Page 3 of Freedom 55 Travel Blog Posts


Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 11th 2017

Today is the 6th and last day of our Musem Pass. We started out early to try and start ahead of the tourist crowds. Take the #1 metro to the Charles de Gaulle-Étoile stop and you will come up directly across the traffic circle from the Arc de Triomphe in Place Charles De Gaulle, at the top end of the Champs Élysées. From here you need to work your way across some of the ELEVEN streets that end here, until you find steps back underground to cross the traffic circle to come up directly below the Arc de Triomphe. http://www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr/en/ Although we arrived right at the 10:00AM opening time, there was already a long lineup, which we were able to bypass with our Museum Pass and go straight inside. Built in 1836, its primary purpose was ... read more
Interior of Musée d'Orsay
Eiffel Tower viewed from beside sculpture on Pont Alexandre lll.
Looking up 284 steps!

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Chantilly August 10th 2017

Chantilly is outside of Paris zone 5 so our Navigo did not cover the train fare, but it cost only 8.70€ each way from the Gare de Nord station. Our museum Pass did cover the entrance fee to explore the château, stables and roam the very extensive gardens and forested pathways. When you arrive at Chantilly, the bus stop is about 50 yards down the street to the left as you exit the train station. It's a short, free ride through the small town and to the stop at the main entrance to the château. The Château de Chantilly is surrounded by water, gardens and a mix of statues and monuments. It was constructed between the 14th and 19th century for the Orgemont, Montmorency, Bourbon-Condé, and Orléans families. Razed to the ground during the Revolution, it ... read more
Gallery of Paintings
Gold serving plates, tea and coffee services
The Grand Stables

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 9th 2017

The weather lately is staying cool and raining a bit off and on so we decided to look for indoor sight-seeing today. Today is day 4 for our six-day Museum Pass so the rush is on to see as much as we can while our entrance fee is covered by this pass. The Louvre is about a half hour walk from our temporary home in the 2nd arrondissement but we chose to take the Metro part way as my hip is beginning to complain a bit about all the walking. The Louvre is the world's largest museum, originally built as a fortress in 1190, covering an area of 652,300 square feet! It was renovated to become the Royal Palace in the 16th century but when Louis XlV moved out to Versailles in 1793, the Louvre became ... read more
Mona Lisa
Liberty Leading the People
Water Lilies

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 8th 2017

Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet and playwright who spent most of his adult life in France. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, he is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the photo-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian airforces. The Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, in the Maria's district of Paris, dedicated to the work of Pablo Picasso. In 1968, France created a law ... read more
Portrait of Olga, Picasso's first wife
Torah
The ARK where the Torah is stored.

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 7th 2017

The town of Fontainebleau can be reached from Paris taking the train from Gare de Lyon station. Exiting the station on arrival, we had to wander about a bit before finding the nearby bus stops. Bus number 1 or 34 leaves frequently and goes by the château in just a few minutes. The château and the grounds are beautiful and well worth a visit.The first references to the Château de Fontainebleau date back to the 12th century. Since then, all the kings of France have lived in the palace, and have continuously enlarged and embellished it. It is a unique example of a royal residence, loved and cherished for over eight centuries. The Apartments of the sovereigns evoke all the pomp and splendour of the French court; antechamber, drawing rooms, ceremonial rooms, the Council Room and ... read more
Napolean's Throne
Marie Antoinette's Bed
The Apartments

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 6th 2017

One of my favourite districts in Paris is Montmartre. Primarily known for its artistic history, the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur on the summit, and as a nightclub district, including La Chat Noir and the Moulin Rouge. Near the end of the 19th century, many artists had studios or worked in or around Montmartre, including Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent Van Gogh. Today it is still a bustling, thriving area filled with cafés, galleries, and artists roaming the squares either trying to sell their work or offering to draw your portrait. We started our day early, taking the Metro to near the bottom of Montmartre. You can either climb the MANY steps up towards the Basilica, or take the funicular, which is what we chose today. ... read more
Artist Studio Musée de Montmartre
Painting of Montmartre late 19th century
Lunch at La Bohéme du Tertre, Montmartre

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 3rd 2017

We started out walking yesterday, following a route towards the Louvre, recommended by our Intervac home exchange host that would take us past a nice variety of various little shops and cafés. It was nice just being out and about, reacquainting ourselves with the Paris we fell in love with four years ago. Our first stop was at the Louvre metro station in Les Halles. After much online research, we decided to buy the Navigo mois decouverte Pass. For 73 Euros, plus 5 Euros for the card, you can travel for the full calendar month across all of Paris, zones 1 to 5, plus out to Versailles, Charles deGaul airport, and even Disneyland Paris should you be so inclined. And that includes travel by bus, Metro and the RER trains. You also need some photos made, ... read more
The Louvre
The Luxor Obelisk
First glimpse of Eiffel Tower on this trip

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 31st 2017

As much forested area in BC has been lost to wild fires this year as in 1966, the worst year ever. And the hot summer season is only half over! So far, the closest fire was only about 5 km away, but was luckily brought under control in a few days, before it reached 2 hectares. But with nearly 200 fires still burning around the province, the air is frequently thick with smoke. So much so that two weeks ago all flights out of Kamloops had to be cancelled. Today, as we drove towards the Kamloops airport, the skies were again thick with smoke. As Rennie and Donna dropped us off at the departure door, I wondered if I would need a ride all the way to Vancouver. But our flight arrived and departed on time, ... read more
Porte Saint-Denis
Porte Saint-Martin
Living room

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin July 12th 2015

We had two nights in Dublin before flying back to Canada so we looked for some accommodation deals. We've been very happy so far with our budget travel using Intervac home exchanges but the hotel costs in-between free home stays can really add up. When we drove the Pacific Coast Highway in the USA last year we were pretty lucky at finding coupon deals for cheap rooms in nice motels and hotels but had been prepared to try out some hostels with private rooms if necessary. We didn't need any hostel stays on that trip but decided to give it a try here, booking two nights at Paddy's Palace . Not only was their private room CHEAP, but if you stay at least two nights you can get one of their day tours for free from ... read more
Dublin Castle
The Priest's House, Glendalough
Round Tower and Celtic Cross gravestone


Paying just 9 Pounds for a Rambler ticket gets you unlimited hop-on, hop-off service on all Ulsterbus, Goldline and Metro services along the North coast in Northern Ireland. The bus stop is right outside our door here so with just a few overnight things in our daypacks we were off to tour the north coast. It was a beautiful scenic tour along the North Channel as we passed through Glenariff, Cushendall, Cushendun, Maghercashel, Ballyvoy, Ballycastle and got let off at the entrance to Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge next to the town of Ballintoy. For 5.90 Pounds each, you get access to the pathway and steep stairway along the cliffside down to the rope bridge across to Carrick Island. It's a very popular tourist attraction and the view... read more
Chris on the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Giant's Causeway
Chris and Willie Gregg, proprietor of Habour Bar




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