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27-DAY ODYSSEY IN THE ALPS with 3 FINAL DAYS IN PARIS

27-DAY ODYSSEY IN THE ALPS with 3 FINAL DAYS IN PARIS

Old Jan 16th, 2015, 05:29 AM
  #101  
 
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Wow, what an ordeal!
Question I have is, what time did you arrive in Freising? How long do you think it would have been non stop Lucerne to Freising?

Ok, after we arrived in Zurich and on the drive to Liechtenstein, we also stopped at a cafeteria style place! I truly have no idea where agtEr so much time, but remember it clearly. Seemed like a cafeteria that catered to office complex workers or something.

Paul
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 08:33 AM
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Hi YandyGal the stress caused by that Air France strike was way more than we experienced over our whole trip. . .and then some. As we expressed, we were so, so happy to reach Paris! Better days ahead! Thanks for following along.
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 11:45 AM
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Hi Paul,

We arrived in Freising about 6:45ish, pretty much what we had planned. Since it was Sunday, we thought the estimate would be pretty accurate. Up until that point, all was great.

In planning our itineraries, we've found that plugging in the search of "driving distances between cities" gives several sites, and a fairly accurate account of time, excluding stops. We always plug in a little extra time for meals, coffee, etc. Lucerne to Freising is almost all highway driving, until you reach the little city, so it moves.

That Marche' may have been the same one. We don't remember offices around there. It seemed like mostly travelers.
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Old Jan 16th, 2015, 01:09 PM
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No offices, it just seemed like one that would be in an office complex to me for some reason. Funny, when we puled in, we had no idea that it was a "cafeteria" type place. We were very tired (I had a cold from the flight over), very hungry and just wanted something.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 06:50 AM
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Glad you got the Lufthansa flight and your passports back!! I know your pain with the lost camera and I still haven't learned my lesson about downloading pictures to flickr periodically throughout my trips!!

There are always some stresses on trips aren't there??
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 08:54 AM
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Really enjoying your report. Went to the Dolomites last summer and loved it. This is a great report for me to use for a follow up trip . Thank you!
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 10:19 AM
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Denisea, so glad to hear from you! Yes, trips usually have some small or not-so-small stresses. The weird thing about this trip was that all of our planned 27-day travel in the mountains had worked out so well; only minor glitches. . .until that Air France frustration in Munich. And when it rains, it pours. But, all's well that ends well. We did enjoy our short stop-off in Paris, albeit in a different manner since Tom was not feeling up to par. We really had a fun dinner with Maitaitom and Tracy, a great finale!

Have enjoyed your TR from Paris. Hope you new job is working out well for you. The trip to the AC sounds wonderful! We'll keep posted regarding your plans.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 11:51 AM
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Some nightmare moments for you

We haven't had too many travel dramas, so far, although we were 'bumped' from our overbooked return flight 18 months ago. As stressed as I was at the time, I think how much worse it would have been had it been the inward flight. All those carefully made plans....

Have only just started doing a daily download of photos onto the tablet for fear of a lost/ broken camera. A friend returned home to find her memory card corrupted and could not retrieve any photos from entire trip.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 12:18 PM
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kelbo, glad you, too, enjoyed the Dolomites. If our TR gives any help to fellow travelers, we're glad. Thanks for following along.
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 07:47 AM
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Adelaidean, going forward, we'll be sure to do periodic back-ups!!!

If it been our return flight home from Paris that had been cancelled, we would have enjoyed the extra days. But being stuck in Freising,Germany presented an array of other problems.
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 01:39 PM
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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

HAPPY TO BE IN PARIS!!!
Great to awaken in Paris: 7:45. Even though TK had cold symptoms and limited voice, and MK also was not feeling her best, we were both so happy to be in Paris! Breakfast was included in our room rate, and as we made our way downstairs to their small restaurant, we were thrilled to see the sunny skies which promised to be another gorgeous day.

The petit dejeuner included those delicious LE BUCI croissants from the cafe across the street, served with the little table niceties that characterize the French. Afterward, we stopped at the pharmacie two doors down from Hotel Le Regent and got a supply of anti-cold meds. At this point, TK was feeling very de-energized; dragging! But we’re in Paris! Our thoughts were: “What is best way to get around consuming the least amount of energy?”

