France
Paris 01 Ancien - Quartier Champs-Élysées

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    • Day2

      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.
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      Traveler

      We feel your pain. We hit a heat wave, too, and have had to alter our plans numerous times because of it.

      6/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      Awwwwwww!

      6/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      I feel like we took the exact same pictures as you…it’s like looking at familiar pictures but w your kids instead. So weird.

      6/16/22Reply
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    • Day44

      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!
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      Traveler

      So cool! Being a tourist in big cities can be exhausting for sure. very surreal feeling to see things in person that you never imagined you would see. Glad you are getting to experience it.

      5/4/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      Yep definitely.

      5/5/22Reply
      Traveler

      Oh man, that is beautiful.

      5/4/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      It was!!!

      5/5/22Reply
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    • Day5

      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

      Traveler

      Mmmmm, eating lots, walking lots, sight seeing much, you are in your element 💕💕💕

      6/21/22Reply
      Traveler

      YUM!!!

      6/21/22Reply
      Traveler

      🙀 my kind of meal!!

      6/21/22Reply
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    • Day1

      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…
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      Traveler

      Ich dich auch! War die beste Entscheidung🥰

      4/16/22Reply
       
    • Day43

      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.
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      Traveler

      So amazing!!!

      5/3/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      It’s a gorgeous city … well, it’s a big city with some gorgeous parts

      5/4/22Reply
      Traveler

      Great picture of you and Jordan!! Niether of you look jet lagged at all....how do you do that? and I feel like I've seen the Eiffel Tower with how good your pictures are. Can't wait to see more of your adventure in a new continent!!

      5/4/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      We’re definitely jet lagged! Feeling it today for sure.

      5/4/22Reply
      Traveler

      Bet you slept well when you finally were able to😴Gorgeous!!I didn’t know that about the light’s twinkling🤷‍♀️Don’t remember that from 1984😂

      5/5/22Reply
       
    • Day1

      Zwischenstopp in Paris

      February 11, 2022 in France ⋅ 🌙 5 °C

      Nach der Landung - Benni ist pünktlich zum Aufsetzen eingeschlafen - verließen wir den Flughafen CDG in aller Ruhe und machten uns auf den Weg in die Stadt. Mit dem RER zum Gare du Nord, wo wir nach einigem Suchen Schließfächer für unsere Koffer fanden und von dort aus zu Fuß zum Canal Saint Martin. Unsere Buggy-Babyschale-Kombi funktioniert übrigens super 😅
      Am Kanal fanden wir ein nettes Bistro, in dem wir das französischste Gericht überhaupt verspeisten 😉 Frisch gestärkt ging es rund durch das zugegeben weniger schöne Xieme Arrondissement, wo wir aber immerhin auch noch Dinkelbrot, Käse und Äpfel kaufen konnten. Ein Pain au chocolat musste natürlich auch noch sein 😉 Zurück zum Bahnhof und wieder in den RER Richtung Flughafen ORY, wo wir dann nochmals extra für den Shuttle bezahlen mussten 🤯
      Unsere 8 Stunden in Paris haben uns also schon knapp 100€ gekostet, für uns franco-austrische Schwaben durchaus bemerkenswert 😅
      Jetzt sitzen wir im Salon bébé (großartig übrigens!) am Gate und warten aufs Boarding für den Nachtflug. Benjamin hat bisher alles großartig mitgemacht und schlummert schon in meinem Arm. Hoffentlich melde ich mich morgen schon von der Insel! 🙌🏼
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      Traveler

      Das klingt toll! Habt einen guten Flug über Nacht!

      2/11/22Reply
      Traveler

      ❤️

      2/12/22Reply
       
    • Day3

      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.
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      Traveler

      WOW!

      6/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      We enjoyed a live concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons just by chance at Saint Chappell ~ A favorite memory of ours.

      6/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      That was going to happen this weekend I saw.

