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Paree! Trip Report. Thanks to all who contributed information

Paree! Trip Report. Thanks to all who contributed information

Apr 20th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
Paree! Trip Report. Thanks to all who contributed information

Flights by Air France out of Aberdeen at 11.40am.The weather when we left was pretty blowy, and whilst the forecast for Paris was not great, Paris in foul weather was bound to be better than Aberdeen in the same. The snow drifting over Aberdeenshire, fortunately did not follow us.

We decided to take the Air France bus in to Gare de Lyon, which, for simplicity, was a good idea. On a Friday afternoon, struggling with traffic overground was probably not the best thing. It was, I think, about an hour to get in.

Next issue was the standard run in with a Parisian, in this case, the taxi driver, who simply refused to believe that our hotel existed, or at least, that its street did.

But we got there, in the centre of Bercy, the area where all the wine for Paris was offloaded, formerly warehouses, now mostly demolished to make way for huge office developments or a lovely park, or converted into some boutiquey shops and wine bars. So we then headed for some fresh air and a plate of cheese in "Partie de Campagne"

Then we made our way on the Metro to Pont d"Alma on the river, just in front of the Eiffel Tower.

We joined the river boat with, I guess, 70 others and a jazz band, and sailed up river past all the monuments illuminated for the Olympic bid, as far as Bercy, then back down as far as the little Statue of Liberty. I have to say that with the statue lit up and the lights dancing on the Eiffel Tower, behind, it was immensely moving.

Saturday we rose at 10 and headed into the maze of wee shops and cafes in Bercy Village for a good look round. We went for a walk in the park and were astonished to see half a dozen people practising Tai Chi.

Spent far too much for 30 minutes use of a computer in the local Sofitel, then changed for the wedding.

We were bussed to the church of St Thomas Aquinas, just off the Boulevard St Germain, to hours of French milling about with a wedding in the middle.

The wedding reception was in a funfair Museum, (Musee des Arts Forains). Sunday, we packed and moved to our new hotel, Hotel Harvey, about 100 yards the unfashionable side of the Arc de Triomphe.

Monday morning we sorted out the Carte Orange (definitely right for a stay of any length) and headed down to the Ile de la Cite. After a bit of a wander (past maigret's Quai des Orfevres, and the flower market) we paid a visit to Sainte Chapelle. Gorgeous tiny church with fantastic stained glass. You can buy a joint ticket with the Conciergerie with its mediaeval hall and exhibition of the Terror. We had a well earned stop then a trip to the Memorial to the Deportation.... closed for cleaning!

So we walked along the Left Bank, with a brief stop at Shakespeare & Co, then took the RER to Les Invalides, where, having been alerted, we saw the arrival of the President of Portugal and his being conducted in state with a troop of horse and a mounted band, over the Pont Alexandre III to the Elysees. Very impressive but maybe the funniest bit was the troop of mechanical street sweepers cleaning up the horse shit afterwards.

We ate in an Italian restaurant called Paolo Petrini, which was recommended in a guide we picked up. The food was very good but it was €160 for the two of us!

Tuesday we crossed the river again and went to the Musee d"Orsay. It took half an hour to get the tickets. Definitely a good shout to get them in advance, but the entertainment in the queue was high class- a guy with a trumpet and clarinet (not, you understand, at the same time), accompanied by a boy on a piano. Not your normal street entertainment.

On the advice of the locally based cousin, went straight up to the Impressionists, and they are just stunning. KMR wanted to see the Art Nouveau stuff on the middle floor and I wanted to see the Corots on the ground floor, so, 2 1/2 hours later, we left. Had bowl of soup in caff, then walked up towards the Musee Rodin.

En route, we passed a riot. No idea what the story was, but brushing past policemen in riot gear was surreal.

Fantastic sculpture at the museum, fantastic location, at least 5 Van Goghs, a Renoir and a Degas, and the building's disintegrating. What's that all about?

So, next day, shopping. How many of you have gone shopping with your spouses, on the assurance that they think this is a top notion, only to have them stand inches behind your shoulder, saying nothing, till you give in and leave? Guess what happened to me in Galeries Lafayettes, with the sole exception of the few minutes we spent in the cave? Caught the Metro across to the Marais, and had a very pleasant lunch in a cafe off the Place St Catherine. In the aftenoon we followed the route in the green Michelin, through Place des Vosges and around all the grand hotels particuliers.

Thursday we were on the RER to Versailles at 9am. This is definitely the way to do it. The train ticket included the self done tour (with headsets) of the State Apartments, and the tour of the King"s Bedroom yet again, with headsets. No queuing!

Lunch at a cafe opposite the station, then back into the city and up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Queueing took about 30 minutes. Fantastic, it was.
had supper in very chi chi Chinese off the Champs Elysees- Diep. Valet parking for Chinese?!
Friday we went across to the Latin Quarter, and first up, went to the Cluny Museum. I think I"m in love with the Lady and the Unicorn.

