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Schnauzer reporting live from Paris May09

Schnauzer reporting live from Paris May09

Old May 9th, 2009, 01:21 AM
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Please keep going. I am very anxious to hear about the time in St. Germain en Laye.

thanks.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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Thursday May 7th

Today was gorgeous, very warm and sunny. I had arranged to meet with my new friend from the USA at the Bois du Boulogne. We had come up at different metro exits but eventually we found each other. We walked through the gardens, well, around the lakes anyway. They were just beautiful, full of ducks with babies and swans. The gardens are absolutely huge, one could never begin to cover the whole area in one day. We walked and chatted and generally enjoyed the peace and quiet, we stopped to converse with all the dogs that went by, some didn’t understand our accents and were quite aloof and others rolled on the floor for a tickle. They love the wire haired dachshunds over here and we keeping seeing so many of them. In fact we have a resident wire hair in our apartment block.

At about 1.30 we had tired off walking around the park and exited near Le Muette. We found a bistro La Rotunde and both had a salad Nicoise. They certainly didn’t drown it in dressing as per the Caesar, it was quite good but not as good as my one made with fresh tuna.

I wanted to see the Nissim Camondo museum, so we caught the train and parted ways at Etoile. The museum is just terrific. It is a replica 18th century mansion built in the early 1900’s. The owner, Nissim’s father was a very wealthy banker and collected 18th century furniture and objects d’art. He even had the house built so certain rooms would fit some fantastic paneling that he had previously bought. Sure beats buying a painting and wandering around your house wondering where to put it!!! I really enjoyed this museum and would recommend it to all.

I then caught the train to the Grand Boulevards to have another search for bags, I have given up trying to find my original idea but was hoping to find something I could use around town now, but I do need a “travel style” ie one that I can get to my maps and info easily. I don’t want to undo buckles every time I get lost (read every 50 feet). I have one of these but it doesn’t look very Paris chic. Anyway, I still didn’t really find anything that was much better than the one I already have but…. I moved on to the belt purchasing. I wanted a new belt to wear with jeans and had my eye on an ornate silver buckle. I saw one in Bon Marche the other day but the belt was too thin for my needs. Le Printemps came up trumps and lo and behold there was the perfect one for me. It has little silver discs all the way around as well, boy is it heavy, feeling very chuffed with my purchased I walked back home. It was now 6.30 and I was very hot and grimy.

DH had spent the day going for some more walks, the Pere Lachaise cemetery, Butte Chaumont and the Canal St. Martin. He has some great photos of a bronze fellow trying to get out of his tomb!! Quite macabre.

Quick shower and change and off for dinner at the Bistro Lorraine at Place de Ternes. DH has found this place in his travels the other day and booked for tonight. They specialize in oysters and other seafoods. It was quite a flash looking bistro we sat inside because even though they have banned smoking in the inside the outside is still full of smokers and this puts me off my food. I was so desperate for some veggies I ordered an entrée of haricots verts with parmesan, just a big plateful of beans, yummy. DH thought he’d ordered 12 oysters. Somehow instead of oysters the waiter heard escargot and lo and behold 12 little snails turned up – they were duly dispatched and 12 oysters turned up in their place. We both had fish for main, me the roasted salmon with potatoes and DH Sole with, yes you’ve guessed it, potatoes. We need to look for somewhere that has other vegetables on the menu. The potatoes are cooked differently each time but they are still potatoes and along with all the yummy bread we are having a carbo overdose.

As it was a sweet free day today for me there was no dessert. See what amazing discipline I have? (yeah right)

After dinner we walked down rue Wagram and ended up at the Arc de Triomphe. We have never walked up to the top so we decided tonight was the night. 284 steps later we were there. Amazing views of course of Paris by night, the Champs was in full swing still and the Eiffle Tower was sparkling beautifully. The sky was amazing, a storm was brewing overhead and lighning was off in the distance, the sky became really dark and quite spectacular. There were a few drops of rain but luckily we had seen enough and descended the 284 steps back down. Okay, I can have dessert tomorrow for sure.

Another full and fun filled day in Paris.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Friday 8th May 09

Had a great sleep, all through the night and woke up at 9.00am. I think my body was trying to tell me something. (eat more dessert? – probably not) We went to rue des Martyrs again to stock up on some more lunch supplies. We tried different shops this time, buying some great brebie cheese (sheeps milk) which is lovely, not too strong but with just a great bite to it. DH bought some blue Jura and some other strong blue cheese. Some more ham with herbs and some duck terrine this time. Off to the butchers where we bought some lapin en croute for dinner tonight. We are having a dine at home day today.

The enormous bunches of fresh thick asparagus could not be resisted and some baby carrots, cherries and bananas completed the fruit and veg. We will not be having potatoes, that is for sure. Oh, and an almond croissant and some lovely bread at Arnaud Delmonte.