      6/17/22Reply
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    • Day46

      The Louvre … just wow

      May 6, 2022 in France ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

      Each day on this trip brings a new wonder to behold, it seems like. Today we saw SO much again … Paris has a remarkable affordable public transit system, and the city is surprisingly walkable - in sections.

      We started our morning at The Louvre. It is the largest museum in the world, and it was obvious. I found the building itself to be a work of art! We only scratched the surface there. Did see some amazing statues - Nike of Samothrace (winged) which Jordan sketched - 190 BC, and the Venice de Milo! 100 BC. Other noteworthy piece we saw was the Mona Lisa - the crowds were intense, but we managed to get to the front eventually to see her.

      The French have created magnificent gardens everywhere - reminds me of what I’ve seen in Canada. They are just gorgeous. There were also two arches - one smaller and one massive. Really massive. The biggest surprise was seeing the Place de La Concorde - this is a square (where kings/queens were beheaded during the revolution) with what looks like a small version of the Washington monument from far away, but as you get closer it is clear it’s different. It’s an Egyptian obelisk!! No kidding. It’s 3300 years old! The Egyptians gifted the 230 ton Luxor obelisk (it has a twin still in Egypt) to France in the mid 1800’s. It took SEVEN years to transport it across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, up the Nile and finally up the Seine river. And then it took a feat of engineering to raise it.

      We took a metro ride out of the historical district to what looked to be the suburbs of Paris - Wandered the canal and then what else to do when in Paris with the biggest Marvel fan ever (Jordan), we went to opening night of the Dr. Strange movie. Found one playing in English. It felt familiar, kind of.
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      Traveler

      Incredible. Puts our buildings to shame.

      5/6/22Reply
      Traveler

      You two have the best smiles 💖💖

      5/7/22Reply
      Christie Mitchell

      Perpetual state of happiness, for the most part. That, or exhaustion.

      5/7/22Reply
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    • Day62

      CINQ FOTOS- Day 3 Paris

      June 14, 2022 in France ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

      We started the day with another wonderful breakfast prepared by our hosts. The feature pastry was a clafoutis, a rich cherry cake.

      When we booked our travels to Paris, it was a bit of an afterthought. We realized that the proximity by fast train from Amsterdam made an easy trip. We also knew that it would be impossible to select too many attractions in such a large city with so much to do.

      Our learning in two months on the road is that some of the most priceless adventures have been to just wander and explore. This was one of those days as we had the opportunity to meet the mother and her husband of one of our good friends back home, Judith and her husband Chris and our friend Khoa later in the day.

      Judith proposed that we meet in Place du Trocadero, a plaza and gardens with spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower. After a warm greeting, we enjoyed our walk near the tower and the adjacent greenspace. Judith told us about the different neighborhoods that we were ealking through. We had a leisurely lunch at a classic French restaurant, and we enjoyed our conversation. After our farewells, we returned to the flat, and I took a very long nap. I had been up late after Moulin Rouge realizing that too much Coke Zero at dinner meant Sleep Zero due to excess caffeine consumption.

      Our friend, Khoa, who we've known for about ten years offered to meet us for drinks and dinner. It was fun to visit with him to catch up as we last hosted him in our home in 2018.

      The restaurant was also a traditional French Restaurant, and I enjoyed the lamb. While Jim C enjoyed the baked Camenbert cheese with fries. As we were leaving the restaurant, we met Khoa's partner and exchanged greetings.

      We decided to skip the metro and make the two-mile walk home on a beautiful Parisian night. The temperature was perfect, and we enjoyed the walk. It looks like Paris is going to heat up to about 38°C this weekend, and I'm glad to miss it as I really don't like the heat.

      When we returned to the flat, our hosts Stephan and Stéphane were still awake. We had a great conversation about politics in our respective countries, while sampling their offerings of home-made apertífs.

      I think some of the best parts of our trip have been sharing times with the new people we've met as well as enjoying adventures with friends and family.

