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I am going to stop being lazy and post this Normandy/Paris trip report

I am going to stop being lazy and post this Normandy/Paris trip report

Oct 10th, 2006, 03:17 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 82
Hi dork . . .its me job816 just from work. Lets see . . . the room (45) was simple and clean (not worn at all) and extremely quiet. It was very small and overall a little pricey at 190, but I would stay again. I was disappointed with the bathroom amenities. There was no conditioner or moisturizer and the shampoo smelled on the masculine side. But I had my own stuff anyway and what I didn't . . .oh no I had to buy . There is a fridge in the room and and a computer for guests to use between 10-4 in the common room. I really liked the location. What else?
job816_2 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 770
Enjoyed reading about your great trip. One thing I did not think of was the tide at MSM. Hope I remember this when we plan our trip.
mimipam is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 05:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 294
Hi job816:

A great trip report. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you did the Battlebus tour. I did their "Band of Brothers" tour and had Dale as the guide. He's great, n'est-ce pas?

I wish I could have seen the tide come in when I visited MSM in May. The picture you painted was quite lovely.

TravelRibbon is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
The dates where you can see the tides are posted here:


They have them up to 11/07 already. Basically, it's one week on, one week off.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 10th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 460
Enjoyed reading your report...
sharon1306 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2006, 08:14 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,190
Thanks for the hotel info! I'm now mulling over two other hotels...perhaps I'll post a question to the forum for feedback. Again, enjoyed reading about your trip.
dorkforcemom is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5
I really, really enjoyed your trip report - very entertaining and informative!
Tkurb is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 348
I totally missed your trip report when it first posted. We did Mont St. Michel last year and this year, we stayed at the Auberge both times. We also saw the sunset and tide this year, unless last year. Reading your report, it feels like I'm back!

I bookmarked your report - our Fat Tires bike tour guide mentioned St. Chappelle, I'll try to do that in April when I'm there. Thanks very much!
nbodyhome is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 08:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 213
Clearly I am a still lazy as I have not finished this report, but I am going to before I leave for AMS/Paris on 4/25.

Day 6: I want my Falafel. (Wednesday)

Today we are going to visit the Marais. I have a vague recollection of visiting this area with my sister back in the early nineties and the only shops opened, being Sunday, were Jewish. I also remember seeing the Pompidou from a distance, and thinking the area looked unsafe. I donít know for sure whether this is an accurate remembrance, but my sister has the same impression. Was the area unsafe once?

We wake up late this morning. We stop at a take out shop by the Odeon metro for a coffee. DH calls it ďdunkin donuts.Ē I canít function without some caffeine first thing. Usually I get a double espresso, but somehow I end up with a café latte. Uck! There is a thread somewhere on Fodors both praising and denigrating French coffee (very funny by the way Ė sorry canít find the link) and, in this case, the nays have it.

We take the metro over to Bastille. We are following Rick Steveís walk again. Somehow we get off track because we completely missed the Hotel Sully. We do however, make it over to Place des Vosges and visit Victor Hugoís apt. His apartment is a long a galley of room opening onto room. The square is as picturesque as they say in all the guidebooks, but I am not overwhelmed by it. However, I plan to visit again on Sunday, April 29th. Iíve read that on Sundays musicians play in the square. We pass the Carnavalet Museum, which I really want to visit, but I am feeling tired today and just want to eat Ė you guessed it falafel. We pass many interesting shops, on our way to Rue Rosiers. I really enjoy this street, where every few shops are painted in a bright colors, and have French, Hebrew and Yiddish signage - but oh, no another hawking area. Shops want you to eat their falafel, so they try to attract you with samples. They know why folks are here and they capitalize on it. We are of course, looking for Las Aus du Falafel and when we get there a man has a plate of falafel for us to taste. The line is long. Directly across the way, another man brings us falafel to taste and honestly I like his better Ė plus the line is shorter. For 4 Euros you get a stuffed falafel. You pay the man and he hands you a ticket, which you present to the take out window when you order. We find a place to perch ourselves nearby and thoroughly enjoy. I donít know if itís the falafel or the experience, but we are in yum heaven. Luckily, we arrived right before the lunch rush, because within 5 minutes, both places have long lines. While eating, I reminiscent to the time when I attended school in Israel. I remember the take out falafel stand adjacent to the Dizengoff fountain in Tel Aviv. Oh, how I loved Israel. I feel fortunate to have been twice, which makes me look upon DH who is stuffing his face, and think this is our third time to Europe together, and every time, it just gets better.

After lunch, we head to the Pompidou. This is going to be a big day because we plan to visit the Louvre as well. Being Wed., the Louvre is opened late. Along the way, we stop at pastry shop. We then sit along the Stravinsky fountains and eat our treats. DH finds the fountains a little silly, but I think them quite whimsical. I realize that the square is surrounded by poster shops and look forward to browsing later. We both agree that the Pompidou itself is quite fascinating.

On the way in we notice that many young people are congregating with their laptops in front. Later, when we are the top of the Pompidou, we look down and see a big WI-FI painted on the ground. Aha!

