France
Paris 11 Ancien - Quartier École-de-Médecine

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  • Day55

    Lunettes Pour Nous

    October 14 in France ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    We had a big decision to make. With only two full days in Paris, we needed to choose our activities wisely. One thing we were both in agreement on was that we had no intention of running to and fro all day doing the normal "tourist things". There would be no Hop On Hop Off buses, no Louvre, no Musee D'Orsee, not even an Eiffel Tower in our plans. But what could we do ?

    When we had been in Nantes we happened to notice an interesting shop with the slogan "10 Euros in 10 Minutes". Although you might be excused in thinking it was some sort of fast food place, it was in fact an optician. Their unique claim was that they could make you a new pair of glasses in only 10 minutes, with or without a prescription. Not only that, but the cost could be as low as 10 Euros.

    I had to admit that it had us both intrigued enough to do some further research. We learned that each store was highly automated and could produce the lenses in only a few minutes. Our problem in Nantes was that we had arrived on a Sunday and the store (like just about everything) was closed. But we were going to be in Paris on a Monday. Voila !

    The more we thought about it, the more the idea started to take root in our minds. It certainly would be an experience to have an eye test in France and go home with new spectacles. And so that's what we decided to do.

    Our research had shown that there was a store on the right bank, about 1 km from our apartment. We arrived right on opening time at 10 am and then had fun explaining to the young staff that we were from Australia and were looking for new glasses. We were soon both ushered into a high tech testing room where we had new prescriptions produced (no appointment necessary).

    The next step was to choose our frames. It was here that we discovered that not all the glasses can be produced for 10 Euro. Most of the frames were from 20 Euro to 50 Euro and the price of the lenses depends on the complexity of the prescription. Presumably it was only people who required no correction at all who would be able to get the 10 Euro special.

    Even so, the prices were quite reasonable. Thirty minutes later I was the proud owner of two new pairs of spectacles and Maggie the owner of one new pair. Even with scratch resistance and transition lenses, the total cost was only equivalent to $300 AUD. And did they work ? Yes they really did. It will also be another fond memory of our brief time in Paris.

    The rest of the day we spent walking (and walking and walking) until we both felt completely spent. The weather still continues to be warm and sunny and we even took the chance to have a lovely snooze on a couple of the chairs in the Tuileries Gardens.

    We returned exhausted to our apartment for dinner, before having another nightime walk around the I'le de La Citie. The tourist boats were cruising the Seine and the distant light from the top of the Eiffel Tower was flashing across the low clouds. It had been just about an ideal day in this wonderful city.
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  • Day56

    Final Day in Paris

    October 15 in France ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Yesterday we decided to begin our day with a rather unusual activity - getting new glasses from a French optician. It turned out to be quite an experience, but we both agreed that the end result really was worth it. The glasses were great and the fact that we got them in Paris will make them a great souvenir of this trip.

    Today was our final full day, so we had to decide just how we were going to use our final hours in this incredible city. We had so many options to choose from you might be quite surprised at the decision we made. After a lot of thought, I decided that I would go back to the opticians to get a third pair of glasses. I needed a pair specifically for using while I was sitting at the computer and I couldn't think of a better place to get them.

    So off we went back to the "10 Euros in 10 Minutes" shop. They seemed a little surprised to see us back again, but were happy when we told them the reason. After a new eye test and some selecting the frames, I was soon the proud owner of another pair of computer glasses.

    Since the area around Las Halles was rather unfamiliar to us, we also took the opportunity to explore the large open spaces and fascinating buildings that were there. We finally returned via the Louvre and across the Seine to our apartment. Since my GPS has been inoperative for the past couple of weeks, I could not measure just how far we walked in the past coiuple of days, but I would estimate that it would be at least 15 to 20 km each day. It was enough to make us thoroughly exhausted.

    One thing we have noticed over our our recent visits to Paris is how quickly the city is progressing towards being more and more bike friendly. Many of the major roads have now been narrowed considerably to create safe separated lanes for cyclists, scooter riders and joggers. The shared electric scooters are used by people of all ages and are obviously a very popular alternative for convenient commuting around the city. Paris is still nowhere near other famous bike cities, such as Amsterdam, but it is a long way ahead of Melbourne in this regard.

