Paris Journals

Cruising the Rhone River

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A May 2008 trip to Paris by Wasatch

Hotel de Villle (the City Hall) Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Paris, the Rhone River, and Barcelona.

Cruising the Rhone River

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Overview

Tournon from the river Soanne Photo,
Quote:
This Amadeus Waterways cruise was new in 2008. We were on the first sailing. The full tour(cruise plus land) started with three days in Paris, then we took the TGV high speed train to Lyon to board the Swiss Pearl for a seven day cruise on the Saone and Rhone Rivers to Arles where we went by bus to Barcelona for three nights via Carcassone(two hour stop for sightseeing and lunch). Ports and included tours were Lyon with a bus tour of the city; Trevoux and a bus trip through the Beaujolais region with a wine tasting; Vienne and a walking tour through the city; the stop at Tournon was supposed to include a trip on an old steam train, but the train went bankrupt and shut down. Instead, the ship co...Read More

Pullman Paris Bercy Hotel

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Hotel | "Pullman Bercy"

Quote:
No doubt tour companies flock to the the Pullman because it's location near the edge of the city makes it less expensive comparable than central lodgings. Our room was very nice, with all the conveniences, including two decent chairs to sit in and a desk.The Pullman flaws were minor. A car alarm that went off one night at 4:00 am in the parking lot outside the front door, four floors below our room, was easily heard in our room, but aside from that, all was quiet, not even plumbing noises. Our room had floor to ceiling windows on 2½ sides with curtains that almost kept out the light. Our request to replace the comforter on our bed with a sheet and blankets worked for one of three night...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 26, 2008

Pullman Paris Bercy Hotel
1, rue de Libourne
Paris, France 75012
+33 (1) 44673400

L'Europeen

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Restaurant

Quote:
L'Europeen is a rather large place for a brasserie. We saw four dinning rooms. It was obvious from the seafood stand L'Europeen operated out front that seafood was the speciality, but we had chicken and Choucroute Garni. The dinning room we were in was richly decorated with dark red wallpaper, dark wood, red leather chairs, and bright chandeliers. The Maitre de wore the traditional black tuxedo. In keeping with tradition, there was a separate Maitre de for each dinning room. A proper French Maitre de has a different job than one in America. In addition to taking us to our table and handing us a menu in English after asking, in English, “Would you like the English menu?”, he dished up our foo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 21, 2008

L'Europeen
21 Boulevard Diderot
Paris, France 75012
+33 1 4343 9970

Chicago Pizza Pie Factory

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Restaurant | "Chicago Pizza"

Quote:
We had been walking around the Modernista Quarter for a couple hours and weer starting to think about taking a break for lunch when, just as we were passing, the Chicago Pizza through open its doors. As that must have been a Sign from Above, in we went. The décor was reminiscent of Fuddruker's but limited to a Chicago theme-- Division St. street signs, poster for the Cubs, photos of downtown Chicago. No doubt this was exotic to Europeans, but we found it wildly out place and hilariously tacky. This is what Globalization does for you.Otherwise, the restaurant was large, with four interconnected dining rooms staggering around the ground floor of a century old building. Most walls were e...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 8, 2008

Chicago Pizza Pie Factory
Provença, 300
Barcelona, Spain 08008
+34 93 2159415

Campagne

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Restaurant

Quote:
Bercy Village, a mall in the revitalized old wine warehouses of Paris strolling the pedestrian street Cour St Emillion, was a half block from our hotel (Pullman Bercy) has a good selection restaurants including Zagat Guide recommended Chai 33, where we never ate because the menu did not appeal-- too much like typical California Yuppie food. Our first night in Paris, we set out to find some traditional French food, which wasn't easy. Only one of the restaurants in Bercy Village offered a menu of mainly French classics. We had Beef Burgundy and Veal Blanquette, both were good examples of the genre, European style. There are two differences between what you get in the USA or in Europ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 11, 2008

Campagne
Bercy Village, 28, rue François Truffaut
Paris 75012
01 40 02 90 84

The Swiss Pearl

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Restaurant

Quote:
Breakfast and lunch were buffets. Dinners were sit down, multiple course meals that took a long time, 2-3 hours. Unlimited wine was included in the tour price-- champagne at breakfast, and a choice of red(or rose when we were in the rose region of southern France) or white at lunch and dinner. The wines changed daily, sometimes also changing between lunch and dinner. We particularly liked the rose served when we in that region. Rose was the one of the lunch and dinner offerings one day. The next day, it was not listed, but we asked the waiter if they still had any. He came up with a couple bottles. The breakfast buffet offered scrambled eggs, bacon, a rotating meat, a rotating ho...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 11, 2008

La Marquière

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Restaurant | "La Marquiere"

Quote:
In this part of France, cassoulet is the classic regional dish, so when we ate lunch (the main meal in France) at La Marquiere, we ordered the “cassoulet formula”-- main dish and desert: cassoulet and crème brulee. With taxes, tip, and a nice bottle of wine, it came to $61 for two. That was in May, 2008, the time of the worst exchange rate ever thanks to GW Bush's economic mistakes. La Marquiere gets two crossed knives and forks in the Michelin Red Guide. This is good news. Michelin says two knives and forks means “a comfortable restaurant”, supposedly an attractive place to eat (ambiance), but we have found it also means good food at reasonable prices. While not as good as a st...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 13, 2008

La Marquière
13 r St Jean
Carcassonne 11000
+33 (4) 6871-5200

Paris

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Attraction

Hotel de Villle (the City Hall) Photo, Paris, France
Quote:
We spent a weeks in Paris 30-35 years ago, and counting two subsequent visits to Versailles and this trip, we have spent 13 days in Paris. Our original impression from 35 years ago remains unchanged-- skip it. There are so many better places to spend time in Europe that is a shame to waste time and money going to Paris. But you won't listen, will you? So here are some highlights of Paris, things you should see even if there are more famous sights.First, there is one very good reason to go to Paris-- it is the closest airport to Versailles. Plan 1-3 days. You can search Versailles from the city via the RER. There are some grand cityscapes for the quais opposite the Lou...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 18, 2008

Une Baguette

Story/Tip

Quote:
Une Baguette (one baguette) is not actually a restaurant, but it is the one absolutely essential eating experience in France. A baguette is one of the greatest creations of French cuisine, the perfect loaf of bread. The baguette's shape is geometrically correct for maximizing the surface area of a solid of a given volumes, and it is the surface the really sells this loaf of plain white bread. A proper baguette comes with a thin crust that is as crunchy as a fresh potato chip. There is nothing like it in the bread world. Here is the best way to experience a baguette We were walking down the street in Chateau Neuf de Pape one Sunday morning when we passed the open door of bakery (t...Read More

Aboard the Swiss Pearl

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Story/Tip

The Swiss Pearl on the Sonne Photo, France, Europe
Quote:
A typical day on the Swiss Pearl: 6:00-7:00 am Coffee and pastries in the lounge for early risers7:00-9:00 am Buffet breakfast in the dinning room.9:00-11:00 Guided tour of Vienne 11:00-12:00 free time in Vienne12:15pm Return to ship12:30 sail for Viviers1:00-2:30 lunch buffet in the main dining roomFree time on board. It was nice weather, so many passengers were sightseeing, sleeping, reading, or drinking and conversing on the Sun Deck4:00 tea (coffee or tea, pastries and cakes) in the lounge5:00 arrive5:45 wine tasting in the lounge (Cote de Rhone)6:45 briefing on next day's events in the lounge7:00-9:00 diner9...Read More