It is not Spring time yet but Paris is a beautiful city even in the rain. The architecture is magnificent, the food is great and the wine is memorable. We took a couple on a tour of Paris last spring time. It was their first trip so we hit the top tourist attractions:
- Musée du Louvre
- Musée d’Orsay
- Eiffel Tower
- Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre
- Arc de Triomphe
- Hotel des Invalides
We also walked neighborhoods like the left bank, right bank, Champs-Elysées, and Montmartre. We stayed near my favorite street in Paris, Montorgueil. This pedestrian walk way has many small cafes, fish stores, fruit stands, fresh vegetable stands, etc. There is even a Starbucks but we prefer a French espresso in the mooring with a flakey croissant. Only the French and only in Paris is the croissant done correctly. George often tells people, if after eating one there is not a mess of crumbs on you, it is not a good croissant.
We also be made two side trips outside of Paris (in addition to Versailles which is in a suburb of Paris).
- Reims (Champagne Region) – No trip to France should be done without a trip to Champagne for a tasting of real French Champagne. We toured the Tattinger cellars in Reims. Reims is a beautiful city with its own Notre Dame (Our Lady). Many French cities have one commemorating the Blessed Mary. We took a high-speed train (200 MPH) from Paris (Gare Est – East Train Station) to Reims. It was a 45 minute trip on the high-speed train (one and a half hours on the normal train).
- Gilverny – Monet’s house. Gilverny is another beautiful small french city. It can be reached by train from Paris (Gare St-Lazare – St. Lazare train station).
Paris in the Spring will be beautiful and memorable. Every bucket list should include a romantic stop in Paris!
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Cafè, Champagne, Europe, Food, France, French Foods, Gelato, General Travel, Pantheon, Paris, Romance, Wine
Tags: Cooking, Food, France, Gelato, No Tour Touring, Paris, Romance, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Wine
Why is Paris called the City of lights? There are actually two reasons:
- It was the hub of education and the “lights” refers to enlightenment. Paris is certainly a cultural and artistic hub of enlightenment.
- It is a city which is literally “lit-up” with lights everywhere. Paris is aglow!
Paris is Paris a must see on anyones bucket list. It is a romantic town that is home to so many proposals of marriage from people who live all over the globe. Why are we attracted to this city? Are we like moths attracted to the flame? I think Paris represents what all of us want in life. We want romance, good food, good wine, interesting sites, a city afire with lights and quaint small streets and shops to keep us busy a lifetime. Then there are the museums. They are so plentiful, you can not hope to visit them all.
For those of you that have been there for more than a stop over, you know its magical draw. For those that have never been there … GO GO!! It is a must. Many large American cities have direct flights to Paris. There are two airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle. Flights from America usually land at Charles de Gaulle. From the airport you can take a bus or taxi or the train (subway in Paris). The taxi and bus options can get stuck in rush hour traffic taking time. The train starts at the airport and stops at many Metro stops in Paris including at Notre Dame.
Enjoy your stay in Paris!
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Europe, Flights, France, French Foods, General Travel, Paris, Romance, Trains, Wine
Tags: Food, France, No Tour Touring, Paris, Romance, Tourism, Travel, Travel and Tourism, Wine
You can not go to Paris without a side trip to Versailles. Versailles is just outside the Paris city limit. It is easy to get to on the regional Metro (RER-C). Paris has Metros that are labeled by numbers e.g. Line #7. It also has Metro’s that go into the country side. They go to both airports (RER-B) and the RER-C line goes to Versailles. Within Paris the RER trains and the Metro operate together and you can take both on the same ticket. If you leave the central Paris area (Zones 1 & 2) on any RER train, you will need to pay more. Versailles costs a little extra over the normal Metro fairs. WE took the RER-C from Nortre Dame (just off the island on the left bank – St. Michel station).
Going to Versailles without a ticket or Paris pass requires you to get there at opening time. The RER-C is very crowded with workers at this time. We had to stand but it is not that long a trip. This train goes in two directions and has branches. Be sure to go in the direction of Château de Versailles and get on the train that has this station as it’s end stop. As you exit the train, you will walk towards the front of the train and out of the station. Turn right and go to the intersection. Turn left and walk along a huge street with lots of trees. Versailles is at the end of this street. Going into the property, ticket sales is on the left. There are machines with people who can help you and windows.
The magnificence of this palace is unbelievable! The grounds are huge and there are multiple buildings. The main building is most important. At lunch time seek out Angelina’s restaurant. This is a very famous Parisian restaurant that is known for its hot chocolate. See the photo below. This is pure chocolate with some spices. It is decadent and you will feel like you belong in this palace! Enjoy.
Retrace your steps back to the RER station and board the next train to Paris. It will stop at several places you may want to visit like the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, and Nortre Dame. You can also switch to other Paris Metro Trains at these stops and go anywhere in Paris.
George & Jo
Categories: Chocolate, Europe, France, French Foods, Paris, Versailles
Tags: Angelina's Paris, Food, France, Hot Chocolate, No Tour Touring, Paris, RER Metro Paris, Tourism, Travel and Tourism, Versailles
Paris can be very expensive and the top restaurants can cost $1,000 a person. Where can you eat on a budget? Paris also has neighborhood restaurants and small cafes that serve sandwiches and small plates that are reasonably priced. Please do not resort to American Fast Food like McDonald’s. You are in Paris, eat like the French and drink good wines. ABOUT.COM has a BLOG on reasonably priced restaurants in Paris. There are 10 good restaurants listed here for you to choose from. They serve good food, are in interesting buildings and won’t break the budget.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Cooking, Europe, France, French Foods, Paris, Wine
Tags: Cooking, Food, France, No Tour Touring, Paris, Tourism, Wine
There is a great wine bar in Paris called L’AVANT COMPTOIR WINE BAR. It is located in the Hotel Relais Saint-Germain in Paris. It is located at:
9 carrefour de l’Odeon
The menus hang from the ceiling on small cards. They serve great tapas / hors d’oeuvres. This is a small standing only bar. Wine starts at around 6 Euros and small plates around 3 Euros. The salmon was fantastic. It is also a place that serves great French macaroons. Can it get any better? Wine, Tapes and macaroons. C’est la vie!
Paris has many things to sample in terms of wine and drink. The Top Ten Foods You Have To eat in Paris. This article lists 10 do not misses including my favorite wine bar above.
George & Jo Anne
Categories: Cooking, Europe, France, French Foods, General Travel, Paris, Wine
Tags: Food, France, French Food, No Tour Touring, Paris, Romance, Wine