We visit the first floor of the museum first, which is free. The have an exhibit of cartoons and caricatures. Many of them are blood and gore representations of war, and although we canít understand the French writing; we certainly understand the anti-Bush sentiment. I am ashamed. Based on what I could discern, America is seen as imperialistic and militaristic regime with a superiority attitude, and I canít say those artists got it wrong. I just hope that the average everyday person sees me and not my country.

On the next floor there is a special media applications exhibit where we end up spending a lot of time. There is one exhibit where you go into this movie like theatre and watch different slides of couples, gay and straight, mostly nude living and ďloving.Ē There is one slide show of a family with their child, perhaps 4 or 5, who is shown mostly nude, and also in bed with his parents when they are nude. I am certain this would be considered child pornography in America. Logically I donít have problem with it, what is wrong with nudity, but I have to separate this thought with my visceral reaction as to whether it is appropriate.

We move to the top floors to see the more permanent modern art, but they are doing some renovations and most of the art work was not available for viewing. Oh, well, next time. We still have the Louvre to visit, but first we peruse the shops outside. We get a great bicycle poster of - get this - a nude woman on a bicycle, ironic, which is now nicely framed and hanging in our stairwell.

On our way to the Louvre, we meander through the Forum de Halles and then stop at Au Pied au Cochon for the recommended onion soup - and a big beer. DH loved it. I found the setting, sitting on the patio, more charming than the soup. The soup was very un-salty, but I have an unhealthy appetite for salt so what do I know?

More to come . . .
job816 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 37
Ca va, Job816. Your travel report makes for a satisfying read, even for a Saturday evening. I love your stream-of-consciousness way of writing (I also love that kind of narrative structure in novels). When I return to France, I will be sure to make a day trip to Mont St-Michel and will access the sites another poster provided on the tide sightings. As I am reading your report, I feel as if I am strolling down the street, in the museum or square, and dining in the cafes that you describe. Well done thus far! Tres bien!!!
gogoboots99 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 213
Merci Beaucoup Gogoboots99.

We finally make it to the Louvre. Although we know about the side entrance, we come through the back of the courtyard in order to enter through the glass pyramid. DH has never seen it before and really wants to go in this way. We have the museum pass, so except for the security line, getting in is easy. Once in, DH is desperately trying to figure out where Mary is buried under the pyramid, you know like in the DaVinci Code. When he sees there is no point coming from the ceiling, he becomes quite upset. As you know by now, DH is easily disappointed.

We tramp through the Louvre seeing all the obligatory sites. We are not really prepared to visit because otherwise I would have made sure to see some items in particular. I forgot that I wanted to see the vase that Elinor of Aquitaine gave to Louis VII as a wedding gift. But I really enjoyed the crown jewels. Crazy! When we get to the Mona Lisa, of course itís crowded, but we are able to get close up. As I move back, there is American man asking a guard the history of the painting. I have Rick Steveís book opened to this very page and was about to give it to him to read, but just then DH comes by and we move on. The reason I mention this is because I felt time slow down. I very distinctly saw what he looked like and what he was wearing, the young girl he was with, heard his southern accent, etc. Ironically, that next night on the metro on our way to Montmarte, he and his girlfriend were standing right next to us. I finally said something to him, but they exited the train before we could really converse. I felt a missed existential moment.

We probably spend a good 3 hours wandering the museum. We exit by the mall area. The bottom pointed pyramid is located here. Yeah! DH is content, although ready to start digging. We see that there is a food court up the escalator and decide to give it a shot since we are really hungry. Well, it all looks very good and there are a lot of choices. But my friends, I think this is one area the Americans have up on the French - food court food. Not that I am sure that is something to brag about, but what we ate was very tasteless and unsatisfying.

It is dark when we exit the Louvre. We come back through the courtyard. Itís lit up and very pretty. We see a group doing the Fat Bike tour, which we had considered. I had read that the Halles area had a number of pubs, so we try to walk over to where I think they are located. Big mistake, as the information I got was clearly from an outdated website. There are no pubs, and I see why others warn not to walk though this area at night. Not that I felt really unsafe, but you never know so probably best avoided. We decide to find a pub over in what I call restaurant row in the 6Arr. This is the area between Rue de Cannettes, Rue de Mabillion and Place St Sulpice. It reminds me of the North End in Boston. We first visit the Frog and Prince, have a good microbrew, and relish the excitement of watching soccer, I mean football, with the locals. The pub is a little young for our tastes, so we leave and end up bar hopping. Finally we settle in a nice pub where we order a flat bread pizza. I forget the name, but it is an Alsace type bar snack. It was quite yummy. I enjoy this area. Itís busy, and appears to be filled with tourists and locals. I wonder why this part of town is not mention in the guide books, although I am glad its not. After a number of beers, we stagger our way home. It was a very full day.
job816 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 03:41 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 87
What a great trip report. I hope to go to Paris and Normandy and really enjoyed reading this!
texastraveler is offline  

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