Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Paris, Île de France, France

Oct 2, 2018 - I See Dead People

After a leisurely morning at the apartment we left around 11:00am to head for Pere Lachaise Cemetery to look for the graves of famous people. With our trusty maps in hand we found only a few...Since I was last there in July 2011 Oscar Wilde has been encased in glass. In 2011 the crypt was covered with lipstick marks all over it. It was unseemly. We looked for Sarah Bernhardt and a number of artists and never found them. We finished the walk following a guy who had a YouTube video of how to find Jim Morrison’s grave. I took the obligatory...

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Oct 1, 2018 - Arrival in the City of Light

Our flight left an hour late and arrived early, though we got to the gate right on time. Diana sat ahead of me on the plane so upon landing I headed to baggage claim to meet her. However, the train connecting us to the baggage claim area experienced a shut down because someone had left bags in the previous train so they called in the police and bomb sniffing dogs. This caused about a 40 minute delay for me. But Diana claimed our bags and waited for me. We then took the RER B train to Gare de Nord and then an Uber to the apartment from the...

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Sep 29, 2018 - Back to the Continent

What do you do when a friend has an apartment in Montmartre for two weeks and invites you to stay there with her and another of her friends? If you are me, you say "Oui!" Tomorrow begins another fun journey to France. We plan to go to Giverny to hang out with Monet and to Chartres to experience the Cathedral, along with a 3-day trip to visit with Betty and Pierre at their country home in Jumilhac-le-Grand in the Dordogne. I have one very special friend (since 1985 when I was a graduate student at UCLA and she worked for one of my major...

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Sep 24, 2018 - Poppies

Around the world, the poppy has become the symbol of WWI. In 1915, after one of the early and horrible battles on the Somme, a Canadian doctor named John McCrae noticed red poppies growing near one of Flanders’ Fields’ mass cemeteries. He wrote a poem, “In Flanders Fields,” which went on to become the war’s most popular and most recognized poem in the U.S. and Great Britain, evocative of a war that racked up nearly 38 million casualties, including upwards of 8.5 million deaths. Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first...

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Sep 24, 2018 - Our Bus Driver

The coach chauffeur for our bus was a great guy named Francis Van Crombrugge, a Belgian with a Kaiser Wilhelm mustache, a big pot belly, and usually about 3 inches of visible butt crack whenever he stood up. I really enjoyed him and always exchanged some funny conversation with him as I got on and off the bus. Francis managed to thread that huge bus through some unbelievably tight streets (where, I swear, if we opened the bus windows, we could have closed the shutters on the buildings on both sides) and around a lot of hairpin turns on...

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Sep 17, 2018 - Bonsoir Paris, A bientot

My last day in Paris and I’ve enjoyed this city sooooo much. I would love to return one day. The Parisians remain a strange but interesting lot, I love sitting in my neighbourhood at the end of the day at a little bistro enjoying a beer and just watching them. I don’t even try to get waiter service anymore, I’m such a local, I yell out Bonjour and go straight up to the counter to order. My French has improved hugely, I now recognise all the words I learned before I arrived and love to hear the language spoken. Another beautiful day in...

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Sep 16, 2018 - Back to Paris

Sadly, I had to leave Cochem today and return Paris to join my tour group. I could have enjoyed staying a lot longer. As I left Cochem, I drove past Alflen again. The church bells were ringing this Sunday morning. It was actually a little emotional. But as I was leaving the town limit, there was a sign that made me smile. It said: Gut Fahrt! That means “Have a good trip” in English, but I know how my brothers and nephews would have laughed to see the sign. I did indeed have a gut fahrt. The drive back across the mountains and into...

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Sep 16, 2018 - Paris La la la la la

I’ve grown to really love Paris on this trip, it’s culture, it’s charm, it’s je ne sais quoi. A city made for strolling beside the river with magnificent views in all directions, leafy boulevards, elegant Haussmann buildings (which I learnt about during my walking tour), Sunday outdoor markets, the endless outdoor cafes and bistros where there is always an opportunity to rest my weary feet over a wine, beer or coffee depending upon mood rather than time of day and indulge in some serious people watching. Yesterday, as usual I was up early,...

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Sep 15, 2018 - Enchanting Bordeaux

Just loved this enchanting city of Bordeaux (yesterday it was Charming Bordeaux, I can’t find an all encompassing word to describe this city so today it is enchanting). Cameron, Bordeaux reminds me a lot of Lucca in Italy, cobble streets, wandering in and out of little passageways amongst these beautiful old buildings whilst checking out the locals going about their daily lives. I am not usually so much into the architecture and buildings, that’s Cameron’s passion, I’m more interested in the ambience of a city, what makes the local people...

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Sep 13, 2018 - 30,815 Parisian steps and whew

Yep, after 30,815 (I well and truely completed my 10,000 steps for today) steps around Paris today, I now know Paris well enough to classify myself as a local! The weather was a bit dull, showers this morning which cleared up to an overcast non photogenic day but what a great day I had exploring this amazing city, despite the fact that no one appears to be able to speak one of the worlds most popular languages, as in the Queens English. I blame my good friend Ian from Laurieton for enhancing my communication woes, he was going to give me...

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Sep 12, 2018 - Oui Oui Paris

Oiu Oiu Paris,it feels like visiting an old friend. Funny, Italy feels like Italy, Spain feels like Spain etc., but being in Paris makes me really feel like I’m in Europe. It’s not just the buildings and beautiful lay out of the city, it’s the people, so chic, so cool, so beautifully and elegantly dressed, I could say so bloody arrogant, but would like to be nice and refer to them as having ‘attitude’ , a whole lot and not always the best attitude, but attitude all the same. It feels like Europe. I’m learning to order a petite plate of...

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Sep 11, 2018 - 'Paris is always a good idea'

Yes, as they say in the classics, 'Paris is always a good idea'. Off to Abu Dhabi shortly and provided I am not swept off my feet by some gorgeous, hunky Arabian Prince whilst there, by this time tomorrow morning, I should be negotiating the Paris Metro in search of my new abode for the next 5 days. Watch this space ………..

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