... we found our seats and sat back and relaxed ... because we were ... indeed ... facing forward!  For us, train travel is such a stress-free way to move from one destination another!! 

    GAFFAHS: We had a nice taxi ride to our hotel and checked in to our 3rd floor room.  It was hilarious, though, because with our backpacks only one of us could fit in the elevator!  Serious. Dead serious. Everything is compact.  So ... John took the stairs.  I was chuckling all the way up! Yeah ... so it's going to feel like Amsterdam all over again ... with a whole schwack of stairs to climb to get your room! I'll have to count them. 😆

    GAHS: And so ... we left the cloud and rain behind and Paris greeted us with sun and 28 °C! We wondered out to acquaint ourselves... stopped to have a charcuterie board and a burger (which cost us $45 Euros!) and then ... took a minute to check out the metro! This city is huge ...and ... they don't speak English like in Amsterdam! If we can figure out how to connect from the metro to the Hop On Hop Off Bus ...  we will have it made! 

    GRATITUDES: We end this day wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of Paris ... with sweet expectations of what tomorrow might bring. However ... the weather network says 80% chance of rain. ☔

    "Bonne nuit" to one and all ... k&j 💛
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  • Day27

    Oh my gosh ... we had such a full day yesterday ... and got home just before midnight ... so I didn't have the energy to post before bed! I have so much to tell ... but before I can do that... I need to catch you up on a couple of other things I forgot to share!

    GRIMACES: I was quite astounded and dare I say a bit disappointed to discover that the coffee here in our room in Paris (the highest-end room we have taken yet in our travels!) serves instant coffee. I was even getting a little judgy ... but ... wait! Given my adoration and addiction for coffee first thing in the morning... it became necessary for me to try it! And it is DELICIOUS! So much so that I wanted to buy some at the grocery store to pack along to Spain and Portugal!! When, on earth, did instant coffee get so GOOD?? 😍

    GAFFAHS: Ha ha ... so the day before yesterday we had traipsed quite a distance in search of a breakfast that might offer us an egg ... but as you might recall ... we just ended up with bread and jam. Well ... guess where we had breakfast yesterday morning??  Our hotel. Yep.

    GRINS: The place with the instant coffee also serves a lovely continental breakfast with croissants and fruits and juices and cereal and yogurt and cheeses and ham ... and ... hard boiled eggs! All for $10€! They will even bring it to your room for no extra charge! 🤗

    Aside from the exceptional location, we had begun to second-guess why we had chosen to splurge on this particular room. Somehow, with all our comings and goings and reservations, we forgot about the extras this place offers! We will be sure to take full advantage of these ammenities ... now that we remember!

    GIFTS: I wore my rain coat all day on our fisrst day here for nothing! It was cloudy and cool, but there was never a need for an umbrella. And yesterday it was 21°and sunny! I was hoping to finally get out of pants and into a skirt or capris ... and ... my wish was granted! And today and tomorrow ... our last two days here ... it is supposed to be even warmer!

    GAHS: The metro system is enourmous! And I have this wee little map that fits nicely in my purse ... but ... trying to read it with my old eyes is a feat of it's own! We were planning to see the Louvre at 2pm and the Eiffel Tower last night at 9:15pm and I was hoping I could find our way to the 'meeting spots' effortlessly and easily! 

    GRATITUDES: And ... we made our way quite nicely! Once we figured out where we had to be for our tours later in the day, we took the Blue Line of the Bug Bus to acquaint ourselves with the area of Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur and Moulin Rouge. We are planning to spend the day Sunday exploring these beautiful parts of the city on foot!

    GASPS: On route, as we were passing through the red light district of Paris, we noticed you could get a burger and a movie! You might have to squint to see what show is playing ... XXX rated!

