Paris 09 Ancien - Quartier Arsenal

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  • Day52

    The House of Victor Hugo

    October 11, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    The last time Maggie and I were in Paris five weeks ago I literally walked the soles off my shoes. We had decided to forego the Metro and do all our travels on foot instead. Not only is that better for your health, but it is also the best way to begin to come to grips with the tangle of streets that can be so confusing for the first time visitor.

    I had to battle with those shoes for most of the cycling sections, with the soles progressively parting company a little bit more with every passing day. It was not until I discovered a Mountain Warehouse store in St Peter Port that I was able to find a decent pair of walking shoes in my own size. At the time I bought them I thought that they could be useful for my upcoming walks along the Inca Trail and The Spanish Camino next year

    The problem with the new shoes is that they are just too comfortable, so much so that I have worn them every day since. Since today was our first full day since arriving back in Paris, I thought it would be a great chance to see how my feet felt after a full day of walking.

    We began by walking up the hill to the nearby Pantheon. This huge distinctive building was originally constructed as a church in 1755, but has been converted to a mausoleum to house the remains of distinguished French citizens. Among those who are buried here are Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.

    We then headed north across the Seine and along the right bank to the Place Des Vogues. This place is one of the most sought after addresses in Paris and contains a large number of opulent apartments that all face inwards into a central garden. One of these apartments was the residence of Victor Hugo from 1832 to 1848. It is now maintained as a museum and is one of the few museums in Paris where the entry is free. It was certainly worth every cent that we didn't pay.

    By age 30 Victor Hugo was already a famous (and quite wealthy) poet, writer and artist. His apartment gives a fascinating insight into Hugo's incredible intellect and creativity. We spent over an hour here exploring the exhibits. I was particularly interested to see that he did much of his writing standing up at an elevated desk. In this he was obviously over a hundred years ahead of the latest research.

    After our time in Victor's house we purchased some beautiful fresh strawberries and raspberries and feasted on them on the banks of the Seine. The next couple of hours were spent exploring unfamiliar backstreets and the myriad of unusual shops that a feature of the left bank. We have both been consciously working hard to improve our French vocabulary. I have found that a good way to do this is to wander through the many book shops and translate the title of each book. It certainly keeps the mind busy.

    In 1848 Hugo was forced into exile due to his republican ideals. He ended up in St Peter Port, Guernsey in the Channel Islands and purchased the impressive building that he renamed as Hauteville House. This is where he stayed until the end of his exile in 1870. Hauteville House was actually right next door to our hotel in Guernsey and we passed by it every day we were there.

    Later in the day we worked our way back along the left bank in the upstream direction. Some might be dismayed to hear that we dined at the famous French restaurant "Le McDonalds", before finally walking (staggering) back to our hotel. I am pleased to state that, after walking many kilometres around Paris, the soles are still firmly attached to my new shoes and that they are now well and truly worn in. And me ? I am worn out.
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  • Day45

    France, Paris

    July 22, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Well here we are in Paris again. We love Paris. We travelled up from Brittany by train yesterday, everything worked well. We got the car dropped off and caught the train to Paris, all without a hitch. Had a bit of an explore last night around where we are staying in the Marais district and familiarised ourselves with the area then dinner at a lovely little restaurant in the Place de Vosges where we both had the duck. This morning we wandered over to the Musee Picasso for a look. We both discussed whether we had been there last trip but it turned out that we hadn't as it was closed for reno's last time. Great museum really enjoyed our visit. There was a major exhibition on his first wife Olga that was very interesting. We then went for a stroll up to Sacre Couer. We must be getting a bit tired as we took the funicular up and then went on one of those little tourist trains for a trip around Montmartre. Turned out that it was a good way to see Montmartre in the end. Headed back to the hotel to catch the time trial in the Tour de France. Time to head out for a drink and dinner .Read more