Back for lunch, we still had some salad, tomatoes and avocado that needed finishing up, so with all the other goodies we had quite a feast.

We had decided that this afternoon would be L’Orangerie. It doesn’t open until 12.30 so since it was now 2.00 that was perfect. It had been closed for renovation the last time we were here.

Monet’s water lily panels were amazing, so huge, I hadn’t realised quite how big they were. There are two very large oval shaped rooms which house four paintings in each. The museum fortunately wasn’t as crowded as we thought it would be especially as today is another public holiday. I managed to take photos without anyone else in them.

I have wanted to see the Petit Palais for quite a while and thought that this would make a good combination. There is not a lot of info on the Petit Palais in the guide books and somewhere along the line I decided it was next door to the Palais Royal. Er no, completely in the different direction. It was next door to the Grand Palais, makes sense doesn’t it? Anyway a lovely walk through the Place Vendome and down rue St. Honore was not a problem. However, once we reached the Palais Royal it became a bit of a problem finding the Petit Palais, bien sur!!! Duh and double duh, oh well, fortunately we have time on our side and this will be another outing to look forward to.

We caught the metro outside the Palais Royal, what an amazing metro entrance. A coloured glass sculpture is how I would describe it. If I can get the photo thing happening this will be a winner I hope.

Back for the rabbit and asparagus dinner – if we can work the oven.

I am trying to work out the Kodak share photo system, I am nearly there, so hopefully I can put some photos on for those who may be interetested.

I will post about St. Germain en Laye later or tomorrow. Just quickly though it was really lovely, quite a big town but very quaint. Good shops and lots of eateries and a great big park/forest to walk in.

Schnauzer
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Somehow I have missed your report until today. A very enjoyable read. Thank you so much for taking the time to post.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Lots of discoveries for you. That's great! Even though it is nice when people report seeing and loving their old favorites again, I think it is even better when they see new stuff.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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I've been enjoying your reports, and envying the luxury of having weeks on end which allows you to discover Paris vs. those of us who can only manage a week at a time. Like you, I've also enoyed the Nissim de Camondo museum - beautiful and very moving. Haven't been to the Jacquemart-Andre as yet. Have you, schnauzer? How does it compare? EJ
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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I hate to sound stupid but what is the GTG?
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Schnauzer, quite selfishly I am <b>so</b> glad to read you're going to St. Germain en Laye. I have a friend there and will be going to visit her and her family for dinner while in Paris. Hoping you'll be able to explain how to get there!
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:39 AM
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Anneeby, a GTG is local (meaning Fodor's not Parisian) parlance for a get-together of board members. A bunch of us are having dinner in Paris, and a smaller group is trying to arrange something as well.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for posting. I am enjoying reading about your trip. And like others I am jealous of your month!
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Old May 9th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for clarifying, Leely2. Sounds like fun.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Just read your account, and am cutting and pasting many of your ideas. We'll be in Paris this Tuesday through the following Monday. Last week you wrote about the weather, and it seemed as though it was really cold; still so, or 70/50 as per the predictions? Can you tell me about contacting "regular people" as guides and/or visiting at a home? And can you give me your source for apartment rental for the next trip? Thanks...sorry my questions are so mundane.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 12:45 AM
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mileagemaven,
Not mundane at all, very important stuff! The weather is very changeable, it is very sunny today and quite warm. Bring thinner layers rather than big jumpers etc. Yesterday I just had on a long sleeve t shirt and my denim jacket, the jacket was on and off regularly. Bring a thicker scarf and a thin silk scarf for wrapping around your neck, you will use this a lot.

The local tour was through Paris Greeter, unfortunately you could try contacting them, but I fear it may be too late. Anyway look up their details on the web and get their contacts, you can try and then ring them when you get to Paris perhaps. I contacted them 2 months before we left and only heard 5 days before we departed Australia.

The apartment agency is Perfectlyparis. They specialise in the Montmartre area - and a few other places.

Glad you are cutting and pasting, that's what this is all about. I must have brought about 1/2 ream of paper with me with all ideas I have printed and cut and pasted off Fodors! What a fabulous resource isn't it?

Have a great holiday,
Schnauzer
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Old May 10th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Saturday 9th May

Another clear day today. We decided to go to St. Germain-en-laye for a picnic and a look around. We bought a large baguette to make some lovely rolls as we have so much cheese and ham etc.

We took the metro to Etoile and then caught the RER to St. Germain en Laye. It was a nice change to see the scenery above ground. We crossed a couple of rivers it was all very pleasant. It only took about 20mins from La Defense which is the end of the metro line.