Earlier,in our planning stages, the focus was on plotting all of our travels in the Alps. We weren’t sure what we would do in Paris. We just felt that being able to spend a couple of days in our fave city, en route home, would be a bonus. Ideas we thought about were checking out a few of the restaurants that we’ve had on our list, purchasing a two-day museum pass, or taking the Metro to re-visit the Marmottan Museum. And there was St. Chapelle, always beautiful. Or, maybe, we’d just “go with the flow”, imbibe the atmosphere of the city, enjoy the sights, stop at the cafes and boulangeries.

Actually being in Paris, dealing with the reality of things, with TK in low-energy mode, we decided that the metro was not a good idea. A Hop-On, Hop-Off bus day might be our best option as TK did not feel up to going museum-hopping. L’Open Tour 2-decker bus would do fine under the circumstances.

We bought the 2-day package that included a boat ride on the Seine. That day we weren’t weighing costs, just ease. We caught the bus just a few blocks from our hotel. Just as the name of the bus implied, we hopped off and on at certain favorite places,"as the spirit moved us”. We enjoyed a bit of time on the Champs Elysses, the Trocadero area, Eiffel Tower, and other famous sites. The view at each site was enhanced by the beautiful weather.

For lunch, we chose to re-visit a restaurant located on Place de la Madeleine, LE COLBERT BAR BRASSERIE, diagonally across from the Madeleine. The building was surrounded by brilliant flowers. A few years ago, while staying near the Marais, we would ride a few stops on the Metro and walk there for breakfast. What else to have for lunch but TK’s fave lunch: CROQUE MADAME? MK also had vin rouge, and both of us had a cappuccino. We were happy to be seated at an outside table.

The fresh outside atmosphere was polluted some by one of the young women sitting next to us held her cigarette so that the smoke came directly into MK’s face. After enduring for a few minutes, MK politely indicated the issue, and the girl apologized and immediately extinguished the cigarette. A few minutes later, as she and her friend were talking away, she lit another cigarette and the same thing repeated. A bit of discomfort on this gorgeous, sunny day with a straight-on view of the Madeleine.

The whole area around the Madeleine is great for walking, window shopping and people-watching. After lunch, we took in some of the sights and shops on Rue Royale and surrounding streets. Lots of attractive fashions, jewelry, and patisseries on which to feast our eyes.

We re-boarded the bus with the aim of eventually visiting Notre Dame. En route, the Opera Garnier is always an impressive sight. And the Louvre courtyard was interesting, as was the area around the Arc du Carrousel. Though we have visited Notre Dame on each of our eight previous Paris trips, it seems that we always spend more time than planned. After enjoying the inside, the beautiful day made sitting in the front plaza very delightful.

Our next little venture was a trip on the Batobus which boarded nearby. This was the boat trip included with our bus ticket. When in Paris, we usually do a boat tour, especially enjoying the evening trips. It’s the views all around the city from a different vantage point, enhanced by the lightning, which makes for a very nice experience. But it was now broad daylight, and this Batobus stops at various points, which makes it somewhat less desireable. But it’s a great sunny day, so what’s not to enjoy?

We got off near Pont Neuf, in the vicinity of our hotel. After checking out some of the outdoor “bouquiniste” stalls along the river, we picked up a few mementos for friends. Oh yes, we also stopped at a little shop where TK found a cool t-shirt and a souvenir “chef’s hat” for our brother in California. The day must have agreed with TK, as his energy levels picked up as the day wore on.

We freshened up for the evening meal and got a great recommendation from the girl at the desk of Hotel Le Regent, VINS ET TERROIRS. She called ahead for a reservation. This little restaurant couldn’t have been any more convenient, being a minute or two away, a quick left turn onto Rue Andre des Arts. With the warm evening, the restaurant had its front wall-to-wall glass doors wide open. Our table was just inside the edge of the restaurant. At this point in our trip, our detailed notes were more sketchy. We remember that we had mignon de porc, an accompanying vin, capped off with a cheesecake dessert and cappuccinos. We don’t recall the exact preparation; just that the food was delicious and reasonably-priced, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere felt typically-French. Our table was great for people-watching!