Wandered around a bit, bought some oil, and some books.

We, as has become habit, just came back to the local café- Ma Maison- for supper. It"s been around a long time there are pre war photos on the wall.

Saturday, we went up to Rue de Levis and wandered through the market, then walked back down to Parc Monceau, where there was an antique market, and then on to Avenue de Ternes and walked through the Rue Poncelet market. We were heading for a restaurant I had picked, which was.... closed on Saturdays.

But at this point we had a stroke of luck. Having been told in the hotel that Stade Jean Bouin was in Angers, we passed a rugby bar, and discovered it's actually out at Parc des Princes. So we sloped off out there, had lunch in a very posh place called Murat, and watched Stade Francais beat Castres at rugby.

Used the Michelin Green Guide and the Rough guide to Paris.

Things I would do differently next time:- I'd take a flat instead of a hotel room. It would be in the Marais or Quartier Latin. We'd sort out the eating/sleeping schedule so I got at least ONE good meal out of it

sheila is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Sounds like you had an enjoyable trip - in spite of the taxi driver. (Subtitle: Why Robespierre Prefers the Train.)

Robespierre is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 04:21 PM
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Sheila: It seems we crossed paths. We passed right through that mob and police while walking from the d'Orsay to the Rodin. According to the policeman that I asked, it was a student protest. It was an amazing amount of police, vehicles and gear!

The next day, we took the Metro from the Louvre, transferred at Concorde and got on a train packed so tight that my husband couldn't get on. My son and I got off at the next stop to wait for him on the next train and at least half the train got off with us. Again, it was another protest but with a loud group of adults, not students.

jpf is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Welcome back Sheila darlin!
Yes, I have shopped with that man too.

Thank you for the report, you did SO Much!!
A flat is a good idea, so is shopping on ones own
Scarlett is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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What an intersting, different appraoch to visiting Paris.

Why Bercy? I have only run past there... intriguing views of another Paris that most of us do not see.

(NOTE to self: early Sunday morning practice runs for impending half-marathon are THE best way to see Paris)

NOTE to sheilaritchie: Your British idiom cracks me up: a good shout.. caff... sloped off (which I also use).

"Two peoples divided by a single language" (GBS)
tedgale is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 05:58 PM
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Welcome back Sheila, you know that J. would not be a shopper so I have him sit at a café and say, "I'll be back,"
Knowing you are a vegetarian, I wish I knew you were going to Paris. There were discussions and suggestions on BP and destinationparis, but knowing you two, I know you had a great time, not because of, but inspite of.
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Nice visit, Sheila.
ira is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 07:52 AM
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Glad to hear you had a lovely time. Brought back memories when you mentioned Shakespeare & Co. We stayed just around the corner and used to sit at one of the two cafe's facing the Seine and watch the Bateaux Mouches shining their lights onto the side of Notre Dame as they passed down(or up) river at night.
tod is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:02 PM
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Tedgale; why is it a different approach?

We went to Bercy because our wedding hosts were putting up dozens of us in the Bercy Ibis. The reception was in the Musee des Arts Forain, about 50 yards away in a converted wine warehouse.

The taxi we took across town on the Sunday ran into the Paris marathon and after we'd been diverted twice, he turned round, went right out to the Peripheriqhe and back in again. There was €17 on the clock when we passed where we started from. It was about 11.30 and there were people finished and some with 20 miles still to go.

jpf; what do you look like?
sheila is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Hi Sheila, glad to hear you had fun. My husband is not co-operative when it comes to shopping either. Fancy going to Paris and not shopping, ridiculous! He now sits in a cafe/park like Cigalechanta's husband until I return. I just had this mental image of all these cafes in Paris, filled with men only, sipping their 6th coffee whilst waiting for their errant wives! Anyway, was it actually a jazz cruise that you went on? If so, I would love to know the details.
toni is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Actually, it's not 6th coffee...it's 9th pression
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:50 PM
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Well, it was, but it was privately organised, so I can't help. I could ask my friend for the detils if you like?
sheila is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Hey Sheila...are you sure that man with you shopping wasn't my husband?...
loisco is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 06:42 AM
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Sheila: Re: what do you look like... 5'5", 50, probably wearing all black except for scarf and 'cross slung' small purse, medium length light brown hair, traveling with 50 year old husband, wearing black leather jacket, and 18 year old son wearing white sneakers, considered the ultimate offensive foot gear by this board. I plan to write a thread about it! Several older Parisian teens thought he was French because his well broken- in shoes were asics.

Any chance you were wearing a red sweater?

Glad you had a great visit; so did we.

jpf is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:13 AM
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I didn't have a red sweater on

Husband red hair and beard?

Me, I'm the size of a small house, and dark haired.
sheila is offline  
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