Europe, North America · 8 Days · 44 Moments · March 2017

Paris, France (Lauren/Connor) March 2017


13 March 2017

The fun is over. Generally I check a bag when returning. The checked bag has the clothes I bought and gifts. The checked bag is a duffle costing $15. I would rather keep my carry on as light as possible.

12 March 2017

My last meal in Paris was a chicken gyro meat sandwich on a baguette with fries. The Latin Quarter has an area with 10+ gyro places in a few block area. I read my History of Paris book and enjoyed the sandwich.
Amorino is a very popular gelato store. I have seen 4 locations around Paris. During the summer the lines are long. They have signs along the line requesting the customers order "correctly". This is like the soup guy on the Seinfeld show. The rules are order from the staff person at the register by saying if you want a cup or cone and the size. Have your money out and ready (credit cards are ok). You will be given a receipt and told to hand it to the scooper and say how many flavors you want. After saying how many flavors you say which you want. There are about 25 flavors. The scooper will adjust the amount of each flavor based how many you request. You get the same total amount of gelato regardless of how many flavors requested. I asked and was told you can request all 25 flavors (even in the smallest cup). The gelato is very good.
I know it sounds crazy but McDonald's is popular in Paris. You can order at a counter but almost everyone uses the ordering kiosks. You order and pay at the kiosk. The servers walk the food to you with the order # clearly visible. Most McDonald's have easily accessible bathrooms.
Paris streets have a lot to look at and entertain you. There are street performers, colorful cafes, Sorbonne/University of Paris and numerous book stores. The Sorbonne was opened in 1150 and is considered the first formal University in Europe. Paris has many independent book stores. The book stores range from large with multi levels to tiny with mostly rare books.
Shakespeare Book store cafe (attached to the bookstore) is a great place to sit, read, drink coffee and had a snack. In addition they offer a daily soups and a few rice based dishes. You look out on a small park that has the oldest tree in Paris. The tree was planted on 1601. There are also nice views of Norte Dame.
When in Paris I always visit the Shakespeare Book store. This is one of (if not the only) english language book store in Paris. The book I have been reading on this trip is called The Secret History of Paris. The book details the history of Paris from 950 AD with interesting insights about the people of Paris. Shakespeare Book store offers to stamp books purchase at the store. This trip I purchased another book called The Man Who Outshone the Sun King. The book is about Nicolas Foucquet who lived during King Louis XIV (1664) reign. Foucquet was a very successful businessman who was also the King's finance minister. He built the castle Vaud-le-Vicomte (I visited it in Oct 2016). The castle and gardens are amazing. Foucquet purchased (and leveled) three towns to build the place. The King was jealous and had him imprisoned for life at 30 on false charges of embezzlement.
Parisian's eat a lot of roasted chicken and potatoes. There are shops with roasters going all day with some open until 9:00 pm. Most roasters are just outside the shop facing the street. This shop had a small pig roasting along with several chickens.
Vermeer is a famous Dutch artist from the mid 1600's. The Louvre has an extremely popular exhibit of Vermeer paintings that opened Feb 22nd running through May 22nd. I was able to get a ticket on line. The Louvre was able to get museums in Dublin, Washington National Gallery and several others to loan their Vermeer paintings to this exhibit. This is the first time that some many Vermeer paintings could be seen at one show. The paintings were impressive.

11 March 2017

Tough Burger is ranked one of the best in Paris. The place is located in a suburb just outside Paris (still accessible using the Metro). The area is called Boulogne-Billancourt and is located just below the 16th Arrondissement along the Seine river. The burger was great and the fries super crispy. All the staff are super friendly and speak English.
Lauren and Connor going to the airport to fly home. I am leaving in two days.