After that delightful dinner, we walked across the street and through an alley, overwhelmed with the great number of outdoor eateries, filled with diners. This was a Tuesday evening. It seemed that the Parisians may have been expressing their excitement at finally getting summer weather! The alley ended at Boulevard St Germaine. We took our time as we walked around the area, taking in all the activity, before heading back to Hotel Regent. So many hundreds of people eating outdoors at so many restaurants; with street musicians providing entertainment, made for an invigorating atmosphere!

Upon returning to our hotel, the desk attendant, Elias, told us of the rainy, cold August in Paris. He said that he was able to use some vacation time to visit Spain, around Valencia, and the southern coast of France where the weather was very hot (40 C). He also told us that 80 percent of visitors in the area around St Germaine were from the UK or US. A great place for convenience and ability to walk to such sites as Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Seine, you-name-it. We agreed; that’s our reason for liking it!

It seemed that we had just arrived in Paris, when we had to think about our departure. We were scheduled to fly home Thursday morning on Delta, thankfully. Elias said that he would arrange for a 6 AM taxi pick-up. After that practical matter was settled, it was time to turn in.

In spite of our unplanned, play-it-by-ear approach, our day in Paris turned out to be very enjoyable. Sun and blue skies was great for taking advantage of the outdoors. Given the incredible weather, being in museums probably might not have been our preference.

Tomorrow would be the last day of our short stay in Paris. We looked forward to our special finale dinner meeting Maitaitom and Tracy!


A little advance packing. Then . . .Bon Nuit!



SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 WEDNESDAY FINAL FULL DAY
IN PARIS


Up at 7:30 or so for our last full day in Paris before we had to head home. We again had breakfast in the tiny hotel breakfast room. Before heading out for the day, we wanted to take care of check-in for our DL229 flight tomorrow, leaving CDG at 10:40 AM.

A lady whom we met in the hotel lobby indicated that her flight to Dulles on Air France was cancelled. She was off to wait in line at the local Air France office near Luxemburg Gardens. We later saw her in the long line at the Air France office as we were enjoying the top deck of the Open-air bus. What a coincidence! We could really empathsize with her situation. She seemed resigned to spending another day in Paris.

The phenomenal weather made traveling on the top deck of a bus feel pretty delightful. We took the route going to Luxembourg Gardens, which had many visitors. Then it was on up to Montparnasse. Lots to see around that area. We decided to have lunch at CAFÉ DEUX MAGAUX on BSG. Though it is a popular place for tourists, we recalled our delicious lunch there over Christmas week in 2011, when, of course, we ate inside. Had their delicious macarons! This trip, because of the great weather, the sidewalk area seemed most inviting.

After lunch, we enjoyed a stroll around the shops on BSG. We stopped in St. Germaine des Pres church where we had enjoyed a New Year’s Eve concert three years ago. Before venturing farther, we stopped in a little café in the square for our afternoon cappuccinos.

From there, we walked a couple of small back streets in search of the Delacroix Museum, on Furstenburg Street. We made a stop there on our walk “home” to Hotel Le Regent. Having really liked the Delacriox painting “Liberty Leads Her People” in the Louvre, plus a couple of paintings of his in St. Sulpice Church, we were looking forward to this small museum. But it was somewhat different than we had thought, being filled with a few smaller works from earlier periods, many small lithographs reflecting Delacroix’intense interest in Shakespeare, especially Hamlet, plus a few other objects which he had brought home from Morocco. Also displayed were a few of his personal effects. Most of the works were fairly small. The courtyard garden was comfortable and peaceful

Wandering back to the area of our hotel, we passed a number of very small shops, galleries, and clothing stores. Walking along very near our hotel, on Rue Buci, we experienced a second coincidence of the day when we heard someone call out our names. What a shock! Who would know us in Paris??? It was the German couple who were sitting next to MK on the Lufthansa flight from Munich. They said they were happy to see us snapping pictures with our “found” camera. What a small world to meet up with them! Their hotel was not in this vicinity, but over by the Opera. They had just chosen to eat an early dinner here.

About 4:30 or so, we returned to our hotel to finish packing for the flight home in the morning. We were looking forward to our dinner meeting with Maitaitom and Tracy, the “grande finale” of our Paris visit, and wanted to have most packing completed so that we could enjoy a relaxed, fun dinner.