      We will have a bit more time in Paris tomorrow before we return to Amsterdam. It's been a wonderful visit. Ciao!
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    • Day61

      CINQ FOTOS-Paris Day 2

      June 13, 2022 in France ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      We woke up this morning to a generous breakfast made by our hosts to start the day.
      I managed to sleep in a bit, and I'm grateful for the rest before an eventful day.

      First on the agenda this morning was a trip to the Louvre Museum. Our hosts sent us tram connection routes, and it was a crowded, but easy ride over.

      The tram stop was very close to the Louvre, and we walked over to get in line. Although we had a timed entrance, getting into the Louvre still required a fairly long wait before getting into the museum.

      It was interesting to see additional Greek antiquities and compare them to our travels in Sicily and the Museo Archaelogico in Naples.

      We decided to explore the Islamic exhibit, and it was really quite beautiful. I admittedly hold some deep prejudices about some Islamic countries, particularly as it applies to horrible treatment of women and GLBT people. The exhibits were beautiful, particularly the pottery.
      Jim C offered a poignant reflection that it was a missed opportunity to create displays of artwork on a time continuum rather than socio-political divides. I'd further offer the thought that the creation of art in all forms is an opportunity to demonstrate commonality rather than differences.

      We did see all the popular attractions at the Louvre. The Venus de Milo was incredible, abs I enjoyed getting close to the Mona Lisa. It's smaller than I expected, but I still thought it was cool to see it in person.

      In some of the Biblical portrayals, I find it interesting, and a little creepy, that there is "spoiler alert" foreshadowing of the crucifixion of Christ. One such portrayal is of Jesus and John the Baptist playing together as toddlers under the watchful eye of Mary. John is holding a small crucifix in the painting.

      Once we witnessed some of the popular pieces, we talked about how downplayed the fact that the Louvre was once a significant palace. This contrasted our experience at the Hague where both Escher's artwork and the palace were acknowledged and celebrated.

      When we left the museum, we walked near the adjacent garden with several sculptures. There were also a couple of small reservoirs with chairs and reclining chairs around the perimeter. It was a beautiful day, and many took the opportunity to bask in the sun and chat.

      When we left the museum and gardens we looked for a place to grab lunch. We found a great outdoor café and we split a dish of croque monsieur, a ham and cheese grilled sandwich that was grilled and smothered with gruyere cheese. It was quite rich and tasty with a glass of Chardonnay.

      After lunch we went to the Opera House which inspired the writing of the "Phantom of the Opera". The hall was beautiful and ornate. We thought how fun it would be to see a performance in the Hall like we did in Barcelona's Palau de Música nearly twomonths earlier.

      We returned to our flat and we enjoyed sums relaxation time. We made plans to go to dinner at a restaurant close to Moulin Rouge, at the recommendation of our hosts. We had the added bonus of joining a couple we met online, and we were reminded of our "small world" as we have many friends in common in New England and the Pacific NW.

      We wrapped the evening with a very late-night performance at the Moulin Rouge, a performance hall dating back to the late 1800's that has witnessed performances from the likes of Edith Piaf, and Collette, a performer who almost caused Moulin Rouge to be closed when she gave a lengthy kiss to one of the other female performers.

      We were seated next to a couple from New York who had recently married and were on their honeymoon. We enjoyed our conversation with them, and we compared some of our favorite European experiences.

      It was noticeable that the women performed with very little clothing and the men, in contrast were fully clothed. Similarly, the women often made many sexual gestures, and the men's dancing was a bit sterile in comparison. There were some unusual circus type acts including a woman who swam in a water tank with pythons, as well as amazing balancing acts by men. A big hit with the audience was a couple who did amazing choreographed maneuvers on roller skates. The show concluded with a rousing performance of the Can Can

      We made the most of our first full day in Paris, and we look forward to time with friends tomorrow.
      Bonne nuit, amis et famille!
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    Paris 01 Ancien - Quartier Champs-Élysées, Paris 01 Ancien - Quartier Champs-Elysees

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