10 March 2017

Paris has escalators that are open to the street. I do not understand how this works with the rain, snow and ice.
Versailles gardens covers 2,000 acres (yes 2,000) with 200,000 trees, 210,000 flowed planted each year, 50 fountains, 620 water jets and 4 mile Grand Canal. Pictures set 1
Versailles gardens covers 2,000 acres (yes 2,000) with 200,000 trees, 210,000 flowed planted each year, 50 fountains, 620 water jets and 4 mile Grand Canal. Pictures set 5
Versailles gardens covers 2,000 acres (yes 2,000) with 200,000 trees, 210,000 flowed planted each year, 50 fountains, 620 water jets and 4 mile Grand Canal. Pictures set 4
Versailles gardens covers 2,000 acres (yes 2,000) with 200,000 trees, 210,000 flowed planted each year, 50 fountains, 620 water jets and 4 mile Grand Canal. Pictures set 3
Versailles gardens covers 2,000 acres (yes 2,000) with 200,000 trees, 210,000 flowed planted each year, 50 fountains, 620 water jets and 4 mile Grand Canal. Pictures set 2
Versailles Queens Apartments pictures
Versailles pictures set 3 is the hall of French military victories. There were 10 large paintings that showed battles from 1100 to 1809.
Versailles Kings Apartments pictures set 2. The kings dinning table included.
Versailles Kings Apartments pictures set 2 including the hall of mirrors. The hall of mirrors is famous because at the time mirrors were rare and very expensive.
Versailles Kings Apartments pictures set 1
Versailles approach is very impressive.
RER is the regional train system that has stops throughout Paris. The RER train goes to the suburbs around Paris. This RER goes to Versailles (French royal chateau from 107 years from 1682 to 1789). When using the RER train system make sure you get on the right train since most branch to different stops at some point along the line. Versailles train is C5. The screens at the stations show the final stop and stops the train will make. It can be confusing.
This grass area is fenced off during the late Fall to Spring. This area was open when I was in Paris in August. They close the area to allow the grass to regrow. This is a very popular area for tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower. The grass is very green and inviting.
The area around my hotel has everything a Parisian family needs. This post has the local fruit/vegetable store, Metro stop and basketball court.
The area around my hotel has everything a Parisian family needs. This post has the local market that sliced bread each morning and pharmacy. Pharmacies are generally small with only pharmacy related items.
The area around my hotel has everything a Parisian family needs. This post has the local bank branch, corner cafe and wine store.
The area around my hotel has everything a Parisian family needs. This post has the local butcher and cheese shop.
The area around my hotel has everything a Parisian family needs. This post has the local pre-made broiler store (mostly chicken and meats cooked) and book store.
The area around my hotel has everything a Parisian family needs. This post has the local fish market, bakery and a good Lebanese restaurant (got takeout twice).

9 March 2017

Lauren and Connor eating snails. Lauren has had them before and likes them. Connor tried one and seemed to like it. Lauren and Connor have 1 more day in Paris. They leave Saturday.
Getting around without my iPhone (I leave it in the hotel) I need a good Metro map, Street map and Bus map. See other post for Bus map. I got the Metro map from a paper street map. I made several copies as the folding and unfolding causes problems over time. I zoomed the map to fill a single sheet of paper. I bought (and have with me) several different size street maps. The one I use the most is the National Geographic Paris map. The map is waterproof and glossy finish. The map is not to large or small. The map includes many landmarks and all Metro stops. The map has a list of streets so I can lookup an address (a lost skill).
Getting around Paris without using my iPhone (I leave it in the hotel) a good bus guide was important. I found a great guide in Paris. The Guide des Autobus Parisiens is perfect. There is a list of the bus routes, easy to read route map, detail list of stops for each route and smaller map of each route. This makes it easy to use the bus system. The buses are nicer then the Metro because you can see the City.
Paris permanently closed a 5 mile street along the Seine to all traffic. The street has been closed in August for 20 years to make a temporary sand beach. This Summer they decided to close it permanently. They are adding new grass areas, art structures and sitting areas. The beach will be back this August.
Paris has l lot to look at when walking the streets. There are buildings, bridges and people.

8 March 2017

Louvre pictures set 2
Louvre pictures set 1
This bakery won the best baguette in Paris in 2013. Lunch in Paris is very easy. There are bakery's everywhere that have fresh made 1/2 size baguette sandwiches. Baguette sandwiches are available with cheese, cured meats, chicken or a type of salad. The sandwiches are $3.00 to $5.00. I generally find a bench and sit and eat the sandwich.
Demonstration (I think) for women's rights. They hung a banner with words (in French) and shot paint covering them using a water gun. I hope the paint was water based since it was in front of the Pompidou museum and was getting everywhere.

7 March 2017

Random Pictures from other blog posting

6 March 2017

Galeries Lafayette is a large department store (like Macy's in NYC) but more high end. I go to the food court at least once a trip for lunch. They have great pre-made food.
E. Goyard is a high end luggage store in Paris. The store has modern and old style trunks for travel. Fun store to visit.
Paris many high end stores but there are a lot more medium priced stores that have interesting display window. These stores are not large but add a lot of character to the Paris streets.