The taxi arrived early to transport us to LE TRIMILOU RESTAURANT on Quai de L’Hotel de Ville,an arrangement that we had made with Maitaitom on Fodor’s. We had purposely arrived early because we weren’t quite sure of the promptness of the taxi or how long the drive would take. Upon arriving, we found only a few diners present. When we explained to the friendly manager that we wished to wait for our friends from the US at an outside table, he was very accommodating. He seemed happy that we had chosen his restaurant for our get-together.

Not having met Tom and Tracy in person, but only communicated our arrangements by Fodor’s website, it was amazing that as they came walking up the street, and we got up from our outside table seats in front of the restaurant, we had instantaneous recognition of one another. Probably that mutual friendliness of travel-lovers!

Even though we had just met Tom and Tracy, we immediately felt like we had chemistry with them. We ordered a bottle of a Rhone vin rouge and toasted their 20th anniversary, and the conversation began to flow. We could easily talk travel, Tom’s miraculous recovery from a very serious illness, and Tracy’s supportive care through the whole trying ordeal. Great relationship!

Tom’s personality was the same as comes through in his writings: ability to see the humor in life. We had lots of laughs sprinkled into the conversation as we shared common personal experiences, as well as travel episodes. Our interaction was full of “joie de vivre”!

Oh, by the way, the meal. We shared a couple of bottles of vin rouge. Tom really liked the escargots; he was the only one of us who enjoyed such. The specialty of the house was “canard pruneaux” which both of us had. We think we remember Tom and Tracy having the “poivre” and “formule P/D”. Cappuccinos served to elongate our camaraderie. The food seemed to us to be over-shadowed by the lively pace of the conversation.

From our standpoint, the evening was so delightful that the time passed very quickly. It was a fun experience. Could it have been after 10:30 PM, maybe near 11 PM? The manager, who seemed to enjoy facilitating our get-together, volunteered to take pictures, both inside and out, with both of our cameras. Great memories of our wonderful evening!

The manager called for a cab, and it wasn’t long before we were back at Hotel Le Regent. We settled the bill for our stay (EUR 555.) by using our remaining EUR and AmEx., in order to facilitate our 6 AM departure.

Our final: Bon Nuit




THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 DEPARTURE DAY;
MIXED FEELINGS


Up at 4:45 with only about 5 hours of sleep. Elias had suggested leaving Hotel LeRegent at 6 AM so as to arrive at CDG at 7. That would allow us 2 hours to go through security etc. The taxi driver had already arrived early, so we’re off before 6AM, and arrive at the airport about 7:10, having experienced little traffic. (Air France is on strike.)

We’re feeling a bit draggy , but made our way through the “hoops”. We were glad to get through the final weighing in of two 48-pounders. We had only our roll-aboards, fairly stuffed at this point, and TK’s backpack to contend with. Then began the crowd and Delta maneuvers through Terminal 2 E; standing in a long line before getting into a second line to havING our luggage checked, and then heading for the gate assigned to us. Relief that we are flying on a DELTA flight. . .non-stop to Cincinnati!

En route to the gate area, we discovered a “Chez Paul” bakery in the area, perfect for getting croissants and coffee. We arrived at K-31, our departure gate, and feeling like “parting is such sweet sorrow”.

On boarding the plane, and getting settled, we were relieved to see that our 767-300ER was not full. We enjoyed lots of overhead storage and good leg room. We even departed from the gate a few minutes before the 10:40 scheduled departure. The day is clear and sunny and we are VERY happy to be heading home, as MK changes her watch setting to US time.

All in all, we had a fabulous trip! From Berchesgaten to the Austrian Alps to the Dolomiti in Italy, to Locarno/Ascona, to St. Moritz, to Brig/Zermatt, and finally to the Bernese Oberland, the scenery was magnificent, and everyday seemed to be more beautiful than the previous. We felt very fortunate to have had mostly great weather. The trip back to Munich was made interesting by short visits to the cities of Montreux and Lucerne. It wasn’t until the last day in Freising, when the Air France strike affected us, that we experienced a significant stress and realization that our trip was ending. However, the wonderful feelings of the last three nights-two days in Paris, capped off with the delightful meeting with Maitaitom and Tracy, helped erase the memories of the stressful experience getting from Munich to Paris.

