Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Shopping in Paris

So I saved the best of Paris for last….SHOPPING.

I think if you come here, everyone gets the bug.



From books to everything else, I would suggest that you be strategic in your shopping experience

Souvenirs - go to a grocery store.  From soap, salt, and chocolate - for people that are a lower priority in terms of shopping - you can get a lot here rather than bits and pieces.  

Handbags - Printemp, Longchamp, Louis Vuitton (don't go to 101 Champs d'Elysee - find another one).

Don't buy from street vendor - its not worth being scammed.  


Momarte

On our final day here, I scheduled a tour with Chris from City Free Tour.

It was a great investment.







Chris lead us through Mount of Matyrs (before it was called Mount of Mars).  Well worth the time.  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Champs D'Elysee

We slept in today and instead of finding breakfast near us, we crossed the river to find Angelina.   I have heard mixed reviews of the place.  Listen, it is expensive so I may have told my husband that he could get a croissant and a coffee and that's it.   Considering the bill was 30 euros for coffee, hot chocolate and two croissants, yeah that's it.  It was pleasant and filled with ladies who wanted to enjoy the same luxurious items.




Next we hopped on metro to Etoile, also known as the Arc D'Triomphe.  Once we got there, AA realized that he didn't have his pass (seriously the first rule of touring is keep track of your shit).  So I snuck in - don't worry the police looked at me and then just kept on.1/



Massive in size.  We then took ourselves down the most famous street in Paris.  The only thing of note was that we stopped in the most famous McDonalds.  Nothing to right home about

Notes
1/  Turns out he did have that damn pass.  Good grief

Resources
Museum Pass
Rick Steves Walk


Monday, June 29, 2015

Musee d'Orsay

After the debacle that was the Grand Mosque, we walked ten minutes passed the Luxemborg Gardens to the RER station to take a direct train to Musee d'Orsay.

As much as I scheduled this museum  as a "yeah we went"  I was pleasantly surprised at the level of details in the architecture and paintings that I found pleasing and really could have walked around for more time than we allotted.





Tips
Museum Pass - seriously just send me back.  

Resources
Rick Steves Audio Guide and Tour
Museum Pass

Friday, June 26, 2015

Napoleon, Rodin, Lunch, and Courtyards…OH MY

Today,

We slept in.  We leisurely walked over to see Napoleon's shrine in Les Invalides.  That's it.  I know its a museum dedicated to the military strength of France.  No we just want to see a megalomanic.  Seriously that's all.  After security, you walk straight into the south entrance (again, these people should just send me back because I loved this damn pass).  The Emperor and members of his family and closets advisors are enshrined here and its huge.



Next we walked over to the Musee de Rodin.  Now this is what I wanted to see!   The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, The Kiss….swooning all over again.




We had a discussion after our visit on Facebook because the museum mansion - where the interior exhibits are housed, was closed to the public and instead, we got to see the plaster casts.  I was pissed but in the end, I enjoyed my visit.

After Attractive Al dragged me away…he did because I would have stayed all day, we headed to the Grand Mosque of Paris.  Its Thursday so we won't truly be disturbing anyone's prayers by walking through their courtyard.   See Sonia's explanation below:



I didn't find that quiet reflection as we were ushered into the tea salon where we were given two choices - drink tea at 2 euros or eat for 70 euros.  After 30 minutes baking in the sun, I forced my hand and left.  Not doing that again.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Musee de Louvre

Never been.  Its a shame until today.


After we walked the streets of Paris…I may have shopped too, we walked across the Pont Neuf to the Musee de Louvre.  Once the City Palace of Kings, it is now the finest collection of art (I would say up until the Impressionists).   Again, we did the Rick Steve's audio tour because one we would be lost and two, we want to see the high points.  We stuck to the Denton Wing and kept things moving.

Because we went on a Wednesday afternoon, the crowds had waned and its open late today.  Score for us!  Me, I wanted to see some DaVinci (good job Francis for keeping him as the artist in residence), the Raft of the Medusa, the coronation of Napoleon, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory.  Yes we saw the Mona Lisa and yes she's incredibly small.





Tips:

  • Museum Pass
  • Go after lunch
  • Wednesday is the day for late closing with the last tickets allowed by 7 pm.  
  • Its huge, either spend a day here or like us, pick a tour and follow it.  
  • Watch your shit.  No seriously, there are pick pockets galore outside and inside the Lourve and people bump into like its nobody's business.  

Resources:
Rick Steves Audio Tour and Map
Museum Pass



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Historic Paris Walk

We got up this morning to walk through the streets of historic Paris.  Using Rick Steve's audio tour, we headed toward the Ile de Cite.  My husband wanted to see Notre Dame, I wanted to see the Deportation Memorial and Saint Chappelle.  With this tour, we see it all:




Thankfully on our first and second days here, we already saw a lot so we started at Saint Chappelle.  With a twenty minute wait, we watched the city go by before entering security and then walking straight in (Museum Pass, I can't stress this enough).  I could have sat there all day and enjoyed the light coming through.  



We then started walking next door where there was not a single person in sight to the Concergerie - if you like the French Revolution, you need to see this place which includes Marie Antoinette's last residence.  



Resources
Museum Pass