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Trip Report A half-delightful week in Paris - one with a surprising twist

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Chapter: The first

DH and I are normally US residents, but we have just (three weeks ago) moved to Amsterdam for this coming year while DH does a research sabbatical. Our DD is doing a university study-abroad year in Paris during the same time, so the three of us arrived in Amsterdam together. We spent a few days setting up our apartment in Amsterdam and exploring the city briefly, then headed to Paris to get DD started in her university program.

We got on the Thalys train in Amsterdam and arrived at Gare du Nord four hours later. Took the metro south to Cite Universitaire, where DD has temporary housing for the first couple of weeks of her university program. The campus is very pretty and right across the street from the Parc Montsouris – which looked really lovely but we didn’t have time to explore it. We left DD in the teeniest room in Paris to meet her new roommate, and DH and I made our way by metro to our hotel on Rue de Turbigo, just half a block from the Place de la Republique in the 3rd.

We had found some kind of incredible last-minute deal on the web for the Hotel Le Relais Du Marais - 52 euros a night! We loved the hotel – the staff was charming, ditto the room (although of course small in the usual Paris manner). We had a little balcony that looked out on a lovely Haussmann-type building across the street with flower-filled balconies of its own. You could look down the street (not from the room though) and see the huge statue at the Place de la Republique. Yep, we were definitely in Paris! The room was decorated very nicely. I saw one other room and it had quite a different type of décor, so I gather that each room is unique. Since our room fronted on the street, on the third floor, I was worried about traffic noise, but very modern 97-paned windows (or something similar) did a really impressive job of keeping out the din of traffic. I would definitely recommend the hotel.

We absolutely LOVED the location – we had stayed in the Marais when we were in Paris two years ago and became total fans of the district. You can walk everywhere from there and if walking is not your thing, the intersection of several metro lines is right under the Place de la Republique, so it is very convenient for getting to different parts of the city. The area itself is bustling, but in a very pleasant way.

Our first night it was late when we got there and we were exhausted, so just went to some random Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. DH had the worst pizza we have every encountered anywhere; my pasta dish was nothing to write home about (wait I am writing home about it), but it was all right. Oh well – who comes to Paris for the food anyway?

to be continued ...

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