A September 2001 trip
to Paris by davidx
Quote: Charles de Gaulle Airport is NOT my favourite place and being stranded there for a while was NOT GOOD - a terrible start, but after that everything went perfectly.
Attraction | "Montmartre - the truth."
The atmosphere is much trumpeted, and there is an atmosphere; it's extremely touristic.
The artistic nature of the walk up is much proclaimed: churned-out mass paintings and cheap rubbish, or expensive appeal-to-the-intellectuals books or paintings.
As to the Basilique de Sacré Coeur - we went in and we came out again.
Repeat- there is a good view.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 8, 2002
Attraction | "Musée Rodin"
I am not an art critic, but Rodin appears to be nationally acclaimed as an important 19th and early 20th century sculptor, and that seems right to me.
Outside at the front among the roses - there are 2000 bushes total in the two gardens - are some outstanding works; The Burghers of Calais and The Gates of Hell. Inside there are two floors of sculptures, including the well known Kiss.
Disadvantaged people can enjoy the ground floor and the gardens but there is no lift; even so, it is well worth a visit.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 8, 2002
77, Rue De Varenne
+33 (1) 44 18 61 10
Attraction | "Musée de Cluny"
The full name of the museum is Musée National du Moyen-Age Thermes de Cluny. The building was completed in 1500, and was a medieval mansion which incorporated the ruins of the old baths.
Having been to the Museums d'Orsay and Rodin, which I have acclaimed in other pages, I must say this seemed like coming back to earth; it was a very good museum but not utterly outstanding lke those two.
The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries are no doubt very fine. Enough critics say so, and there is certainly a phenomenal amount of workmanship in them, but they left both of us stone cold. On the other hand, we were very moved by a display of stained glass which had originally been in the Sainte Chapelle windows. The gallery of sculpted heads of the kings of Judah was also very impressive.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 8, 2002
Musee National du Moyen Age
6, Place Paul Painlevé
Paris, France 75005
+33 (1) 53 73 78 00
Attraction | "Rue Mouffetard"
I am sorry to say that it is really not feasible for anyone who cannot manage the quite steep steps to most, if not all, of the stops.
The cost bit: you can pay for short journeys by the stop, 3.5€ for one stop and 2€ for each further stop. However, it generally makes more sense to get a ticket, which allows you to get on and off at will during its period of validity. For one day, the prices are 10€ for adults [some reductions], and 5.5€ for children - but the best deal, to my mind, is to get the 2 day ticket at 12.5€ for adults and 5.5€ for children.
The boats run from the end of March to the beginning of November every 15-25 minutes 1000-1900 [1000-2100 June to Sept].
There are now 8 stops [7 when we used it and the 8th is near where we stayed!]. These are in order - starting anywhere:
Notre Dame, Jardin des Plantes, Hotel de Ville, Louvre, Champs-Elysées, Tour Eiffel, Musée d'Orsay and Saint-Germain-des-Prés - then of course back to Notre Dame. Hotel de Ville, Louvre and Champs Elysées are on the right bank and the rest of the stops on the left. The boats all go in the same direction heading upsream on the left bank and downstream on the right.
You could, of course us Batobus for a single complete trip but unless you are very pushed for time, that would not be best value. However, people sometimes ask what to do if they can only spend a limited time in Paris between flights and the trip would take a lot of beating – if possible combined with a quick visit to Notre Dame. If you have more time, it obviously makes good sense to use the boats to visit the places near the stops, but since you can get on and off at will, why not plan a walk between stops? This is particularly suitable for some of the Left Bank walks which you find in the guide books but you will get more fun from having a look at the suggestions and then planning on your own.
There are other boat trips on the Seine but I think they are considerably dearer and you do not need a commentary if you have a semi-decent guide book.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 10, 2002
Port de la Bourdonnais
Paris, France 75007
+33 1 44 11 33 99
Attraction | "Top floor of the Musée d'Orsay"
I have no qualifications to write about art, but the impressionist and post-impressionist paintings on the third floor were what I went to see--and they were what I did see. I could not have taken in any more after that and I doubt if I shall ever see the lower floors for the same reason, but these were simply fabulous--Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas--but what is the point of continuing a list? If you have heard of an artist from these schools, s/he is here. I always felt, when looking at any book about the Impressionists, that this was a must-see and now I am even more convinced. A friend told me before I went, ‘If you think of any picture you know, you will find it there,’ and another said, ‘You will recognize everything you see.’ I am heartily glad to say that neither statement is literally true--I am sure they were not meant to be--but you get the general idea.
Practicalities. If you lack either the time or the inclination to see other museums, this costs 7€ full and 5€ reduced, a bit more to include all exhibitions. It is FREE under 18. Obviously it is included in a Museum Card if you are going to visit a few, but in that case, buy it somewhere else and avoid the crowds.
The museum is closed on Mondays and open Thursday evenings, as well as the 0900-1800 which applies other days.
The museum is very disability-friendly. It is also helpful for anyone who wants a rest to eat, drink or just sit. It was originally a station and it has not been altered enough to stop it from being easy to imagine the trains puffing their way in and out.
I realize that I have not mentioned a single painting but there is so much here that is really stupendous that i should find it invidious. However, if this is what you want you will get what you are looking for on
62, Rue De Lille
Paris, France 75343
+33 (1) 4049-4994
Todmorden, United Kingdom