The non-stop flight home to Cincinnati was smooth and as comfortable as a long-haul flight in economy class can be. We slept on the way home as much as possible, and trusted that Executive Shuttle would be awaiting us.

After landing, we went through the typical immigration, trolleying our luggage to the conveyor belt for re-inspection, and then going through security. . . same as boarding. Arriving in the luggage carousel area, we were very happy to find an Executive Shuttle rep at the counter, and the van with the driver outside waiting for us. What a relief! We just had to sit in the van, relax, chat with Tom, the driver, and enjoy the 40-minute ride to our home.

After having been gone for a month, our house, yard and flower gardens looked good to us. We expected some flowers to die; after all, it was late September. But, in general, things looked in good shape. Our home seemed welcoming. No need to unpack now. We just enjoyed the feeling of being home after a wonderful month-long trip!

Tomorrow would be another day to step back into the realities of everyday life!

































TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 HAPPY TO BE
IN PARIS!!!

Great to awaken in Paris: 7:45. Even though TK had cold symptoms and limited voice, and MK also was not feeling her best, we were both so happy to be in Paris! Breakfast was included in our room rate, and as we made our way downstairs to their small restaurant, we were thrilled to see the sunny skies which promised to be another gorgeous day.

The petit dejeuner included those delicious LE BUCI croissants from the cafe across the street, served with the little table niceties that characterize the French. Afterward, we stopped at the pharmacie two doors down from Hotel Le Regent and got a supply of anti-cold meds. At this point, TK was feeling very de-energized; dragging! But we’re in Paris! Our thoughts were: “What is best way to get around consuming the least amount of energy?”

Earlier in the planning stages, our focus was on plotting all of our travels in the Alps. We weren’t sure what we would do in Paris. We just felt that being able to spend a couple of days in our fave city, en route home, would be a bonus. Ideas we thought about were checking out a few of the restaurants that we’ve had on our list, purchasing a two-day museum pass, or taking the Metro to re-visit the Marmottan Museum. And there was St. Chapelle, always beautiful. Or, maybe, we’d just “go with the flow”, imbibe the atmosphere of the city, enjoy the sights, stop at the cafes and boulangeries.

Actually being in Paris, facing the reality of things, with TK in low-energy mode, we decided that the metro was not a good idea. A Hop-On, Hop-Off bus day might be our best option as TK did not feel up to going museum-hopping. L’Open Tour 2-decker bus would do fine under the circumstances.

We bought the 2-day package that included a boat ride on the Seine. That day we weren’t weighing costs, just ease. We caught the bus just a few blocks from our hotel. Just as the name of the bus implied, we hopped off and on at certain favorite places,” as the spirit moved us”. We enjoyed a bit of time on the Champs Elysses, the Trocadero area, Eiffel Tower, and other famous sites. The view at each site was enhanced by the beautiful weather.

For lunch, we chose to re-visit a restaurant located on Place de la Madeleine, LE COLBERT BAR BRASSERIE, diagonally across from the Madeleine. A few years ago, while staying in the Marais, we would stop in there. What else to have for lunch but TK’s fave lunch: CROQUE MADAME? MK also had vin rouge, and both of us had a cappuccino. We were happy to be seated at an outside table, until one of the young women sitting next to us held her cigarette so that the smoke came directly into MK’s face. After enduring for a few minutes, MK politely indicated the issue, and the girl apologized and immediately extinguished the cigarette. A few minutes later, as she and her friend were talking away, she lit another cigarette and the same thing repeated. A bit of discomfort on this gorgeous sunny day with a straight-on view of the Madeleine.

The whole area around the Madeleine is great for walking, window shopping and people-watching. After lunch, we took in some of the sights and shops on Rue Royale and surrounding streets. Lots of attractive fashions, jewelry, and chocolate shops on which to feast our eyes.

We re-boarded the bus with the aim of eventually visiting Notre Dame. En route, the Opera Garnier is always an impressive sight. And the Louvre courtyard was interesting, even if we didn’t go inside. Though we have visited Notre Dame on each of our eight previous Paris trips, it seems that we always spend more time than planned. After enjoying the inside, the beautiful day made sitting in the front plaza very delightful.