    GRATITUDES:Afterwards, we stopped at "Le Carrousel: Bar & Brasserie" for a crepe ... to nourish our hard 'walking' bodies before our tour of the Louvre. We've been averaging about 10 km per day ... and yesterday it turned out to be almost 13km! And, as much as we wanted to try the French crepes ... we ended up with wine and escargots and the special of the day: "paupiette de veau et son jus petits légumes"! Veal meatballs and sauteed veggies! Fabulous French Cuisine!

    GIFT: We enjoyed our time ar the Louvre. It was not terribly busy ... and so we got to meet Mona ... right up, front and center! It is of interest to note that the Mona Lisa gained its popularity when it was stolen in 1911. Prior to that, it was relatively unknown. Now that I have seen it, I can't say I am surprised. To me ... the painting seems fairly unassuming. I know art is a very personal thing, but she didn't evoke a whole lot from me emotioinally. It seemed to us that many of the other paintings were far more remarkable than she ... but ... it truly is a gift to have been able to meet her with our own eyes and hearts.

    FUN FACT: When I think of "The Latin Quarter" in cities, my mind goes to spanish speaking areas where lively music can be heard and light-hearted Latinos abide. This is not the case in France. The Latin Quarter is named so because it is near the Sorbonne University ... and ... it was likely that Latin language is what was spoken back in the day when the University came into being!

    GRIMACES: Once again ...after hours wandering the Louvre ... we required nourishment before our trip up the Eiffel Tower! So, as is common in Paris, you sit at tables squeezed closely together on the streetside. And, you sit side by side facing the street. And so, we settled in at one near The Iron Lady. But we were chastised very abruptly by the server! John had moved his chair and now we were sitting 'out of line'. The server became so annoyed with us that John suggested we leave. I recommended we just "get ourselves in line" and enjoy the moment. And so we DID! And the server thanked us ... and ... we made up nicely!

    GRINS: John enjoyed the 'large' French beer that came in a GIGANTIC tankard! He said you had to be able to press 100lbs in order to get it safely to your lips. We shared the beef bourguignonne with spaghetti... followed up with a meringue with English sauce!! Not French sauce. No. It was an English sauce. And ... oh my gosh ... it was beyond stellar!!

    We still had some time before our tour ... so we wandered the area for a bit and then stopped again for some refreshments! This particular server was not at all impressed that all we wanted was two of the smallest glasses of wine. And .. he made it clear we were not worth his time. He simply ignored our requests ... and instead ... worked the tourists walking by in hopes they would come and eat and leave him a big tip. Which we didn't. Our tip for him ... value all your customers.

    GRIPES: I ordered a bottle of water at the same restaurant. I could have died of dehydration by the time he brought it! And ...... when the bill arrived ... I was shocked to see it cost $6 Euros!!! That is @ $10CAD! When we got to the tour meetiing place 15 minutes later ... we could get a bigger bottle of water for $2 Euros out of the dispensing machine. Okay. Enough of my griping about money. I am starting to sound like my father.

    GASPS OF WONDER: The Eiffel Tower by night ...was ... unbelievable and entirely exceptional! Our guide stated that it had some special Japanese lighting. John took a little video ... but ... it really doesn't do it justice (and it starts our a bit blurry). He also took one at the top ... also ... doesn't reflect the spectacular sights. It was an unrivaled and breathtakiing experience!

    I will post more pics in an aside to this blog so you can hopefully get a better sense of our day of sightseeing yesterday and the magnificence of the experience!

    GRATITUDES: It was a great day! And, today we are going to see Notre Dame Cathedral ... and then ... have a lovely dinner cruise on the River Seine. Hope you are all doing well!! Talk to you later ... bye for now ... k&j
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  • Day29

    The Louvre

    July 26 in France

    In the morning I made a trip to the Laundromat to complete some much-needed laundry for both Sam and I. This should see us clean now until we get home on Monday.

