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Trip Report Paris with a Broken Leg - Brief Trip Report

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Hi all - We returned from a 4-night visit to Paris yesterday. We have been there a number of times before, but this trip presented special challenges as I fell and broke my kneecap after our trip was planned but 3 weeks after the fracture. I looked to Fodorites for advice in
planning and received so much useful information in return. My husband and I feel this really was one of our nicest trips, if not the nicest - ironic considering there had been serious consideration given to canceling the whole trip! One word about the pace of our trip: I am someone who normally tends to pack a lot into each day of a trip. This time I could not do that, so was forced to pare back our itinerary and be more leisurely. It really worked! Some highlights:
1) Hotel - We always stay in a small hotel in the 7th, on the edge of the 6th and had planned to do so this time; however, as our seriously revised itinerary began to take shape, I realized the restaurants where we were reserved for dinner (and where we very much wanted to eat) were in the 7th, closer to the Eiffel Tower. I knew I would be too tired to even think about walking over there in the evening and possibly too tired to bear the thought of a cab, so with advice from Fodorites, we switched hotels to be closer to our
dinner restaurants! We chose Hotel le Tourville (Hotel Duquesne was installing a new
elevator this month and would have no elevator service for the month of February, so that was a non-starter under the circumstances). We opted for the 3-person Executive Suite on the top floor - an L-shaped room under the eaves with good light, good work space, a king size bed and a separate daybed at the other end of the suite - plus a nice big bathroom with....a whirlpool tub. I must admit this latter was a factor, as I knew after a
day of activity, even limited activity, that whirlpool would provide some soothing relief.
We were very happy with the accommodations and glad we had made the switch in this case.
2) Getting Around - We are a couple who loves to walk and we rarely use public transportation when vacationing in a city. Well, that model required some tweaking this trip! The Metro really was not an option because of all of the stairs and unreliable elevators/escalators. Buses were an option, but we ended up taking a lot of cabs - fortunately, there was a cab stand practically outside the door of our hotel and getting a cab never was a problem. We cabbed to our main attraction of the day and would walk
(slowly) some from there, taking a rest or another cab if I tired. It worked well and did not
wreck the budget. In fact, I think Paris cabs are cheaper than the ones on the East Coast.
3) Musee Marmottan - This was perhaps our favorite of this trip and the forced cab ride
actually made it more special as the cab took us through a lovely section of the 16th arr. on a cold but sunny Saturday. I have a separate post about the museum but, in a nutshell, it is very worth the trip. The building and its contents (both the art and the furnishings) are really a treat, as is the setting - on the edge of a park with lots of tall trees around. Beautiful. I did not use a wheelchair, just my cane, and took it slowly. It is not a
large museum, so pretty easy to manage and, esp at this time of year, not crowded.
4) Vintage Car Show - Our visit coincided with the "Retro Mobiles", aka Vintage Car Show, at the immense Porte de Versaille exhibition center (think U.S. convention center multiplied by 10!). The auto show was in two of these halls and very crowded, but fortunately some of the exhibitors had sofas and chairs, so I was able to rest from time to time. My husband loves old cars and so this was worth the trouble - plus, once again our cab ride took us through some interesting neighborhoods we ordinarily would not have seen.
5) Cezanne Exhibit at Musee du Luxembourg - this is a terrific temporary exhibit (ending, I think, in late February). It is not a huge exhibit, but larger than I had expected. We were there on a late Sunday morning - it was not crowded, but neither was it empty. We loved the exhibit. If you are in Paris before it ends, go!
6) Musee d'Orsay - We always go to Musee d'Orsay and did this time as well. I opted not to use a wheelchair, relying instead on my cane and my husband's steady arm. Had I not been to this museum before, this would have been a pretty frustrating experience as it is
always crowded and other patrons did not always know to give me a little extra room to navigate. Nonetheless, I am glad we went. Coffee in the cafe with the big clock
helped to re-energize me but I must say: why did the Museum install those ugly gold light fixtures??? They completely distract the view of the clock.
7) Opera at Palais Garnier - We had booked tickets to the opera before my accident and I was a bit apprehensive about how "accessible" the beautiful but very old Palais Garnier would be. The website assured me there were "handicap seats" available if necessary
but, fortunately, we were fine. There was an elevator up to our level and just a few steps up to our "box". The opera itself did not enthrall us, but the experience of being in that beautiful old building, with the Chagall ceiling all illuminated made it all worthwhile.
8) Restaurants - We were able to walk to dinner in the evenings, albeit slowly, 3 of the 4 nights. And what terrific dinners they were: Chez L'Ami Jean, Reed and Violons D'Ingres - all in the 7th - and Josephine Chez Dumonet in the 6th: each different from the next, all wonderful meals - and all restaurants to which we readily would return. All of the
restaurants were sensitive to my impaired mobility - even the very crowded Chez L'Ami Jean made sure to clear a path so I could safely navigate to and from my seat.
Sorry this post is so very long - but thank you to all of you who chimed in with responses, advice, suggestions - they were very helpful and helped to make this such a relaxing and manageable trip.

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