Our next little venture was a trip on the Batobus which boarded nearby. This was the boat trip included with our bus ticket. When in Paris, we usually do a boat tour, especially enjoying the evening trips. It’s the views all around the city from a different vantage point, enhanced by the lightning, which makes for a very different experience. But it was now broad daylight, and this Batobus stops at various points, which makes it somewhat less desireable. But it’s a great sunny day, so what’s not to enjoy?

We got off near Pont Neuf, in the vicinity of our hotel. After checking out some of the outdoor “bouquiniste” stalls along the river, we picked up a few mementos for friends. Oh yes, we also stopped at a little shop where TK found a cool t-shirt and a souvenir “chef’s hat” for our brother in California. The day must have agreed with TK, as his energy levels picked up as the day wore on.

We freshened up for the evening meal and got a great recommendation from the girl at the desk of Hotel Le Regent, VINS ET TERROIRS. She called ahead for a reservation. This little restaurant couldn’t have been any more convenient, being a minute or two away, a quick left turn onto Rue Andre des Arts. With the warm evening, the restaurant had its front wall-to-wall glass doors wide open. Our table was just inside the edge of the restaurant. At this point in our trip, our detailed notes were more sketchy. We remember that we had mignon de porc, an accompanying vin, capped off with a cheesecake dessert and cappuccinos. We don’t recall the exact preparation; just that the food was delicious and reasonably-priced, the staff was friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere felt typically-French. Our table was great for people-watching!

After that delightful dinner, we walked across the street and through an alley, overwhelmed with the great number of outdoor eateries, filled with diners. This was a Tuesday evening. It seemed that the Parisians may have been expressing their excitement at finally getting summer weather! The alley ended at Boul.St Germaine. We took our time as we walked around the area, taking in all the activity, before heading back to Hotel Regent. So many hundreds of people eating outdoors at so many restaurants; with street musicians providing entertainment, made for an invigorating atmosphere!

Upon returning to our hotel, the desk attendant, Elias, told us of the rainy, cold August in Paris. He said that he was able to use some vacation time to visit Spain, around Valencia, and the southern coast of France where the weather was very hot (40 C). He also told us that 80 percent of visitors in the area around St Germaine were from the UK or US. A great place for convenience and ability to walk to such sites as Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Seine, you-name-it. We agreed; that’s our reason for liking it!

It seemed that we had just arrived in Paris, when we had to think about our departure. We were scheduled to fly home Thursday morning on Delta, thankfully. Elias said that he would arrange for a 6 AM taxi pick-up. After that practical matter was settled, it was time to turn in.

Our day in Paris, in spite of our unplanned, play-it-by-ear approach, turned out to be very enjoyable. The warm weather, with sun and blue skies, was great for taking advantage of the outdoors. Given the wonderful weather, being in museums probably might not have been our preference.

Tomorrow would be the last day of our short stay in Paris. We looked forward to our special finale dinner meeting Maitaitom and Tracy!


A little advance packing. Then . . .Bon Nuit!



SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 WEDNESDAY FINAL FULL DAY
IN PARIS

Up at 7:30 or so for our last full day in Paris before we had to head home. We again had breakfast in the tiny hotel breakfast room. Before heading out for the day, we wanted to take care of check-in for our DL229 flight tomorrow, leaving CDG at 10:40 AM.

A lady that we met in the hotel lobby indicated that her flight to Dulles on Air France was cancelled. She was off to wait in line at the local Air France office near Luxemburg Gardens. We later saw her in the long line at the Air France office as we were enjoying the top deck of the Open-air bus. What a coincidence! We could really empathsize with her situation. She seemed resigned to spending another day in Paris.

The warm weather made traveling on the top deck of a bus feel pretty delightful. We took the route going to Luxembourg Gardens, which had many visitors. Then it was on up to Montparnasse. Lots to see around that area. We decided to have lunch at CAFÉ DEUX MAGAUX on BSG. Though it is a popular place for tourists, we recalled our delicious lunch there over Christmas week in 2011, when, of course, we ate inside. Had their delicious macarons! This trip, because of the great weather, the sidewalk area seemed most inviting.

After lunch, we enjoyed a stroll around the shops on BSG. We stopped in St. Germaine des Pres church where we had enjoyed a New Year’s Eve concert three years ago. Before venturing farther, we stopped in a little café in the square for our afternoon cappuccinos.