    I spoke to a man from Romania who was also washing clothes in the laundromat. He came to Paris to source clothes and transport them back to Romania. He said that there is not the selection of men's clothes and shoes in Romania that there is in Paris and that Romanian men wanted access to affordable variety, which he provides. He said that Romania is a great country to visit, particularly Sibiu in Transylvania - very beautiful he assured me. He also said that France was suffering from too much democracy, too much freedom. Too much freedom leads to lack of boundaries and then no freedom at all because of deterioration of cultural values and terrorism. He also bemoaned the fact that French people saw all Romanians as gypsies, even though that is not the case, and he also said that anti-semitism is growing worse every year because the Jews are so successful and controlling the money and wealth of inner-city France, particularly Le Marais district.

    The laundry trip took two hours in the morning. In the same street as the laundromat was the oldest stone domestic house in the whole of Paris. It was the house of the famed alchemist Nicolas Flamel, who was legendary for his alleged discovery of the Philosopher's stone, and changing base metals into silver and then to gold. His old medieval house is now a restaurant with a Michelin star. The house dates from the 14th century.

    Sam and I bought tickets for the Louvre today and visited the amazing museum. It surely must be counted as one of the very best in the world. We spent about four hours in the Louvre but only got to see about half of the displays. The collection is amazing, and always interesting.

    The fascination about the Louvre is two-fold. Firstly, the historical exhibits represent the most amazing collection of cultural treasures from all areas of the world and from every era of history. These include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe, and more. Secondly, the museum is located in the main royal palace in the centre of old Paris, so the building itself and its rooms take the visitor back to the golden age of the French Monarchy in the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of the rooms have been maintained with the furnishings of the monarchy to give an insight into the decadent regal lifestyle.

    The visit to the Louvre was quire tiring. After a short rest, I visited Mont Martre and the Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) Cathedral on top of a hill overlooking the skyline of Paris from another angle. This is always a special place to visit and a highlight of any trip to Paris.
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  • Day27

    Scooters around Paris

    July 24 in France

    We had planned to catch the Big Bus around Paris today. This was scuttled when we found a way of hiring motorised scooters which we could ride around and drop off anywhere. They are battery operated and really a great way of getting around Paris.

    We rode them past Notre Dame and had a look at this 900 year-old cathedral which is so famous and has seen a lot of history, including two world wars in the last hundred years.

    We rode the scooters to the Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb. We spent a couple of hours in these amazing places. The army museum has the most amazing collection of Medieval armour and weapons in the world. The Spanish Army Museum in Toledo is extraordinary, but the collection in the Paris Army Museum is even better.

    We then located some more scooters and rode them to Place de Trocadero to see the Eiffel Tower from another perspective. From there we walked to the Arch de Triumph to see the amazing arch and the crazy roundabout. We walked through the underpass and stood in the middle of the roundabout and saw the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame which is located directly below the arch.

    We travelled by train back to our apartment for a bit of a break after that energetic day.
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  • Day27

    I went for a wander in the Marais district of Paris at about 7:00 pm. This is the famous Jewish district of Paris and has narrow streets and lots of character. There are restaurants and all kinds of stores, including Jewish shops, selling all kinds of food and goods. Some of the most exclusive brands and boutiques have outlets in this area. It is also fascinating to see little bookshops and niche clothing stores. The Falafel outlets which are famous in this district are also hard to resist, so I didn't. I ordered and received a lamb schwarma which was delicious.

    The Pompidou Centre, the Place des Voges and the Jewish Synagogue are all locations I walked past. There were also plaques outside schools which acknowledged the hundreds of children that were relocated by the Germans (Allemande) to Nazi war camps during world war two and never seen again.

    The Marais District is one of the areas of Paris that one can just wander through and marvel at the history oozing from every building and doorway. It is an amazing district of Paris.
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  • Day27

    Some Sights We Saw!

    September 15 in France

    I's so hard to capture in a picture all the things the eyes see and the heart feels when you experience such exceptional moments. Here is a wee smattering of some of our scenic views yesterday! We are limited to 10. But ... here are a few!
    "A Bientot"!

You might also know this place by the following names:

Île-de-France, Ile-de-France, Isla de Francia, 일드프랑스, Ilha de França

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