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Reposting Trip Report : Part One of Family Paris, Brittany and Normandy Trip Report

Reposting Trip Report : Part One of Family Paris, Brittany and Normandy Trip Report

Old Nov 8th, 2002, 03:58 AM
  #1  
amy
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Reposting Trip Report : Part One of Family Paris, Brittany and Normandy Trip Report

My trip reports were lost in the indexing hole of August this past summer. After several emails requesting the entries, I'm just going to repost them here under "Family
Paris, Brittany, and Normandy Trip Report."

Our family of four spent 2 1/2 weeks in France. Spent four days in Paris, nine days with a tour group on bikes in Brittany/Normandy, and then three days on our own working our way back to CDG.

Our four nights in Paris were anchored in Le Marais at the much recommended three-star, Caron de Beaumarchais. Our opinion? We loved Le Marais. Fun, fun, fun. The location of the hotel was perfect and the host/owner was a dear. Our last night there was 90 degrees, so the hotel's very functioning air conditioning was of great value.

However, if you are considering this hotel,please go to the Rants and Raves section and read some of the more negative posts. They are not off the mark. We would stay there again in a heartbeat, but if room size is an issue for you, this isn't the place.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 04:00 AM
  #2  
amy
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Since we had been to Paris several times before, we thought we'd just "hang," trying to visit neighborhoods we'd never seen. We also thought it would be fun to check out all the Passages, the "malls" of the 1800's. And we'd never made it to Pere LaChaise cemetery before, so that was a goal.

The first afternoon, we checked out Place Dauphine. This is the quiet neighborhood at the tip of Ile de la Cite where Simone Signoret and Yves Montand lived (in separate apartments). After a short nap, we went to Le Trumulou, a restaurant near the Hotel de Ville. Upscale French cuisine it wasn't; wonderful French experience it was. No Americans. Mostly locals. Great lapin a la moutarde. And the best Kirs we have ever had.

We walked along the Seine that night after dinner. We love how events constantly go on along the river. That night there were dancing lessons (I think it was Brittany folk dancing)on one bank, while up and down the river there were small enclaves of musicians and dancing couples. We took the 1/2 hour Ponts Vendettes as the cap to the evening.

The next day we went to pick up our train tickets in the Forum des Halles area, where we had never been. We really liked the area, and we enjoyed watching the lap swimmmers in the underground mall pool. Have never seen lap swimmers wearing snorkling equipment before.

We set out for the Cemetiere Pere LaChaise. Before we went in, we stopped at a little cafe across the street for lunch and had the best steak au poivre vert I've ever eaten.

We did the obligatory Jim Morrison grave visit, and I forced the kids to visit Edith Piaf's grave (they have never been quite as thrilled with her music as I have been), but all four of us were totally swept away by the area dedicated to the victims of the concentration camps. I just sobbed.

(Similarly, near our hotel is the huge monument dedicated to all those who died in the Holocaust, but more moving was a small plaque on the school adjacent to it talking about the children from it who were sent to and died in the camps.)

Finished the visit with homage to Oscar Wilde's grave. Luckily, the oldest one had just seen and appreciated the film "The Importance of Being Earnest" so she appreciated why I wanted to see it. Great notes around the gravesite.

That night, we went to Au Bascou for dinner. I don't see how the meal or the service could have been better. Truly one of the best meals we've ever had in Paris. We lucked out--no other tourists.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 04:01 AM
  #3  
amy
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We kept passing the Centre Pompidou, and kept resisting the impulse to visit. We are museum-maniacs, all four of us, and were determined to break our addiction for just one trip. No museum cards this trip. Yet it was so tempting--loved the outside.

On this our third day, we visited the passages of the area between Opera and Montmartre: Galerie Montmartre, Gallerie Feydeau, Pas de Panoramas, then Pas Jouffrey, Pas Verdeau. Tons of antiques, prints, old postcards. Tiny tucked away cafes. Exquisite fabric shops. Our youngest begged to go to the Musee Grevin, a wax museum there, and we relented. It was a hoot! Expensive but fun. The Hall of Mirrors there was great.

The Passage des Prince in the area was closed.

We took the Metro Richelieu Drout to Bastille to get on a Canauxrama tour of Canal St. Martin, another thing we'd never done. It was interesting, but as is the case with most boat trips, becomes a bit too long (2 1/2 hours). It was great to see the La Villette area with its museums and astounding playground, however. I had no idea such a place existed. What a wonderful concept for Paris children.

Ate that night at Colimacon just up the street from the hotel. It is the perfect Marais experience. We're upstairs in a timbered roof, stuccoed wall room overlooking all the action on the street. One feels as though he's stepped back in time, until...one realizes that playing on the restaurant's music system is Gloria Gaynor singing, "I Will Survive." Again, we loved Le Marais!

The duck, the snails and the chocolate sauce on any of the desserts were first rate.

The next day we did more neighborhoods and passages. We always like to visit the pet stores along the Right Bank, so we walked along those shops from Le Marais down to the Louvre area. (We have decided to start our own business in France: "Rent a French Dog.")

Had hot chocolate at Angelina's, then searched out the exclusive passages of the neighborhood: Place Choiseul, Galerie Colbert, Galerie Vivienne, and Galerie Vero-Dodat.

In all our times in Paris, we had never see the Jardin du Palais Royal, nor had we visited the Place Vendome, so it was great to see how the other half lived.

We skipped up to St. Denis/Sebastopal area to check out the fashion industry. Fascinating. We ended up at the wrong end in the middle of a flea market backed by sex shops, so we got out of there quickly.

Our last dinner was a Auberge de la Reine on the Ile de St. Louis. Their postings about their sorrow regarding Sept. 11 were quite touching.

 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 06:13 AM
  #4  
Rex
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At a minimum, might I suggest at least providing the URL to where the continuation can be found?

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=2&tid=34378767

Glad I was able to be of some help to you, to relocate these!

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 06:27 AM
  #5  
Rex
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And here is part three:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=2&tid=34378771
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 08:21 AM
  #6  
Rex
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And here is part four:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=2&tid=34378774
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 09:51 AM
  #7  
amy
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I'm glad you posted the URLs, but my main interest in reposting, Rex, was that the hotels and restaurants mentioned in the post can now be part of the master index.

I don't care if anyone reads them now--felt kind of foolish even thinking about reposting (heck, I feel foolish when I post them). But my decision to repost (and for Part IV, add to) the old reports came at the request of some knowledgeable people here who said that it's not the report itself that is vital; instead, it's the tidbits that were totally left off the system that count. As one person pointed out in an email to me, she used my Cancale restaurant and hotel review as her final decision-maker, and someone else should be able to use the same information. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the details get into the system now.
 
Old Nov 8th, 2002, 12:03 PM
  #8  
Rex
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I understand - - and support - - your reasons for re-posting. and even for posting as separate pieces instead of posting as replies to the first part.

But over time they will drift apart - - and the search engine may fail you or readers again. So, at least if someone finds this first part, they can find the subsequent parts as well.
 
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