    After a brief rest we ventured out again. This time it was for a much more mundane reason - to do our laundry. Although the first laundromat we found was out of action due to some sort of malfunction, we did find another one that we had used on previous trips. An hour later we had bags of clean, dry clothes. If nothing else, it might help to make our luggage just a little bit lighter, since clean clothes must weigh a bit less than dirty ones.

    Tomorrow morning we will be cramming our bags for the final time, before catching a taxi to Charles de Gaulle airport. By Friday morning we will back back home in Melbourne. This trip has been one of the very best I can remember, but we are now both more than ready to be back with our family and friends. I hope you have enoyed sharing some of the adventure with us.

    And a final comment - we will surely miss those fresh baguettes every day.
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  • Day29

    Paris - Day 1

    September 28, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Started the day with breakfast in our room. Shopped last night and bought croissants yogurt and coffee. Six Euros as opposed to 16 each. No brainer. Rode the hopon hopoff. Saw the Arch de Triumph and the Eiffel tower. Walked Champs- Elysees and had lunch there. Got caught in a traffic jam around the Concorde tower. Motorcycle, taxi and big truck. Took about 20 minutes to move 100 feet. More of the same tomorrow.Read more

  • Day31

    Paris - Day 3

    September 30, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    A more relaxed srart to the day today. Got to the train by 9:30 to get a train to Versailles. Arrived and bought our tickets at the train station. The crowds at the palace were frustrating. Could not move or see more than what was above people's shoulders. Got through the palace and headed for the gardens. Much better there. Gardens are phenomenal. Ideally would need a whole day with half the volume of viewers to enjoy this attraction. Relaxed at the hotel for a while before going out to find a place for dinner. Found a place and had a very good dinner. Stolled for a while in Latin district and then headed back to pack for home. According to my onboard health monitoring system, I have logged more than 350000 steps in September. Don't know how I am going to keep up that pace. See you soon.Read more

  • Day28

    Travel Day to Paris

    September 27, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Had breakfast at the hotel loaded up and started our scenic drive to Paris in the fog. Fog was not bad enough to affect the driving but took away a lot of the scenery. Stopped at McDonald's for a pee break and then on to Paris. What a traffic nightmare. Dropped the car off and walked to hotel. Very nice day by now at 20C and mostly clear. Found a sports bar that had good pizza for dinner. Strolled for a while and now winding down and planning our day tomorrow.Read more

  • Day30

    Paris - Day 2

    September 29, 2017 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Started our day by checking out the train system and purchasing our tickets to the airport. Then walked to the Louvre where the office of our evening tour is located to orient ourselves. Then jumped on the hopon hopoff to see more of Paris. Saw the Opera house, Moulin Rouge, Basillique du Sacre Coeur and the Hard Rock cafe. Then found Angelina's and had quiche Lorraine and the most delicious hot chocolate. The quiche was excelent also. Walked back to the Pyramides and had wine and watched the people. Then we started our City Lights tour. They bused us to the river boat for a ride on the Seine. Very nice. Back on the bus for another tour of the highlights under the lights. It started to rain during this ride and it was pouring by this time we got to the Eiffel Tower. Went up the tower in the rain. Went right to the top and had the most expensive champagne ever. Thirty four Euros for 2 plastic glasses to toast our 45th anniversary. Next time will bring our own. Got back to the hotel at midnight.Read more

  • Day3

    To Saint Michel - Notre Dame

    November 7, 2017 in France ⋅ ☀️ 41 °F

    Kathy still looks a bit tired as we rode the metro to the Saint Michel - Notre Dame stop. At least she got a seat. I had to stand the whole ride. It wasn't too bad though. Everything seems to be quite close to our hotel, which make site seeing so much easier. It's always better to stay in the heart of the city rather than on the outskirts. You might save a few dollars staying outside the city but you spend so much time traveling back and forth. Don't waste time going back and forth like that. Your time is much more valuable so make every moment count!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Paris 11 Ancien - Quartier École-de-Médecine, Paris 11 Ancien - Quartier Ecole-de-Medecine, Section de Marat

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