From there, we walked a couple of small back streets in search of the Delacroix Museum, on Furstenburg Street. We made a stop there on our walk “home” to Hotel Le Regent. Having really liked the Delacriox painting “Liberty Leads Her People” in the Louvre, plus a couple of paintings of his in St. Sulpice Church, we were looking forward to this small museum. But it was somewhat different than we had thought, being filled with a few smaller works from earlier periods, many small lithographs reflecting Delacroix’ intense interest in Shakespeare, especially Hamlet, plus a few other objects which he had brought home from Morocco, and some personal effects of his. Most of the works were fairly small. The courtyard garden was comfortable and peaceful

Wandering back to the area of our hotel, we passed a number of very small shops, galleries, and clothing stores. Walking along very near our hotel, on Rue Buci, we experienced a second coincidence of the day when we heard someone call out our names. What a shock! Who would know us in Paris??? It was the German couple who were sitting next to MK on the Lufthansa flight from Munich. They said they were happy to see us snapping pictures with our “found” camera. What a small world to meet up with them! Their hotel was not in this vicinity, but over by the Opera. They had just chosen to eat an early dinner here.

About 4:30 or so, we returned to our hotel to finish packing for the flight home in the morning. We were looking forward to our dinner meeting with Maitaitom and Tracy, the “grande finale” of our Paris visit, and wanted to have most packing completed so that we could enjoy a relaxed, fun dinner.

The taxi arrived early to transport us to LE TRIMILOU RESTAURANT on Quai de L’Hotel de Ville, an arrangement that we had made with Maitaitom on Fodor’s. We had purposely arrived early because we weren’t quite sure of the promptness of the taxi or how long the drive would take. Upon arriving, we found only a few diners present. When we explained to the friendly manager that we wished to wait for our friends from the US at an outside table, he was very accommodating. He seemed happy that we had chosen his restaurant for our get-together.

Not having met Tom and Tracy in person, but only communicated our arrangements by Fodor’s website, it was amazing that as they came walking up the street, and we got up from our outside table seats in front of the restaurant, we had instantaneous recognition of one another. Probably that mutual friendliness of travel-lovers!

Even though we had just met Tom and Tracy, we immediately felt like we had chemistry with them. We ordered a bottle of a Rhone vin rouge to toast their 20th anniversary, and the conversation began to flow. We could easily talk travel, Tom’s miraculous recovery from a very serious illness, and Tracy’s supportive care through the whole trying ordeal. Great relationship!

Tom’s personality was the same as comes through in his writings: ability to see the humor in life. We had lots of laughs sprinkled into the conversation as we shared common personal experiences, as well as travel episodes. Our interaction was full of “joie de vivre”!

Oh, by the way, the meal. We shared a couple of bottles of vin rouge. Tom really liked the escargots; he was the only one of us who enjoyed such. The specialty of the house was “canard pruneaux” which both of us had. We think we remember Tom and Tracy having the “poivre” and “formule P/D”. Cappuccinos served to elongate our camaraderie. The food seemed to us to be over-shadowed by the lively pace of the conversation.

From our standpoint, the evening was so delightful that the time passed very quickly. It was a fun experience. Could it have been after 10:30 PM, maybe near 11 PM? The manager, who seemed to enjoy facilitating our get-together, volunteered to pictures, both inside and out, with both of our cameras. Great memories of our wonderful evening.

The manager called for a cab, and it wasn’t long before we were back at Hotel Le Regent. We settled the bill for our stay (EUR 555.) by using our remaining EUR and AmEx., in order to facilitate our 6 AM departure.

Our final: Bon Nuit


Thursday, September 18, 2014 DEPARTURE DAY:
MIXED FEELINGS

Up at 4:45 with only about 5 hours of sleep. Elias had suggested leaving Hotel LeRegent at 6 AM so as to arrive at CDG at 7. That would allow us 2 hours to go through security etc. The taxi driver had already arrived early, so we’re off before 6AM, and arrive at the airport about 7:10, having experienced little traffic. (Air France is on strike for the week)

We’re feeling a bit draggy , but made our way through the “hoops”. We were glad to get through the final weighing in of two 48-pounders. We had only our roll-aboards, fairly stuffed at this point, and TK’s backpack to contend with. Then began the crowd and Delta maneuvers through Terminal 2 E; standing in a long line before getting into a second line to have our luggage checked, and headed for the gate assigned to us. Relief that we are flying on a DELTA flight. . .non-stop to Cincinnati!