  • Day47

    France, Chateau Maintenon

    July 24, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Our 2nd last day in Paris, in fact, our second last day of holidays. I feel as though it's time to start heading home. Some time ago I had been searching the 'net for lesser known and visited places around Paris. Fortunately I came across the Chateau Maintenon. It's located out of Paris so we caught a regional train to travel the hour it took us to get there. We're not early starters, so headed off about 10.30 as we had to get 2 different trains to get to Montparnasse station. The Chateau is easily walkable from the station and is located in the little village that goes by the same name.The Chateau's first structures were built in the 13th century and added in successive centuries, but it is particularly known for two things: it was the home of Louis XIV's governess of his illegitimate children, then she became his mistress and then his wife in a secret marriage. The second thing it is known for is the amazing aqueducts that were intended to bring water to the Palace of Versailles some 80k's away. The aqueducts look spectacular and construction started in 1685. However they were never completed as money began to dry up (did you see what I did there?). The Chateau commands an imposing view regardless from which ever direction you look - it still has a functioning moat and canals and the most amazing partere garden first designed in 1676 by the famous French landscape gardener Andre Le Notre (who also designed Versailles gardens). The inside is typical Chateau, incredibly interesting particularly some very old fabric painted wall papers that have been retained and restored. It has none of the over the top glitz of Versailles, which makes it more like a liveable home.we had lunch at a local cafe in the village, and got the train back. This is definitely one of the best Chateaux we have visited, absolutely loved it and the fact that there were only 6 other people there confirms my view that it's worth looking for the not so touristy attractions. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.Read more

  • Day47

    France, Paris

    July 24, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    A big day today, the highlight of Roge's holiday. We've got tickets for the finish line at the Tour de France. We haven't actually picked up the tickets yet and Roge is getting just a little anxious. The guy who has the tickets hasn't contacted him yet but I'm pretty sure it'll work out....we have a few hours yet to go. We have wandered around the corner to a cafe for breakfast. I think this'll be our "go too" place for brekkie for the next 3 days as it's pretty good and not badly priced. We had forgotten how expensive Paris is. To kill a bit of time we walked to the "Conciergerie" a Royal Residence and prison dating from the 6th century but having had a number of additions along the way. This building is right by the river and a place we have walked past many times before and not noticed. I have to say it is one of the most interesting places we've visited in Paris, and not just because it's not all Louis XVI' lavishness. It was used as as a small prison during the time of the revolution. It's where Marie Antoinette came to have her head removed. In one small room there was a basket of hair and some shears - apparently prisoners had their hair cut so as not to impede the blade of the guillotine. You really can't begin to imagine how bad these places must have been. At last! We have a rendezvous to pick up the tickets! Yay! We'd had to jump on a train and head to Port Maillot quite a few stops away. We'll walk to the Champs Élysées from there. The security for this event became apparent pretty early on - 3 or 4 stations either side of the Champs Élysées were closed - our train expressed right through, luckily we didn't need to get off at any of them. We picked the tickets up without a hitch and made our way the finish line. It took us quite a while to find the way in to the restricted area - so many police, so many big guns. Once in we were in a pretty ritzy area with only two hundred people. Plenty of gorgeous food available all day and an open bar....cocktail at 6 was fantastic, best Mojitos!!! Could easily be my new summer drink. We had great spots right on the barrier and directly opposite a big screen and right on the finish and so close to all the action and excitement- perfect. It was an absolutely fantastic event. Check out the pic's!!!Read more

  • Day2


    June 18, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Guten Morgen aus Paris !! (Ja leider sind wir immer noch in Paris !! 🙄) .. das x-te mal überzeuge ich mich davon, dass Frankreich nicht mein Lieblingsland ist und auch Paris wird nicht die Liebe des Lebens.. auch nicht beim zweiten Mal hinschauen 😅

    Aber nun zum wahren Desasterchen.. der Bus kam 1 1/2 Stunden zu spät an, weil sich der (französische Busfahrer ein Stündchen Pause gegönnt hat .. war wohl müde 🤦🏻‍♀️).. so haben wir den Anschlusszug leider verpasst .. 🥺

