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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Île de France, France

Sep 26, 2015 - A moveable feast.

Ready for the day by 9am (early by Paris standards) and dressed in a take on a Pariasian mime outfit, I made it to Notre Dame by 9:15am, soldiers with drawn machine guns were already patrolling. I've seen the armed patrols in Europe before but its always jarring. The tower climb opened at 10am and the line was already 50 deep. Just the sort of nonsense I dedicated the rest of my day to avoiding. The tower climb was difficult but so worth it. 400 steps straight up narrow spiral staircases. Luckily I spend a ton of money on my trainers at the...

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Trip Journal


Where's Lauren?

Sep 25, 2015 - The Marais and Place des Vosges

I cant get photos to upload today, so I will add them later. We headed to the Marais today, one of the oldest areas in Paris. We stopped first at the church beside the Metro, Notre Dame de Lorette. Beautiful murals inside, which is unique in Paris. Then on the metro to see the Canavalet Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Paris. There are 140(!) rooms. We saw a small percentage! Beautifully presented rooms decorated in the style of an era, along with art of the time, and portraits of the people. One room was dedicated to the signs...

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Sep 25, 2015 - Noon in Paris

Vive la France! I am in Paris! I've been thinking about Paris since I booked this trip. This is my third visit so I have a very short, specific list of things to do and have allowed myself a lot of unplanned walking around time. My taxi driver was playing opera music which fit the whole scene very nicely, meaning I could picture it playing in a movie in some kind of slo-mo rollover accident. Scary ride. My hotel is named Le Lapin Blanc which means the white rabbit. It's Alice in Wonderland inspired and very adorable and tiny in a great...

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Trip Journal


Where's Lauren?

Sep 24, 2015 - Dinner with Jeff and Carol

When we were walking to Chez Andre I keep thinking there was no way we would get in but we waited maybe 10 minutes and were seated. We were actually seated at the exact same table where we were seated at this restaurant the first time we ate here. Very romantic. We quickly learned that next to us was seated another American couple from Florida named Jeff and Carol. As we sat down and almost immediately began a conversation with them Tom told them we were seated in the "American section.". I am kind of thinking there was a ring of truth to...

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Sep 24, 2015 - Eiffel Tower

Our pre-booked time at the Eiffel Tower was for 8 PM, so we could see the sun go down, and the lights of the city come on. We got there in plenty of time, and explored the park and watched people. As we were wandering, we noticed a large bank of black clouds coming our way. Sure enough, just as we got in line to go up the rain started. By the time we got to the top it was pouring and the city was dark. We explored each floor and sat down with a snack, but the rain didn't let up. We could see the city lights, but they were obscured by the...

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Sep 24, 2015 - Wandering around Montmarte

The area of Montmartre is a hill crowned by the Sacre Coeur. We decided to just walk and see what we found. First thing we found was a café! Yay coffee and chouquettes! Chouquettes are cream puffs without the cream, with pearls of sugar on top. Mmmm. We found a sign that pointed to the cemetary, and headed that way. Beautiful treed streets, lots of them that ended in staircases going up towards the basilica. The cemetary is so different than ones we know in BC. Huge mausoleums, with many family members listed. Sometimes they just indicate...

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Sep 23, 2015 - Tour Montparnasse and Musee Jean Moulin

A lovely sunny day in Paris. It got up to 18 degrees today. We jumped onto the metro in search of the Musée Jean Moulin. The museum was a little hard to find being behind the Tour Montparnasse, and on top of a train station. The Tour Montparnasse is a 56 story black building. It was very controversial and much hated when built. It doesn't fit into the city at all. Jean Moulin was instrumental in the organisation of the Resistance, and performed many missions himself. It was a well presented museum, and very few people, so it was a relief...

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Sep 23, 2015 - Paris parties

There have been three geographically located experiences since last I posted. To make this easier to follow and easier to organize it seemed wise to make separate postings for each locale. This posting covers the weekend between the previous posting and our departure for Birdwatching near Brive la gaillarde. It was a celebratory weekend in spite of the uncooperative weather. We helped celebrate Annie's birthday on the Friday evening with a gathering at the favorite cafe on rue de Meaux. It was a fun party with a chance to meet some new...

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Lavender's Travels

Sep 22, 2015 - Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame

Finding you way around in Paris is a challenge. We found our metro station with no problem, and made our way to the Arc de Triomphe. It is very awe inspiring. Napoleon knew what he was doing. It is in centre of the largest traffic circle I have ever seen. Cars coming and going from 12 directions. Wow!! Then we walked down the Champs Elysée, admiring all the expensive shops etc. And then it started to rain...hard. We went in and out of malls (called galleries), and the rain just didn't stop. I put plan B into effect...well I didn't really...

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Sep 22, 2015 - Strolling around Paris

I call it strolling because we don't walk with any sense of urgency or even as if we need to go somewhere. We just go out the door and slowly go in a direction. This morning we do want go to the Metro and get "2 billets por tout du hour por 2 hours" (2 all day Metro tickets for 2 days.) Down into the familiar surroundings of the Metro we went, paid for our tickets and headed to the train to take us to Place de Sorbonne where we typically enjoy our French breakfast of café a'lait and croissant. When us this morning we brought all our...

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Sep 21, 2015 - On to Paris

We drove from Bayeux to Caen to return our car and catch our train to Paris. The car return is right in front of the station, but it is a weird narrow street with hardly any parking, and there are half a dozen different rental places in among the cafes. The station was small and easy to figure out, so off we went. We got on the wrong car, and had to drag our bags thru 2 cars. The ride was comfy and the train was quiet. When we got to St Lazarre station we looked for les toilettes... Holy cow was it ever a huge station! Taxied to our lovely...

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Sep 21, 2015 - Montmartre and Sacre Coeur

We decided to go for a walk to orient ourselves, and I didn't take my tablet. Doh!!!!! The Montmartre area is famous for the Sacre Coeur, the Moulin Rouge. We found our local metro station, a couple cafes, a square with trees and benches and a park for the kids. Then we walked up the hill to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. It is immense. A beautiful white church built in the 1800s. It is at a high point in Paris and from the front door you look out over the city. That wasn't enough for us though! We climbed 300 stairs to the dome! Just like in...

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