Paris--Solo Trip Report

Old May 7th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Paris--Solo Trip Report

Just got back from Paris on May 2. Stayed there from April 26-May 2 with a one day trip to London on April 27.

April 25: The flight was fun. I took Air France and I liked the food and the service. I was able to sleep for 3 hours on the plane. Just took a carry on bag for the week.

April 26: Landed in CDG at 6:30 AM, but because of a technical glitch with the jetway to the plane, was not able to get off the plane until after 7. My Paris Shuttle had left without me so I gave up and took a taxi to the Hotel Bonaparte. 60 euros at rush hour plus tip. My room was not ready, so the first thing I did was go to Les Deux Magots for breakfast. That is my favorite Paris cafe and I took pictures from inside the cafe and had someone take some pictures of me sitting there. Went on a Seine boat cruise that day and took more pictures. Lunch was at L'Entrecote de Paris on the Champs Elysees that serves just steak and salad. Very good meal, and I had a Kir Royal to start. Very nice drink. Wandered all over. Went to the top of the Arc de Triumph and took more pictures. Dinner was quiche back at Deux Magots.

April 27: Woke up early and went to Gare du Nord. Got my tickets for the Eurostar and had coffee and waited for the train. I was in second class but got a window seat with no one sitting next to me. It was a very pleasant ride. My train left Paris at 8 am and I got to London before 10. London was a little intimidating because it is so big. I got off the Tube at Westminster and saw Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Then I took a double decker city bus to Chelsea and saw a lot of the city including Sloane Square. Lunch was Shepherd's Pie in the Sherlock Holmes pub. Then, I went shopping for books for my boyfriend. I found a big department store and had tea and scones in the tea room in the store and did more shopping. Took the 5:42 pm Eurostar back to Paris and slept on the train. It was a tiring day but a great day.

April 28: I had a lunch reservation at La Petite Chaise for 1:00. In the morning I went to the Bon Marche department store, which I had not been to. (This was my fourth trip to Paris). The store is magnificent, and I also went to their food store. Went to an Internet cafe and then to La Petite Chaise. I had filet of beef with green peppercorn sauce and potatoes, with smoked salmon to start and dessert of creme brulee. It was the best meal I have ever eaten in my life. Superb. The fixed price lunch was 29 euros, but I had a Kir Royal to start. Excellent restaurant with reasonable prices. Then, after lunch I went to the 9th to look at the Opera House and to go to the Galleries Lafayettes. Did some shopping in the stalls out front. Dinner was at Quick on the Champs Elysees and I did some more walking and exploring.

April 29: I woke up early and went to the big flea market in the 18th. I forget the name. I haggled with an antique dealer and got my sister some lapis beads. The flea market was very interesting. One thing I did when walking around all day was to stop in cafes when my feet hurt. I would stop for a cafe creme or a Kir Royal. It started getting a little chilly towards the end of my trip but I sat at outdoor tables where the cafe would have a heater. This was a laid back trip. Not as many museums and monuments as before and a lot more cafe crawling. Dinner was at an Indian Restaurant, the Old Kashmir, in the 5th. The food and service was great. I had the 16.50 menu of lamb to start, chicken curry and coconut and pistachio ice cream as desser. I had the excellent white house wine. Then, I went to the movies in the 5th and saw a V.O. Disney movie about Antarctica, which was excellent.

April 30: I was getting just a tad lonely in the morning so I went on another Seine boat cruise and stopped in an outdoor cafe on the way back. That cured me completely. Dinner was at Le Hogar in the 5th that serves great Swiss fondue. I had the fondue with white wine. The dinner came with cold meats and boiled potatoes. The price of the fondue was 13 euros. I only gained 2 pounds on this trip because of all the walking and the food was superb.

May 1: This was a holiday and all the stores were closed. I didn't see any demonstrations except on TV. Today, I explored Montparnasse and Montmartre. I had a Croque Monsieur at Le Select, which is one of the famous cafes in Montparnasse. I went to the top of the Tour Montparnasse and took pictures. I will try and post my pictures. My sister said I captured the life style of the city in my pictures. Then, I went to Montmartre, took pictures of the Moulin Rouge and then took the next subway stop and took pictures of Sacre Coeur. Did not go up. My feet were a limiting factor on this trip. I would have to stop at cafes when my feet hurt, but that was a very pleasant diversion.

May 2: My shuttle to the airport left at 6 am. I had a nice flight on Air France with champagne and good food. When I got back to my condo, I saw that my boyfriend had scheduled flowers to be delivered that afternoon. He missed me.

I would recommend a day trip to London, the Eurostar cost $94 round trip because I booked it early and was able to get the cheap fare.

The shopping was great. I bought a Lamarthe purse in their boutique in the 6th that cost 189 euro. Cheaper than a lot of designer purses in the U.S. I also bought costume jewelry at Agatha, another boutique in the 6th. They are both next to the Hotel Bonaparte. I love that hotel. It is my fourth time staying there. I always get the smallest single room, which is big enough for me.

It was a great trip! I always travel solo.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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It does sound like you had an excellent trip.
Question about the shuttle: I'm curious why the shuttle left you on the inbound side. It was my past experience that you had to call the shuttle office after you retrieved your bags and went through customs. If this were still true, there would be no reason for them to leave you. Were your arrangements different than this?
Someone else on this board always stays at Hotel Bonaparte, well before anyone had 'heard' of it.
Anyone ever notice that guys never report whether or not they gained any weight on a trip? Let's adopt their attitude, I say..!!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Welcome back. I like the Lamarthe line of leather goods. Did you try any of the three Agatha scents?
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Sounds like a great trip! Thanks for posting. Did you like the Bonaparte? I'm thinking about staying there my next trip.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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I tried calling. The shuttle service answering machine said if there was no answer to go to the assigned meeting place. When they weren't there, I was so tired that I gave up and took a taxi. I have heard people say that they have problems getting them to come back and pick you up if you are not there at the correct time, so I gave up with them I guess I could have tried to get them to come back.

I didn't try the Agatha scents, but I love their jewelry.

Ira also likes the Hotel Bonaparte so I hear. It was recommended to me by a friend the first time I went to Paris, and I have been a repeat customer. Breakfast is included (for 5 euro) and delivered to your room. The rooms are very nice and they have hot and cold beverage service. I think next time, however, I will get a tub so I can soak my feet.
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