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

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  • Day13


    September 10 in France

    Today we climbed the Eiffel Tower. Only me and Dad went to the very top, and everyone else just went to the second floor. Paris is really busy, but it is also very beautiful. I think this is the loudest city I’ve ever been to. The second picture is the view from right outside our apartment. And the last one is Gus enjoying the Eiffel Tower.
    I’ve decided to try to collect a pair of socks from most of the countries we visit. (See below, and ‘Beautiful Iceland’)
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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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  • 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"!

  • Day10

    Paris - Eifelturm

    September 27 in France

    Mit kurzer Hose heute Morgen in Canisy bei unter zehn Grad hab ich nicht ganz gewagt zu hoffen, dass ich richtig angezogen war, aber in Paris war es dann tatsächlich sofort, als wir den Bus verlassen haben sehr warm! Ich war dementsprechend perfekt angezogen!
    Der Bus hat uns auf eine Plattform gebracht, von der aus man perfekt den Eifelturm sehen konnte. Nach ein paar Fotos haben wir uns auf den Weg gemacht und sind an der Seine entlang gegangen zum Musée du quai Branly gegangen. Das ist neben einem echten Museum auch ein sehr schöner Park, wo wir gut picknicken könnten. Während des Essens ist eine Diskussion über Marvel Superhelden ausgebrochen, die uns auch den Tag über weiterhin stetig begleitet hat.
    Gestärkt von dem Essen haben wir uns zurück auf den Weg zum Eifelturm gemacht, von wo aus wir auf die Bateaux Bus gegangen sind mit dem ersten Ziel Notre Dame, aber davon gleich mehr.
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  • Day10

    Paris - Notre Dame

    September 27 in France

    Die Bateaux Bus sind keine Ausflugsboote, sondern eher Transportmittel. Da die Sehenswürdigkeiten von Paris aber durchaus eher an der Seine liegen macht das gar nichts.
    Wir sind ein ganzes Stück die Seine im schönsten Sonnenschein entlanggefahren und sind dann ein erstes Mal bei der Notre Dame ausgestiegen.
    Sonderlich viel haben wir da dann nicht gemacht. Wir haben Bilder gemacht und vor allem lustige Gruppenfotos mit springen. Ich hab hier auf dem Handy aber nur die Slow-Mo Version, also müsst ihr leider auf den Anblick verzichten!
    Nach dem kurzen, aber eindrucksvollen Stop bei der Notre Dame ging es zunächst zu Fuß weiter.
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  • Day10

    Paris - Champs-Élysées

    September 27 in France

    Von den Bateaux Bus aus sind wir als nächstes auf den Champs-Élysées gegangen. Da hatten die Schüler Freizeit und konnten sich in richtig Arc de Triumphe frei bewegen.
    Wir haben diese freie Zeit genutzt um sehr teure Macarons zu kaufen in einem sehr schönen Laden.
    Danach haben wir bei McDonalds Kuchen gegessen, der wirklich sehr lecker war.
    Vor dem Arc de Triumphe hatten wir dann sehr viel Spaß. Einige haben bei meinen Springe-Bildern mitgemacht und wir haben verschiedene Abklatsch/Schlag-Spiele gespielt. Ich mag die Truppe wirklich echt gerne! Auch so zwanzig Minuten ohne Programm ist echt lustig mit denen.
    Nach der Freizeit auf dem Champs-Elysées sind wir zu unserer letzten Attraktion aufgebrochen.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Paris, París, Parigi

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