Paris Journals

Paris in the Spring

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An April 2008 trip to Paris by blueskygirl

Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais Photo, Paris, France More Photos
Quote: Spring trip to Paris

Paris - Day 9

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Cuteness in Paris Photo, Paris, France
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Our flight is not until 10pm so it gives us almost a full day to enjoy Paris. Our main priority is Pompidou Centre. Of course, from our hotel it is an easy 10 minute walk. (Did I mention that I loved, loved, LOVED the location of our hotel?)Anyways, we stood in line for about 20 minutes to buy our tickets. Included in the price was admission to a temporary exhibition of Louise Bourgeois. Self-described as an "angry old woman", her works span seven decades from a traumatic childhood to cranky old age. Her sculptures all seem to convey an ultra-feminine, sensual style but in a primitive sort of way. The exhibition ends with "Seven in a Bed" which I have to be honest, my husband and I both st...Read More

Paris - Day 8

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Another great breakfast in Paris Photo, Paris, France
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Another lovely day starts with a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) and a café crème at the bakery down the street from the hotel. From there, we walked to d’Orsay. It was around 10:30am by the time we got there and we waited in line for 15 minutes. Who knew a former train station could be so beautiful?We headed straight to the fifth floor for the Impressionists and pre-Impressionists. There’s no doubt that d’Orsay has a stunning collection of pieces by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Degas, Cezanne and Delacroix. Works that I have read or studied about and there… wham! right in front you, are you actually looking at them. Surprisingly, I really loved the Post-Impressionism pieces...Read More

Paris - Day 7

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Louvre Photo, Paris, France
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We made our way over to the Louvre first thing this morning. At 9:15 am there were no lines… yay! There was a temporary exhibit on Babylon so of course we wanted to check that out.This is a special project between the Louvre, the British Museum and the Staatliche Museum in Berlin. It first showed in Paris, then it was in October from June to October 2008 and it’s now showing at the British Museum until March 15, 2009. At the Louvre, the exhibit goes through the history of ancient Babylon to pretty much modern day. It includes architecture, art, film, literature and mythology. Many of the pieces had never been shown together. Others have never been displayed outside of private ...Read More

Paris - Day 6

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Latin Quarter Photo, Paris, France
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This morning, we decided over pain au chocolat and another café crème that we want to explore a bit of the Left Bank. So we walk in that direction but not before stopping by Notre-Dame to admire it in the morning light. The St. Germaine area is already buzzing and I had just explained to my husband that the common scam is for a "gypsy" to approach tourists and ask if they speak English or whether they read English, or if they’ve dropped a gold ring. The words have just barely left my mouth when we are approached by a "gypsy girl" who asks, "do you speak English?" And we both reply, "non!"We popped into Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and enjoyed wandering the narrow cramped aisle...Read More

Day Trip to Versailles - Day 5

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Welcome to Versailles Photo, Versailles, France
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We bought the Fortait Loisirs for €19,20 at the RER C station which included return train tickets and entrance to Versailles. We took the RER-C train from St. Michel. Any train that starts with a "V" will go to Versailles. The train ride took just over half an hour. When you exit the Versailles train station, turn right then left at the first main road… only a 5-10 minute walk. There are little kitschy souvenir shops and cafes along the way. Outside the main gate, there are stands selling beverages and paninis, even a crepe stand. The options for eating once you enter the Palace are pretty meager (one cafe and one restaurant, I believe). We preferred having a picnic lunch in the gardens. ...Read More

Paris - Day 4

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Photo exhibit at the Hotel de Ville Photo, Paris, France
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This morning we decided to head over to the 11th arrondissement for breakfast. We walked along rue Oberkampft. I had Café Carbon marked on my map but unfortunately just as we sat down, they informed us they do not serve breakfast and would not be serving food until 11am. Well, it was around 10 am, we were both suffering from low blood sugar and more than a little annoyed, we walked out of there. It’s too bad we didn’t have a chance to go again as this building is restored in belle époque style with high booths, mirrors, chandeliers and seems to epitomize ‘café culture’. Walking along further, we had a nice simple breakfast at Gecko Café. Rue Oberkampf is lined with bistros, café and bars. ...Read More

Paris - Day 3

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Place des Vosges Photo, Paris, France
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Another day started with a hot cup of café au lait and today a pain aux raisins at a Jewish bakery near our hotel. Then we slowly made our way over to Place des Vosges. This beautiful square is laid out symmetrically with brick and stone facades. This was Paris’ first planned square commissioned in 1605 by Henri IV. One this particular morning, the square is almost empty with the exception of a couple of joggers and some small children with their well dressed mothers. We pick a café facing the square and have an espresso each. We then walked over to Museum Carnavalet at 22 rue de Sevigne. Open 10am – 6pm Tuesday – Sunday. Admission is free. This lovely 16th century house goes through a ch...Read More

Paris - Day 2

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Paris storefront Photo, Paris, France
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We woke up early due to jet lag and walked over to Ile St. Louis, a charming area filled with beautiful architecture, narrow cobble stoned streets and a cute little food shops. The wonderful ice cream shop, Berthillon is here as well (I recommend the salted butter caramel… delicious!). After the Marais after, this might be my next favorite neighborhood in Paris. Of course, early in the morning it was completely free of tourists and so tranquil. With our cups of café de crème in hand, we walked the narrow streets and remarked that even the drain pipes looked charming here.From there, we crossed over to Ile de la Cite to view the famous Notre Dame, a showpiece of Gothic architecture. Built d...Read More

Paris - Day 1 and Arrival

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Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais Photo, Paris, France
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Arrived at CDG (Charles de Gaulle airport International airport in Paris) around 7:30 pm. After hearing many horror stories about the long lines at customs, luggage that seems to easily get lost, we were very surprised to encounter all no lines at customs and after a 15 minute wait, our luggage came out and we were well on our way. Since we had such little luggage, we decided to take the very economical RER B train into Paris. After we came out of customs, there were many well marked signs showing how to get to the RER train station. After buying our tickets at the ticket counter (there are machines to buy the tickets as well, but we didn’t have any small bills; the ATM machin...Read More