En route to the gate area, we discovered a “Chez Paul” bakery in the area, perfect for getting croissants and coffee. We arrived at K-31, our departure gate, and feeling like “parting is such sweet sorrow”.

On boarding the plane, and getting settled, we were relieved to see that our 767-300ER was not full. We enjoyed lots of overhead storage and good leg room. We even departed from the gate a few minutes before the 10:40 scheduled departure. The day is clear and sunny and we are VERY happy to be heading home, as MK changes her watch setting to US time.

All in all, we had a fabulous trip! From Berchesgaten to the Austrian Alps to the Dolomiti in Italy, to Locarno/Ascona, to St. Moritz, to Brig/Zermatt, and finally to the Bernese Oberland, the scenery was magnificent, and everyday seemed to be more beautiful than the previous. We felt very fortunate to have had mostly great weather. The trip back to Munich was made interesting by short visits to the cities of Montreux and Lucerne. It wasn’t until the last day in Freising, when the Air France strike affected us, that we experienced a significant stress and realization that our trip was ending. The wonderful feelings of the last three nights-two days in Paris, capped off with the delightful meeting with Maitaitom and Tracy, helped erase the memories of the stressful experience getting from Munich to Paris.

The non-stop flight home to Cincinnati was smooth and as comfortable as a long-haul flight in economy class can be. We slept on the way home as much as possible, and trusted that Executive Shuttle would be awaiting us.

After landing, we went through the typical immigration, trolleying our luggage to the conveyor belt for re-inspection, and then going through security. . . same as boarding. Arriving in the luggage carousel area, we were very relieved to find an Executive Shuttle rep at the counter next to carousel 2, and the van with the driver outside waiting for us. What a relief! We just had to sit in the van, relax, chat with Tom, the driver, and enjoy the 40-minute ride to our home.

After having been gone for a month, our house, yard and flower gardens looked good to us. We expected some flowers to die; after all, it was late September. But, in general, things looked in good shape. Our home seemed welcoming. No need to unpack now. We just enjoyed the feeling of being home after a wonderful month-long trip!

Tomorrow would be another day to step back into the realities of everyday life!
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Old Jan 19th, 2015, 05:12 PM
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somehow I knew your dinner with Maitaitom and Tracy would be fun! can't believe that you ran into seat mates from the flight. Small world.

Sounds like a great trip, although I can't pronounce the names of half the places you visited!!
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 06:32 AM
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Somehow the last three days of our trip, Tuesday-Thursday, September 16-18, double-posted. In fact, while still in the Edit stage, the site began acting up. Not sure what happened.

We apologize to readers for the confusion. We'll attempt to contact "Fodor's Help" to see if the situation can be resolved Meantime, thanks for following. We appreciate your support.
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 01:05 PM
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Excellent report! Thank you so much for sharing so many details!
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Old Jan 20th, 2015, 01:43 PM
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A fun night indeed!!! I'm glad I paid you to say those nice things about me and not ruin my reputation. It was great meeting you both and we look forward to seeing you in the future. It was a terrific report that has given Tracy and me a lot of ideas for a future trip.

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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 12:10 PM
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Denisea, yes, the dinner with Maitaitom and Tracy was really fun, and a great ending to our very short stay in Paris. We will return in the future, and hope to try some of the many restaurants on our list which we've been collecting from your travels.

We also had difficulty with pronunciations. . .especially German words. But folks were nice and helpful, and enjoyed our attempts.
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Old Jan 21st, 2015, 12:32 PM
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Maitaitom, we'll cherish our memories of shared camaraderie in Paris! We, too, look forward to a future get-together!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2015, 03:16 PM
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FYI, January 1, 2016, is a Friday

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Old Jan 24th, 2015, 11:03 AM
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Maitaitom, thanks for the heads up about New Years' Day, 2016. Gets us excited about planning ahead for future travel adventures.
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Old Jan 29th, 2015, 09:13 PM
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Fabulous trip. Have enjoyed your reports. Thanks!
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