Paris Journals

Paris - Been There Done That Bought The T-Shirt...

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An October 2000 trip to Paris by jmineo

Paris Skyline Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Our last opportunity to visit Paris on the cheap. My brother-in-law is immigrating to the U.S. in a couple months, so my wife and I took the opportunity to visit him and see the sights with free overnight stays.

Paris - Been There Done That Bought The T-Shirt...

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Overview

City Walk Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Paris. City of lights, city of beautiful women, city of good cheese and wine, city of baguettes, city of dog poo, city of rude waiters. Is that all, well how about the Pantheon, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sacre Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Place de Concorde, the Louvre, Notre Dame, Napoleon's Tomb, the Seine River, Eiffel Tower......did I mention the Eiffel Tower? Quick Tips: Tips for Paris justify another journal in it of itself. Suffice it to say our over-arching suggestion is to buy a baguette (skinny loaf of crusty white bread) and some brie cheese, load up some other goodies and utensils, maybe a bottle of wine and plastic wine glasses (if you're that organized) then take your ...Read More

Berthillon

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Restaurant | "Berthillon Ice Cream Shop"

Quote:
My brother-in-law loves ice cream, so he insisted on taking us to what he calls the best ice cream in Paris. At first I wasn't too enthusiastic about the thought of taking an excursion across town, away from our normal planned itinerary I had hoped to stick with (much like Chevy Chase in the movie European Vacation). This excursion turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip for me. Not only did it turn out that this supposed ice cream shop served some of the best ice cream I'd ever had, it also was smack dab in the middle of a small island on the Seine River. Not an island like you'd normally think and actually just more than a mound of real estate with the Seine splitting around it. Neve...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Berthillon
31 Rue Saint-louis-en-l'ile
Paris, France
01 43 54 31 61

Les Glenan

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Restaurant

Quote:
We did one dining splurge - and I mean splurge - while we were visiting with my brother-in-law. We had passed by several interesting and posh looking restaurants and ooohed and ahhed in wonderment. That night, my brother had us pick from a list of starred Michelin restaurants. The Les Glenan would take our money that night. I couldn't begin to give directions to this place, other than we took their business card and knew it was near the French Parliament buildings. Before getting there we decided to each order a different dish, just in case one was a "bomb" so to speak. The restaurant was just like in the movies; black coat waiters with white towels draped over their forearms. Some waiters were...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Les Glenan
54 Rue de Bourgogne
Paris, France 75007
01 45 51 61 09

Les Invalides/L'Hôtel National des Invalides

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Attraction | "Napoleon's Tomb - Military Museum"

Les Invalides/L'Hôtel National des Invalides Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
My brother is fascinated with military history, so naturally he wanted to take us to the place where Napoleon was entombed. The Hotel des Invalids has three noteworthy aspects: the building itself, the military museum, and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The building is quite impressive, as are most Parisian institutions. It's recognizable from anywhere in the city as its shining golden dome is unique and sparkles like a comet. There is a grand courtyard with a wonderful collection of amazingly ornate cannons arrayed around the edge. The military museum is suitably impressive, full of magnificent suits of armor, swords, cannons, helmets, and on and on. If you are a war or armaments bu...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Les Invalides/L'Hôtel National des Invalides
Esplanade Des Invalides
Paris, France 75007
+33 1 44 42 37 70

Musée du Louvre

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Attraction | "The Louvre"

Musée du Louvre Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
My brother drove my wife and I to the Louvre on our second day in Paris. It was my one official request while we were there, especially since there was no Air Show in town like the last time I visited Paris. We ended up getting there about 2:30. Since we hadn't really eaten yet and the ticket price goes down at 3pm at the Louvre, we decided to eat at the cafe under the pyramid first. The pyramid sits in the courtyard of the u-shaped Louvre building. Anyway, it was a bad idea, for two reasons. First, the cafe under the pyramid is just about the only place in Paris to get bad food. The second reason is that at 3pm the ticket lines instantly grow to epic proportions, especially on Wedn...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Musée du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli
Paris, France 75001
+33 (1) 40 20 51 51

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

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Attraction | "Notre Dame Cathedral"

Cathédrale Notre-Dame Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Could I even make a Paris journal without a Notre Dame entry? Fortunately, the week we were there, my brother-in-law said they had just completed renovation of the cathedral towers which were closed just a week prior. Notre Dame is an amazing experience. It is a beautiful, lofty building, and really feels like God lives there. It is an interesting contrast to go from the rather intimate confines of an American church to the airy interior of Notre Dame. There was a sign at the main door entrance that asked for appropriate attire to be worn inside. I remember making a joke to my brother about not having our bathing suits on, so I guessed it was okay to enter. It was a much-needed laugh in an otherwis...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Cathédrale Notre-Dame
6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame
Paris, France 75004
+33 (1) 42 34 56 10

Avenue des Champs-Elysées

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Attraction | "Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysee"

