My summer in Paris

Old Aug 19th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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Is this heaven?
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Old Aug 20th, 2015, 04:59 AM
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Exactly. That's the way I've been approaching trips to Paris for decades. I was about to say I've never stayed in the suburbs, but that's not true! First trip, many moons ago, in student housing in Clichy before I found a room in the Latin Quarter. It was most definitely an interesting experience...
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Old Aug 20th, 2015, 06:36 AM
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THE DAY WE WENT TO THE ORANGERIE

To see Monet’s water lilies at the Orangerie, had been on my bucket list for ever. We went early, had a nice walk through the Tuileries gardens, and were still in time to catch the precious minutes when not too many other people were around.

Yes, the paintings are beautiful. Truely beautiful. To see it in reality was just so great. Sitting down for a while, just absorbing it … Monet did not really paint water lilies - he played with light and colour on canvas. What brought unwanted tears to my eyes, is that he was nearly blind when he painted this.

The museum opens at 10am. By 11 there were lines in the coffee shop, in the gift shop, at the toilets. A steady stream of people went past the other impressionist paintings, cell phones and cameras whirring and purring. We fled. (Do these people ever look at the 100s of photos that they take of paintings?)

You can exit and return later in the day with the same ticket. I never did, although I would have loved a few uninterrupted moments with the Renoirs there. I faffed around a bit too long in those oval rooms, and in the end did not really see some of the other wonders in the same museum.

I asked a nice woman who works there if they are always that busy. No, but on the day we were there, both Versailles and Orsay (I think) were closed, so all the tour groups then go the Orangerie.

So here are my recommendations for going to the Orangerie: be there at opening time; if possible, go later in the week when everything else is also open; decide before the time what you want to see, and go straight to it. Above all: do not miss it!
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Old Aug 20th, 2015, 04:48 PM
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Dear kovsie: Thank you very good!
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Old Aug 20th, 2015, 11:04 PM
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STOKEBAILEY: You often make me smile!! Thanks you very good to you too.

CREFLOORS: re your comment of 6 August -- I still wanted to reply before my great laptop crash: FOUCHON is very easy to find. I stuggled more to find the exit to Madeleine Station. O my goodness, I managed to misread signs and followed the 'sortie' to platforms for various trains. But: when you do eventually exit Madeleine Station, turn right, walk perhaps 50m, and there you have it ... Fouchon in all its Pink and Black magic!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 12:23 AM
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DONTOPAZ: I have to thank you for making me aware of the humour and gentle teasing of French shopkeepers. It could easily have been lost in translation. Once I realized what was happening, all of us had more fun.

One last example: I was the first person entering the Marmottan that morning. The very official looking man said: "I have to check your bag." With the strange accent, I only took in "Check your bag", and I thought about airports, where checked luggage means something else. I asked: "I check my bag?" He pointed at his eyes, at the bag, and said again: "I check your bag". I replied with understanding: "Ooo, you check my bag", and opened up. He barely glanced at it, and said with a glimmer: "I have now checked your bag". By the time I left him to his task, we were both chuckling.

MATHIEU and WellTB and LDayT and everybody else: thanks for more recommendations than I could follow up on ... next time I will start with the Camondo (Commando!). I planned to do that on the very last day, but then ran out of time. Even a month was not enough.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 12:28 AM
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A MONTH IS NOT FOREVER
And so it came to an end … the month that we had in Paris.

Living in the suburbs had advantages, and I will most definitely do it again. The only possible disadvantage is that we spend more time and money on trains. Our little station was (still is) 20 minutes from Austerlitz. If you stay right in the center of the city, you could potentially save 40 - 60 minutes every day. But where-ever you choose to stay, you will perhaps still use the metro, so in my mind it does not make that much of a difference. Of course it would be nice to walk the streets of Montmartre or Marais late at night or early in the morning – we never did. OTOH, I found it very nice indeed to leave the pressure of so many tourists behind and walk the streets of an ordinary neighbourhood.

The last afternoon, waiting on a station, DD watched commuters and said: “These people can go to Paris any day!” And we talked about the fact that Paris is their ‘normal’; our ‘normal’ may seem to them to be ‘exotic’. And yes, we are now back in our ‘normal’ again!

Thanks to everybody for all the positive comments, all of you who gave advice and recommended books and enjoyed Paris with us. It was absolutely great!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 03:43 AM
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Thanks so much for taking us along. It was such a pleasure.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 04:08 AM
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Have never been to Paris, it was a delight to share with you.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 04:24 AM
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Thanks Micheline and Adelaidean - it was my first taste of France, and I cannot wait for more!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 06:13 AM
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What a lovely report. Thank you for sharing.

I dream of having months in my favorite city but will make do with 5 measly days this October. It will be our fourth trip and I'm still having trouble deciding how we'll fill our precious days. But what a lovely problem to have!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 06:30 AM
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Again, a lovely TR. If you aren't a writer by vocation, kovsie, please look into it!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2015, 09:28 PM
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happy planning nola. What to do with five days in Paris ... indeed a very nice problem to have!

TDudette: I am not a writer by vocation, but I do love writing. Thanks for being so NICE.
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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You are welcome, kovsie but I'm being truthful. You really have a nice writing style.
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 10:44 AM
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Kovsie, you have set the trip report bar VERY high. We leave for Paris on Saturday and I am resolving to adopt your calm, open-hearted attitude. And hopefully, can convince my husband to do the same.

Can't wait for you to go back to Paris and write some more!
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 10:50 AM
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So glad you ended your trip well but that you still have things to go back to see. Did the family you exchanged with enjoy their time in the US? I kept wishing we could read their description of your neighborhood!

Thanks again for posting.
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Old Aug 24th, 2015, 11:23 PM
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paris1953: O, I am jealous! Enjoy every precious day in Paris, it is such a unique and beautiful city. Please let us know what you loved most!

WTBrit: The people we exchanged with loved Dubai so much that they booked an additional week in a hotel after our return. In spite of the 50C heat, they even went to the beach! It was nice to return and find everything in our home well cared for. I am sorry that, with the language issues, we could not really sit down and chat. But one sentence we alll understood: "next year perhaps repeat"!
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Old Aug 25th, 2015, 12:20 AM
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I should have looked at your profile to see it was Dubai, and they went in the middle of this heatwave. I once went to Iran in July and it was brutal.

So glad to hear they enjoyed the beach, stayed for an additional week and would think about returning next year!
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Old Aug 25th, 2015, 02:57 AM
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When they requested the exchange, I kept on telling them to check 'climate dubai august'. They were undaunted. Different strokes!
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Old Aug 27th, 2015, 04:33 AM
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Hi Kovsie - I just read your London report and wonder if you bought a wineglass in Paris to add to your collection?
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