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June to Paris and ideas for 2 other cities

June to Paris and ideas for 2 other cities

May 8th, 2008, 12:19 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 27,403
Hi singer,

I love your itinerary so far!

A few things ...

Paris-
In Paris through June, there is a really wonderful Marie Antoinette exhibit at the Gran Palais ?... Get tickets in advance if you can. Also, maybe read the Naslund "Marie Antoinette" together - novelized but pretty close to the Fraser biography. Really brings Paris and the French Revolution alive. Then you can see all the sites referred to in the book...Versailles, Conciergerie, etc. etc...Can you believed she was beheaded on my daughter's birthdate and her child that died was born on my other daughter's birthdate? ... creepy!

Amsterdam-
In Amsterdam, get the Anne Frank House tickets in advance to save waiting on a very long line. Try to find out (perhaps here on Fodor's?) a time to visit when it is not mobbed. Have a quiet stroll in the pretty Jordaan neighborhood afterward. You will both probably be a bit introspective afterward so don't book another museum on top of it.

If you go to the Rijksmuseum there is a really wonderful audio by an actor who grew up in Amsterdam. I highly recommend it - it really brings this fantastic museum to life.

There is a little houseboat museum not far from Anne Frank House. It is really cute and has a wonderful video you can watch about houseboats. You need less than an hour but I really liked this...

I found a very friendly pub with great food and friendly service - also in the Jordaan area - I'll post back here with the name.

Try to stay outside the main red light district if you can. It's really sketchy and crowded at night and since you can walk everywhere in Amsterdam I didn't like ending my night strolling through there. There are some things to see there, but keep it to the daytime.

Your trip sounds wonderful!!

Have fun...

gruezi
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May 8th, 2008, 04:34 AM
  #22  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 69
gruezi,

Keep all the good ideas coming. The last time I was in Europe myself was in early 80's with annual business trips to Versailles for a company I worked for. I have never been to Amsterdam or London.

I definitely want to take advantage of the Marie A. exhibit and all the ideas for Amsterdam... keep them coming.

Thank you,
singercpa is offline  
May 8th, 2008, 06:51 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 27,403
Dear singercpa,

I really found the Eyewitness Top 10 books really helpful for Amsterdam and Paris. I haven't been to London in a while (although we're going with our girls for Wimbledon!) but I imagine it would be good for that as well. It just helps to focus on things a bit, gives a good map with restaurants by neighborhood, and fits well in your purse, and then I like an additional larger book for cross reference that I leave in the hotel.

The pub I liked in Amsterdam was:

De Reiger
Nieuwe Leliestraat 34

If you are interested in seeing the Girl with A Pearl Earring, I believe it is in The Hague...possible daytrip and a good read for the airplane or train.

Other beautiful Vermeer's and Rembrandt's are in the Rijksmuseum.`Even if you aren't an art nut, you'll enjoy this museum - bet your daughter will too - get the audio...and do just the audio tour - takes about 1-2 hours.

Probably not so exciting for your daughter, but a nice break from the bikes and busy-ness is Begijnhof. If you are at all into religious services there are Catholic and Protestant churches there with services on Sunday. I'm not very religious, but I enjoyed attending the mass - lovely small congregation and beautiful singing

www.begijnhofamsterdam.nl

An early stroll through the Bloemenmarkt is very lovely and fun to watch the men picking out perfect bouquets for their ladies...

I really loved the Jordaan neighborhood and spent a lot of time there just strolling and poking into charming boutiques. In another neighborhood (sorry can't remember), your daughter will find all the H&M, Esprit and such she could wish for...

There is plenty to "do" in Amsterdam but just wanted to add the above to my prior ideas.


Paris-

Have your daughter bring her student ID - she will get free entrance to most exhibits in Paris. I love this about Paris.

I used www.parismuse.com for a tour of the Louvre. I've used them on 2 occasions and I can't say enough good things about them. It's not cheap, but it makes this amazing but huge museum seem friendly... If you can spring for it, do it. I decided it went under the category of "education"...my rationalization.
I took both my girls on separate occasions and they both really loved the Louvre tour and everything we saw there. Great people watching outside the Louvre by the I.M.Pei pyramids.

My younger daughter went with me to the Marie Antoinette exhibit. She really had no point-of-view for this so wasn't particularly fascinated although I was. If you can get your daughter to read Sena Jaslund's book or another brief story about MA, I think it will all come much more alive - really a touching exhibit esp on the lower level where the final painting of her in the cart en route to the executioner is. I regret not having my girls read up a bit on the French Revolution and MA. It's hard for them to imagine this girl left her country at 14 to marry a complete stranger...and then was beheaded for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Rodin - you must see this pretty and easy museum...Perfect for a teen and her mom.

Do a boat cruise at dusk so you can see the city light up.

Visit under the Eiffel tower at night - it sparkles for about 10 minutes every hour so make sure you are there on the hour. I promise your daughter will love this.

Stroll through the 6th at night to really see Paris cafe culture...

Go upstairs for tea at Laduree in the 6th on Rue Bonaparte. Charming and wonderful pastries and chocolat. The other Ladurees did not strike us as well - we loved this one.

There is a great cafe at the top of the Pompidou Center with fantastic city views and great people watching. You don't need to get a meal there - coffee or soda in the afternoon is an inexpensive way to see the view. Service is non-existent so don't go too hungry. There are french boys in very tight shiny suits and pointy shoes who will eventually take your order A special elevator takes you up if you say you're eating there - this way you avoid a huge line.

Okay, do you have room for me on your trip??

Seriously, you are going to have a ball. I'm envious of your 3 weeks!

Let me know if you have any questions - if I think of anything I'll post back.

Let me know what your daughter loved in London!

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
May 9th, 2008, 04:02 PM
  #24  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 69
gruezi

I sincerely appreciate all the good tips for both cities. I'll be putting together my top 5 and top 10 sites for each city over the next few weeks; and use a map/research to figure a rough plan based on when some things are closed or busy. Buy any advance tickets that sound good.

But other than that, we want to wake up each day and decide what we want to do that day (selecting from my pre-researched top 10). I plan to take my laptop to journal, store photos, and have ability to send in questions/look up information as we go.

We will definitely share back with you what we love in London.

Thanks, again

singercpa
singercpa is offline  

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