France
Place Joachim-du-Bellay

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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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    • 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
       
    • 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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    • Day54

      And Finally .....Paris

      October 13, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      It was rather strange "checking out" of a hotel when there was no one at the desk. In fact there seemed to be no one anywhere. We had been the only people at breakfast in the downstairs cafe and we noticed that the cafe closed as soon as we left.

      With no sign of a soul at the desk, we had no alternative than to just leave the key on the desk, manhandle our luggage down the stairs and out the door and then just let the door slam behind us.

      The sun was already shining brightly and the morning felt like summer again. Since we were still a little early for our train to Paris, we decided to sit in the sunshine doing crossword puzzles instead. The main Gare de Tours was only a 5 minute walk from the Hotel Linxa, so we had plenty of time on our hands. We calculated that we had already stayed in 29 different rooms so far on this trip. We were now about to proceed to the 30th and final room, before we caught the plane back to Melbourne.

      Soon we were seated on the train to Paris, the scenery was flashing past in a blur and we had even been able to find place for our luggage. This had been a long and complicated trip and it is always a relief when every single arrangement along the way goes exactly according to the plan.

      It was only when the train pulled into Montparnasse Station that things took a slightly weird turn. For some reason the train had been diverted away from the main station and we found ourselves climbing out in a completely unfamiliar part of the station complex. In spite of following the "Sortie" signs, we could not find any way to get out of the building (and neither could a group of French people who had the same problem). We even had a couple trips in an elevator, looking for an exit without success.

      By the time we eventually escaped via a construction zone, we were right around the back of the building and had a long walk back to the main entrance. Of course the inevitable happened - Maggie needed a toilet. I waited with all the luggage while she went back inside the station in search of a toilet. I stood outside and fumed.

      About 30 minutes we were finally in a taxi and heading to the apartment we had booked near the Seine. After some difficulty the driver found the place and we rang the owner to let her know we had arrived. The location of the apartment is exceptional - right near the Seine and opposite the I'sle de La Citie. The apartment itself was wonderful. Not only did it have heaps of room, it was brand new and fully equipped. It was easily the best accommodation we have ever enjoyed in Paris. We had arrived at the 30th room and everything had gone as planned.

      After settling in, we went out for a walk. Since we were so close to Notre Dame Cathedral, we went to look at the damage caused by the huge fire earlier this year. Although the entire region is now fenced off from the public, you can clearly see the stabilisation works that have already taken place. The beautiful flying buttresses have now been reinforced with huge wooden beams. Where the stained glass windows used to be are now sheets of clear plastic to keep out the weather. A large wooden roof construction is also taking shape, but we do not know if that is a temporary or permanent feature. It certainly was heartbreaking to see the damage at close quarters. We can only hope that those in authority will act wisely when choosing the best course of action to take in the history of this ancient building.

      We now have two days in Paris before beginning the flight home.
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    • Day69

      NOTRE DAME

      July 14, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      Nach einem guten Mittagessen am Montmartre, welcher sehr überfüllt mit Besuchern war, begeben Amalia und ich uns zum Notre Dame um danach im Park vom Louvre im Schatten auszuruhen. Am Montmartre lassen wir uns von einem lustigen Fotografen ein antikes Foto machen, er erbittet sich nur eine Spende. Nachdem Amalia mein Kapperl im Schließfach im Museum liegen hat lassen, kaufe ich mir ein Pariser Andenken und habe nun eine neue KopfbedeckungRead more

    • Day55

      Lunettes Pour Nous

      October 14, 2019 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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      Traveler

      What a wonderful adventure you’ve had. I’ve enjoyed reading all about it! All because you’ve taken the time every day to write about everything you’ve seen and thought about. When you arrive in Melbourne, welcome home to Spring, with flowers everywhere!

      10/14/19Reply
      Traveler

      Yes, in the same month - enjoy France in Autumn, Australia in Spring; life can be very, very good.

      10/14/19Reply
      The World on Two Wheels

      Thanks guys, we are looking forward to seeing everyone again. It has been a marvelous trip, but it is time to head home now.

      10/15/19Reply
       
    • Day56

      Final Day in Paris

      October 15, 2019 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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      Traveler

      I have very much enjoyed reading about your adventure and look forward to seeing you again soon. Have a safe trip home

      10/16/19Reply
       
    • Day3

      The Lady and the Unicorn

      August 19, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Woke at 5.00am, so not too bad. Breaky in hotel. The bread is devine. Salami and cheeses.

      Off to Musee du Cluny to see the medieval tapestries The Lady and The Unicorn. They depict the 5 senses along with desire. Massive red and dark wall hangings filled with millefleur and forest animals. Loved this so much. Read the novel and it's Harry Potters common room. So beautiful. The lighting is dark to keep from fading.

      We get to the museum just at opening time, bonus.
      The first room we enter is an old bath house. Massive empty room with a few statues and items from the era. A copper bathtub sits at one end. Loved this room. Next we check out a room full of jewellery and medieval artwork. I come across a golden rose. It looks to be important, so I take a photo. I may sit still one day and learn about it. But not now.

      We look at other tapestries leaving the best til last.
      Then we enter 'The' room. It is quiet, dark, black with a crimson glow from these magnificent tapestries.
      I am beguiled and take my time to investigate each one.

      Loving this so much. Finding treasures that you never think you will ever see. Then here you are in front of them. Always blows me away.
      I love this because it is like time travel.
      I imagine the pressure and artistry it takes.

      The intricate flowers are devine. The bunnies and birds whimsical.

      Even Athena says she really enjoyed seeing them.

      Bucket list tick ✅
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      Traveler

      Love the room. Love the balcony.

      8/19/19Reply
      Traveler

      Hey, I really have to learn not to hit that 'Enter' button before I have finished speaking! Love it all. It is so FRENCH. Wonderful walking ( even the wrong way ... sometimes the best things happen when you do that.) wonderful Lady and The Unicorn. Wonderful place to eat and drink. Great first day in Paris. Have a ball, ladies. OK ..... now .... 'Enter'.

      8/19/19Reply
      Traveler

      There you go.

      8/19/19Reply
      5 more comments
       

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Place Joachim-du-Bellay, Cimetière des Innocents

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