    .. und so sitzen wir mal wieder (und jetzt ganz romantisch) zum Frühstück in Paris .. 😍🙄🙄 und genießen in einem überteuerten Café unter Abgasen und einem Lärm, dass man kaum das eigne Wort versteht unsere erste Urlaubssonne ☀️
    Aber auch das lehrt mich aufs Neue wie wichtig es ist mit den richtigen Menschen unterwegs zu sein. Ich bin ein weiteres Mal dankbar für Larissa mit der man einfach in jeder noch so Bescheidene Situation Freude haben kann.
    So bemerkte sie auch an diesem Morgen etwas sehr positives: „Sie riechen hier alle gut - zumindest die meisten. Das gefällt mir.“ 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😂😂😂
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  • Day2

    And finally....... Paris

    August 21, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    The flight from Dubai to Paris was fortunately uneventful, although the plane was very full - so much so that we were seated 14 rows apart (the intervening space was filled by a young French sports team on their way back from a trip to Africa and they provided both a somewhat noisy and rather fragrant backdrop). About 7 hours on the plane, 2 meals (including wine - very nice, but I was a touch surprised that Emirates offered alcohol - glad they did though), and 2 movies later we had a bit or a bouncy landing at CDG Airport. Passport control was rather quick but bag collection took ages (maybe the French baggage handlers were on a go slow). Final customs clearance seemed to just consist of walking out of the door under the board eye of a large group of police types - no forms or bag checks!! We quickly located the train and - bonus - discovered that because the ticket system was "broken" we could travel into Paris for "free". the route in was through largely industrial areas but there were some lovely old brick and stone buildings along the way too... at one station a small cat even got into our carriage and had a wander up and down - no one seemed to think it was in anyway odd. Once at Gare du Nord it was only a 20 minute walk to the Hostel. The area around that station doesn't seem very salubrious with large groups of African men hanging around in the bars and on the street corners, but the area around the hostel seems nicer. The hostel itself is a little tired looking but does have a cafe, a bar and a pleasant deck overlooking the large rear courtyard. First order a shower and change of clothes - then perhaps it will be time to make some plans....?Read more

  • Day4

    300 Steps to the dome

    August 23, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Getting back to Paris we once again utilised the metro and found our way to the Abbesses station from here it was an easy walk to the Montmartre Funicular – further bonus – the metro ticket (we have a 7,50 Euro all day zone 1 & 2) grants you free access to the funicular – we jumped aboard and about 30 seconds later we had reached the top of the hill and were ready to visit the Cathedral of Sacre Coeur. The Church is lovely but I felt it had a more Byzantium, feel to it as compared to say Notre Dame – there were more murals and mosaics and some of the stained glass had an almost Dali/Picassocesque (is that a word?) feel to them. It was free to enter the Cathedral but for an extra 6 euro you could climb the 300 steps to the dome. I did and it was well worth it. You start with about 150 steps up a really narrow and steep spiral staircase, then it is up and down over the roof and then another spiral to reach the balcony around the dome. The view over Paris is SPECTACULAR, well worth it and really the climb wasn’t that taxing. After that it was back down the 300 steps, down the hill from Sacre Coeur (passing the carousel from Amile) and, via the Montmatre tourist strip, back to the MetroRead more

  • Day4

    Paris- mon Amour

    September 30, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    10 Stunden Anreise mit dem Flixbus; das war es sowas von wert!! Paris ist einfach eine wunderschöne Stadt. Sie wurde im 2. Weltkrieg nicht zerbombt und das lässt sie noch heute in einer wunderschönen Athmosphäre und Architektur erscheinen!!
    Die Croissants, Baguettes und Crepes, einfach super lecker!
    Wir haben nicht nur das typische Touristen-Programm durchlaufen und sind von Museum zu Museum gerannt, sondern sind einfach viel durch die Stadt gelaufen und haben den Flair genossen. Eifelturm, Notre-Dame und Champs-Élysées mussten natürlich trotzdem sein!!
    Insgesamt einfach ein wunderschönes Wochenende, vorallem durch meine liebe Freundin aus der Schweiz, die ich endlich wieder sehen durfte!♡
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Paris 09 Ancien - Quartier Arsenal

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