Blogs from Île-de-France, France, Europe


Europe » France » Île-de-France May 24th 2015

A mosquito bit my thumb on the Paris metro! I'm sure it's not dengue. Surely not up here. It was grey and twice the size of your common Queensland mozzie and it was very unexpected. The transition from Gare du Nord to the metro was seamless and the metro trains arrived like clockwork. Our AirBNB host said that half an hour from Gare du Nord was optimistic but we did it in 20. It was a sunday and possibly a public holiday which may have sped things up. We find 5 Rue Des Ecouffes with ease and it barely looks like an appartment block. It is an archway door among bistros, butchers and creperies. It has a stone spiral staircase, exposed ceiling beams and a hidden garden in the centre of the building. It's smaller than ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 19th 2015

Paris - 4 It was bright sunshine when we went to breakfast but by the time we left the hotel the clouds rolled in. Ed stayed in while we headed to Sainte-Chapell where the line was half a block long. We waited for a while but the line didn't move an inch. The weather had turned windy and chilly so we decided to walk to Notre-Dame. Here the line was even longer but it moved right along and soon we were inside this magnificent Cathedral. You have heard about the stained glass windows but the actual sight is so very much better than the pictures. Imagine, the north window is almost nine hundred years old. The portals are elaborately carved, the engineering and masonry is the equal or better than our modern buildings. Of course it ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 16th 2015

Paris - Day 5 Today we were to visit the L'Orangerie to see the majestic paintings of Monet's Water Lilies only I was among the missing. Just not feeling up to par so I rested while the guys enjoyed two large oval rooms filled ceiling to floor, wall to wall with the magnificent paintings. Even Joe was impressed. The rooms were designed by Monet himself and he donated the works to be displayed there. Guess I'll just have to come back to Paris. Drat. We met for lunch and headed out the the Eiffel Tower. Since we bought tickets in advance, we avoided the 2 1/2 hour wait and walked right in. Since Ed was in a wheel chair, we were ushered near the front of the line for the elevator to the second level. Once ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 15th 2015

Paris - 3 Today was forecast was overcast with afternoon showers and it was spot on, not that it mattered at all since we were off to the Musee d'Orsay for an infusion of impressionist masterpieces. The venue itself is a work of art in a converted railroad station. It made me sad to see what Penn Station could have been with imagination. We immediately made our way to the 5th floor and I actually teared up as I entered the gallery. There they were, the Chartes Cathedral, water lilies, haystacks, Monet overwhelmed. On the other side of the room, Renoir's beautiful women and girls and a Rodin stature in the center. The galleries stretched before us. Degas, Sissily, Manet, Cassatt, Merisol, on and on, one after the other until I didn't know where to stare. ... read more
Musee d'Orday
Mary Casset

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 14th 2015

Paris - Day 2 Awoke to a sunny warm Parisian Wednesday. We taxied from the hotel to the Bateaux-Mouches for a ride on the Seine. Along the way, iconic views appeared, the Champs-Elysees, imposing buildings along the right bank and the Eiffel Tower. The sun kept popping in an out but the passing scene was so glorious that I stayed outside for the entire trip. As we cruised we passed under bridges, some newer with train tracks and some older, built by Napoleon, a bridge from the time of the Revolution and the Pont Neuf (new bridge) actually the oldest surviving bridge in paris completed in 1602. Our fellow cruisers were from around the world; a huge group from India or the Middle East, Japanese, Chinese and all over Europe. The narration was in English, Chinese, ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 13th 2015

Paris in May We arrived at CDG after a seven hour flight. Joe slept all the way while I tossed and turned, if that can be said to be done on a plane. The day was warm and sunny and our taxi ride to the hotel was a great introduction to the perils of driving in Paris. We arrived safely, if a little rattled, checked in and met Linda and Ed who are just down the hall from us. We immediately walked to the cafe next door for a lovely meal; I had a shrimp and avocado salad, Joe, a cheeseburger, Ed, Pate de Frois Gras and Linda a chicken Caesar. Then Ed and I headed back to the hotel while Linda and Joe scouted out the area for restaurants, cafes, pubs, creperies, groceries and whatever. ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France May 11th 2015

Greeting Everyone! This past weekend was a last minute decision between Paris and Berlin, since the rest of my travelling group powered out and I went solo. Ended up going Paris, since I'm comfortable enough speaking French to keep out of trouble. The weather was beautiful, verging on hot at +23C with blue skies and very little wind. Moving alone, I managed to cover a lot of ground, Hers's the listing: Day 1: Notre Dame Cathedral Sainte Chapel (the King's chapel) Stravinsky Fountain Pont des Arts, A bridge covered in padlocks The National Assembly Pont Alexandre III Jardin Tuileries Eiffel Tower, all levels + lunch in the restaurant on the first level Les Champs Elysee Palais de Chaillot L'Arc de Triomphe Parc Monceau (I got lost) Day 2: The Louvre - All of it. People say ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris April 30th 2015

Paris Half Marathon, Charlie Hebdo and some more Paris is a bit different today than it was last time we were there. After the attack on the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo people have put up posters, created memorials and done many other things to honour and remember the people who were murdered, promote tolerance and to condemn racism and xenophobia. We will return to this subject in the end of this blog entry. Now we will write about things that are less depressing than terrorist attacks and mass murder. We went to Paris to participate in Paris Half Marathon. The race was on Sunday but already on Saturday we had to go and pick up our race kits and bibs. We have some previous experience from running long distance races. We have run ... read more
Us before the race
Street art

Europe » France » Île-de-France April 29th 2015

Rode the train and then bus from Paris to St Jean Pied de Port. The countryside is beautiful. I am staying at my first pilgrim hostel and will start my trek tomorrow.... read more

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