We walked around the very medieval looking chateau then off for a walk through the grounds. There are some formal grounds but further away is the forest full of beech, hornbeam and chestnut trees. We walked through this and I kept expecting Robin Hood to jump out of the bushes!! We found a lovely clearing with benches and partook of our picnic lunch. We met a giant black schnauzer who of course with whom I had to have a long.

We walked back into the town and had a good look around. There were some lovely shops and heaps of eateries. I found a great shoe and bag shop, they still didn’t have what I wanted but I managed to find something else entirely. A type of beach bag that I will use for my French class books.

We caught the metro back and had feet up before getting ready to go to the Fodor’s Get together. We met on rue St. Jacques at a lovely restaurant. There were twelve of us, apart from two sisters and a couple of friends nobody had ever met the others beforehand. It was a really fun evening, everyone got on so well and we chatted the night away. We all walked back passed the Notre Dame beautifully lit up at night and we stopped to take photos. We said our goodbyes and a five of us will meet again at the next get together on the 23rd May.

It was our latest night out yet!!

Sunday 10th May

Had a rotten night’s sleep, coughing all night. Grrr, really annoying. We slept in late to try and make up for the sleepless night. I made some Happy Mother’s day phone calls and then we had lunch at the apartment.

We went off to another district that we hadn’t been to before. We started at Maubert Mutualite and walked down Blvd St. Germain to the Instiut de Monde Arabe. The whole building is very modern all built of metal on the outside with panels described as steel diaphragms that open and close with the changing sunlight. All very high tech and interesting. We took the lift to the 9th floor and walked out onto the open terrace for a great view over the city.

We continued walking down along the Seine through the open air sculpture exhibits, as usual some were quite “different” to say the least. This then led us to the Jardin des Plantes which is another place we haven’t investigated before. There is the museum of National History as well some other museums none of which we went into. We walked through the gardens, the roses were not quite out though some of the early varieties were making a valiant effort. By looking at the amount of buds that are on the bushes a return visit in a week or so will be worthwhile.

We found the ruins of an ancient arena – Arenes de Lutece – that used to seat 10,000 people. As this is the Arab area we also came across the Mosquee de Paris. The outside was covered with gorgeous coloured tiles. We stuck our noses inside to have a quick squizz at the garden. So peaceful and relaxing.

As we were near rue de Mouffetarde, a long street full of cafes and food shops we thought we had better go and have a look. Most of the shops were closed which was interesting but all the cafes seem to be doing a roaring trade. We found a little hole in the wall place specializing in tarts, savoury and sweet. We bought take away Tart Provencal and a tart with smoked salmon and spinach for our dinner tonight. I couldn’t resist the chocolate hazelnut tart either, which will be a perfect match for the tartlette citron I bought earlier in the day for dessert. La Maison des Tartes 67 rue Mouffetard.

It was really warm day today, one info screen reckoned it was 28oC, but I don’t think it was anywhere near as hot as that. Maybe 23oC? So many of the locals are still wearing huge coats and scarves I thought they must be boiled. Even us Aussies were getting a tad too warm for comfort at one stage.

The tarts are warming in the oven and the choc tart is waiting patiently for us.

Update, all the tarts were yummy. Would recommend this place.

Till tomorrow.
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Old May 10th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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A great report! I will be in Paris starting Thursday and am taking notes of things you've done that I've yet to do.

TR
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Old May 10th, 2009, 10:57 PM
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We tried to update our Navigo passes yesterday using our credit cards, but they don't work in the machines as they don't have micro chips. The fellow behind the counter wouldn't do it for us either. The lady at St. Georges metro had been quite happy to help us so I think we will go back there!!

It is looking a bit ominous weather wise today, maybe our first bit of rain.

Keep those comments coming, I love to hear your responses.
Schnauzer
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Old May 11th, 2009, 12:42 AM
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A lot of the metro stations no longer sell tickets at the window. You will often see that it is just marked 'information' and not 'vente'. The RATP has made a mistake with some of the places. My work metro station is George V, a very busy one on the Champs Elysées, but the window does not sell tickets and there is only room for two ticket machines. When I am trying to go home after work, the lines are so long for people waiting to buy tickets that I have to kick you people out of the way to get down to the platform.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 01:15 AM
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WE are off to the Musee Jacquemart Andre today. So I will let you know what that is like when we return.

Schnauzer
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Old May 12th, 2009, 03:07 AM
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Kerouac ...... do you think RATP is relying on the Tabacs to take up the slack? I checked the RATP website to see if there was a listing of the various stations selling the carnets but my French is not good. Do you know of such a list?
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:29 AM
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No, I have never looked for such a list, but the plan is to completely eliminate paper tickets in a few years anyway. Americans had better start demanding that their banks issue cards with microchips.
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