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Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 10th 2015

Monday 10 August 2015 The alarm played a pleasant summery melody at 5:30 am. Time to get cracking. We had several deadlines to meet and missing any one could mean missing the flight. Our first deadline has been met. Showered, breakfast completed, final clean up of the room, zip the bags shut, a quick farewell to our mini apartment and time to checkout. Talk about a military operation. We ambled to the railway station and arrived in time for an earlier train. All is going well. Our main concern was getting the right spot on the train that would not cause a problem to fellow travellers. What perfect luck. We find the spot we were after. We are now fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. The RER B loads and unloads its passengers as we head for ... read more
Singapore

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 9th 2015

Sunday 9 August 2015 Our final day in Europe had arrived. What a journey. But it was not over yet. We still had one more visit into Paris. The day dawned a little cloudy and while we indulged in a delicious in-room breakfast of fruit and cereal it rained. When the rain cleared it felt cooler than we have felt for a few days. Great sightseeing weather. We headed off for our day of sightseeing. We have passed an interesting structure on each trip into the city centre. We had noticed it four years ago. So today we took the opportunity of getting off the train and to find out what it was. It turned out to be an aquaduct started by Henri IV (1613-1623) and finished by his wife, Marie de Medici. Henri wanted water ... read more
The Tuileries
Paris
Musee d'Orsay

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 8th 2015

Saturday 8 August 2015 A slow start today. Last night was quite warm and made sleeping difficult. On the other side of the world sleeping might have been difficult because of the cold. Something to look forward in a week's time. Over a light breakfast we planned today's activities and the different Metros we will need to take. For the novice it is quite an undertaking. First find the nearest station at destination. Find out what line to take and in which direction. Next find the connecting lines that will meet the RER B line that we take to the city. Our first visit involves two metro lines. Destination Cimetière du Père Lachaise. This cemetery has over 800,000 people buried here. There are many famous writers, artists, composers, dancers and singers. It would take some days, ... read more
Cimeterie Pere Lachaise
Cimeterie Pere Lachaise
Place des Vosges

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 7th 2015

Friday 7 August 2015 After missing Notre Dame yesterday because of the long queue, we decided to strike earlier today. So did everyone else. The queue when we arrived was at least twice as long as yesterday. No problem, we adjusted our plan and headed off up Rue Saint Jacques to the Pantheon. As soon as we left the immediate vicinity of Notre Dame the crowds thinned and the traffic calmed. Within a short time we were almost alone with only a few vehicles passing on the street. This is the contrast in parts of Paris in August, when many of the inhabitants leave the city to the tourists and take their own holidays. Rounding the corner to the Pantheon we were stopped in our tracks by the sight of the imposing facade. Definitely worth a ... read more
Pantheon
Pantheon
Paris

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris August 6th 2015

Thursday 6 August 2015 What a lovely sleep. Today we were able to please ourselves. First tasks were to catch up on the washing and fill the fridge with beer. It was going to be hot today. Had hot coffees by using a pot on the cook top. Who needed an electric jug? Not us. The train to the centre of Paris is a 6 minute walk away and it seemed to be a quiet time of the day. We planned to visit Notre Dame and then just see what happened next. Parisians leave the city to the tourists at this time of year. The trains were quiet, the streets were crowded with people looking confused. Tourists!! Paris would be great without them. They congregate in the middle of footpaths, they spend forever posing in front ... read more
Paris
Paris
Paris

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 31st 2015

Wendy and Ed left, and Ann and Dave arrived. Friday morning we were up bright and early to catch the train to Reims, the capital of Champagne, for a tour of Veuve Clicquot, to learn everything there was to know about the methode champenoise of winemaking. Truly fascinating. La Veuve Clicquot was an innovator in the business, but it was a result of her wonderful sales rep, who set up export to Russia and England. There is a good biography about her, http://www.amazon.com/Widow-Clicquot-Story-Champagne-Empire/dp/0061288586/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1437896870&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=Veuve+Clicqout, that I recommend. We also wandered around a bit and had a look in the cathedral, where all the kings of France were crowned, starting with Clovis' baptism. All in all a good day. If you get the opportunity to take tours of distilleries anywhere I suggest you do... The next morning Ann ... read more
Veuve Clicqout
Croissant class
The Somme Australian Monument

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 25th 2015

This rather long blog (my trip diary) covers from July 11 thru July 26, our remainder of time spent in Paris 2015. Paris has been exceptionally hot this year, hotter than any other visit, with temperatures in the high 30's; it's not good for sleeping and, after spending 4 hours rambling around the city, as a norm, I feel completely drained of energy. Anyway, on 11 July the Ackman's from Russell arrive in Paris. Ed has been in Shanghai on business and Wendy flew direct from Auckland. Unfortunately, Ed has a man-cold and his time in Paris is pretty miserable. The consensus for the afternoon is a quiet stroll around Isle Saint Louis, and a pilgrimage to the apartment Caroline and Wendy had rented last year! I leave to meet a friend, Fred, who I met ... read more
Australian Memorial  at The Somme
Bastille Day on Champs Elysees
Bastille Night Colors

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 21st 2015

A very interesting city with countless activities and things to see, we actually learned that the Eiffel Tower took two years, two months and 5 days to be erected.... read more
DSC_0035
2015-07-20 22.44.10
DSC_0159

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 20th 2015

Saturday brought the Ackmans into town, better late than never. After Wendy had a quick shower we four headed out for walks in the center of the city, Ile de la Cite and Ile St. Louis. Wendy and I partook of a little retail therapy, some of which we had been looking forward to since last year, while Kevin took off to meet a friend and Ed was left holding the bags...(heh,heh...). We met up with Kevin and Fred about 5:30 for drinks, then a quick dinner in Ptomaine Alley (if you have been to Paris, you know where we are). This is an area near the Sorbonne, which has really cheap food but generally flavourless. No one I know has actually gotten sick from eating in any of the myriad establishments. But it must be ... read more
Fred, our Lifesaver
The Gruesome Foursome
Another treasure

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 13th 2015

Finally, we made it to Paris. The flight from Hong Kong was around 12 hours and I had seen most of the English speaking movies on the flight, so it's Chinese cinema for me. On arrival at Charles de Gaulle, the queues were slow, however we finally made it to the RER (train system) and into Gare du Nord where we transferred to the Paris Metro. On the train, I strike up a conversation with a nice young Algerian man, who tells me he's here without papers and can't leave. He has a rather jaundiced view of the French, but let's face it he is an illegal immigrant and sentiment across Europe is anti immigration. Our home for the next 28 nights is in Montparnasse, directly opposite Vaugirard metro station. The apartment is spacious by Paris ... read more
An evening wandering around Lexembourg Gardens
Palais De Luxembourg
Pantheon




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