Avenue des Champs-Elysées Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
I combined these two Paris attractions because we experienced them essentially at the same time. My guess is that the Champs Elysee used to flow through the Arc until modern day roads sprouted up. My brother took our life in his hands by driving through the traffic circle around the Arc then darting through to the other side of Champs Elysee. At the moment it reminded me of a go-kart ride I once experienced as a kid. Cars (little ones) were all around, always approaching our car's trajectory, leaving little room for error. I couldn't stop thinking that I'd be the first to go, since I was on the passenger side as cars merged onto the traffic circle. We found a metered parking spot off the main Ch...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Avenue Des Champs-elysées
Paris, France 75008

Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

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Attraction | "Memorial de la Deportation"

Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
A spot that I never heard of, but very near and dear to my brother-in-law's heart is (big kudos to him for pointing this one out to my wife and I) the Memorial de la Deportation. This a really moving memorial to the French men and women who were deported from France to concentration camps in Germany during World War II. It is really striking. Down a narrow staircase lies a stark, open courtyard of granite. There is virtually no adornment, and it is somewhat confusing in its austerity. From the courtyard leads another uninviting staircase down into darkness. Here is the true memorial. We entered into a room with antechambers on each side and a long hallway behind bars leading off in front. Each of the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 28, 2001

Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation
Square de l'Ile de France
Paris, France 75004
+33 1 46 33 87 56

Centre Pompidou

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Attraction

Centre Pompidou Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
Next up on our whirlwind tour of Parisian museums with my brother-in-law was the Centre Pompidou. What a fantastically ugly building! Wow! I'm sorry but this place made its name by its modern architecture, and I just dont get it - from any angle. It seems the builder is being rewarded for putting the pipes and ductwork on the outside where it becomes a decorative element. As you can tell, I'm not much of a modern art architecture or sculpture lover. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it. Most of this museum was filled with modern artwork from artists I never heard of. Thank god we didn't spend much time here, because we wanted to be able to experience a river boat ride on th...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 1, 2001

Centre Pompidou
Place Georges Pompidou
Paris 75004
+33 (1) 44 78 12 33

Seine Boat Tours / Dinner Cruise

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Attraction | "Seine River Cruise"

Seine Boat Tours / Dinner Cruise Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The Seine River flows through the city of Paris and particularly unique, are the many points along the way, near both bridges and metro stations, where one can board sightseeing vessels to get some of the best views of the world's most romantic city. We walked along the river until we got to the Pont du Neuf and boarded one of the sightseeing boats that offered a one hour cruise up and down the Seine. I think it was 14 Francs per adult. The view of the city of Paris from the Seine is completely different from the perspective of the city on land, especially the view of Notre Dame as it looms up from its place of prominence on the Island, the spiky fingers of its flying buttresses starkly silhouetted...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2001

Seine Boat Tours / Dinner Cruise
Seine River
Paris, France

Musee Rodin

Attraction | "Rodin Museum"

Musee Rodin Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
The same day we toured the Museum de Invalides, we took in the Rodin Museum. Its just down the road, after all. And a lovely spot it is too. In fact, I think the garden at the Rodin Museum is the best thing about it! The world is full of people, and each of those people have somewhat different tastes. That includes me, and my tastes don't seem to extend favorably towards Rodin. I looked at the pieces and tried to embrace their primitive qualities, their rawness, and so on. Sorry, no luck. I just don't like Rodin. The Thinker is interesting in that it has become such an icon, the same can be said for The Kiss. But other than that...I dunno. On the other hand, I liked the work of Camille Claudel, Rodi...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 1, 2001

Musee Rodin
77, Rue De Varenne
Paris 75007
+33 (1) 44 18 61 10

Marché Mouffetard

Attraction | "Mouffetard Local Market"

Quote:
We discovered a gem of a place for anyone wanting to sample food while walking around and shopping. One of the best places to hang out and enjoy lunch or dinner is the district of Mouffetard around Rue Mouffetard and Rue Descartes. They have a local market with all the goodies your stomach could desire. Veggies, fruits, cheeses, meats, and more. The back alleys of these two streets are filled with various ethnic restaurants from around the world ranging from local French cuisine to Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, German and Greek. It's perfect to have a Spanish appetizer, a slice of pizza as main course, and some French chocolate crepes for dessert. Small shops are lined up in the alleys and specialize in...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 2, 2001

Marché Mouffetard
Rue Mouffetard
Paris, France

Sainte-Chapelle

Attraction | "Sainte Chapelle Cathedral"

Sainte-Chapelle Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
I dinstinctly remember having some of the best crepes in my life on the way to Ste Chapelle. My brother had driven us to one of those innumerable places around the latin quarter for a lunch snack. I remember particularly the silky, zesty orange vanilla sauce that covered the crepes. Heaven! Afterwards, we drove and parked near-by the Notre Dame and then walked over to the Cathedral Sainte-Chapelle. Sainte-Chapelle is lovely, certainly ranking among Paris' must-see attractions. Though not unknown by any means, apparently it doesn't hit the radar screens of many visitors - this was the first time we'd been here and we were the only ones there for quite a while. It is a relatively small chapel, but th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 1, 2001

Sainte-Chapelle
4 boulevard du Palais
Paris, France 75001
+33 (1) 5340 6080