27 December 2014

Good Reason for Bad Blogging - Bonjour! (Part 1)

I LOVE to travel.  So when my friend said she was thinking of going to Paris or Spain in December, I said that I'd go with her and that we should do both!  I mean, why fly all that way if not to see both countries.  After all, they do share a border!  

As soon as school was over and grades submitted, I was OUT.  We left on a Monday and returned late on Christmas day.  We spent four days in Paris and five days in Barcelona.  It was a great trip and we travel well together.  We both liked doing the same things and had no problems getting around each city.  

Let's get on with the deets and pics!  First up is Paris.

Day 1:  Our flight left early Monday evening and arrived in Paris at 8a local time.  We stayed at the Hotel Eiffel Kennedy - a really quaint and small building 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower.  Simone was our main point of contact and was extremely helpful to us during our stay.  She spoke French slowly so that we could understand and always answered our questions.  If anyone plans to visit Paris, I highly recommend this hotel.  It is VERY reasonably priced and conveniently located to the metro.

When we arrived at 11a, our room wasn't ready since check-in was at 2p.  So we went to our first site:  the Eiffel Tower.  


The rebel (read:  crazy person) that I am, I embarked on a journey to climb the stairs of the tower.  Jet-lagged, sleep-deprived and nibbling on a Hershey's bar, I did it!  I made it to the second floor (narrow middle part) after walking up 700 steps.  My friend decided to take the elevator and I was almost with her until I heard a teenager say, "YOLO."  That was all the motivation I needed.

The steps are numbered to help you keep track of how far you've walked (i.e., remind you of your craziness or no-longer-youthfulness.)  I do not regret my decision, though I was all kinds of sore for the next few days. =)
This is a picture from the second floor.  To reach the top, you have to take the elevator.  Here are some views from the top:


 

 
 My friend and me
Later that day, we walked down the Champs-Elyseés and ate some really good macarons.

Day 2:  Our second day in Paris was the busiest and museum-iest.  We went to the Chocolate Museum (drooooool), Notre Dame, Museé D'Orsay, and The Louvre.  

 
 
chocolates of the world

Throughout the museum were cute little diaramas to help explain the history of chocolate to children.
 Too much chocolate = dentist appointment.  Hah!


 Notre Dame on La Seine

One of Paris' love-lock bridges.  So.  Many.  Locks.  We both wondered how many of these relationships were still going strong.


This was actually a great time to visit The Louvre.  The museum wasn't too crowded and we were able to get good pictures of everything we wanted to see - including The Mona Lisa and Vénus de Milo.  Usually both of these areas are jam-packed with people. 



 
 
Day 3: In searching for the Paris Sewer Tour, we accidentally went to the Catacombs of Paris.  Oops.  This underground region was an old mine that was converted into the final resting place for the inhabitants of several cemeteries. Bones, stacked from floor to ceiling, went on for what seemed like a mile underground.  It was interesting, but...yeah...bones.  Everywhere.


 




Next stop was the fabric district:  Le Marché Saint Pierre.  This is where you can find fabrics of all types as well as notions and dressmakers.  Fabric can be bought by the meter or in bundles (les coupons) at a fixed price.



 
I bought two pieces of fabric:  a purple pleather and a black pleather.  My friend wore the cutest black pleather pleated skirt, so I wanted one of my own.  The pleather I bought is of good quality and has a bit of crosswise stretch.  I don't like pleated skirts on me, but a circle skirt should achieve the look I want.


top:  right side
bottom:  wrong side
11€ per meter

This 3-meter cut cost 5€, including tax.
I read somewhere online that the Moulin Rouge was near the fabric area.  We walked a few blocks up...um...some street and found it.
  



Day 4:  On our last day in Paris, we went to the Palace of Versailles.  The grounds of the palace are MASSIVE!  It took us 30 minutes just to walk to the living quarters of Marie-Antoinette.  Given the time of year, the grounds didn't have any flowers.  Plus it was cold, windy, and raining.  But it was still a nice site to see.

 

 

Conclusion:   I had a wonderful time in Paris.  Getting around the city using the subway was incredibly simple.  I really enjoyed the city and will definitely go back.  If anyone is considering a trip, I think this is a good time to go.  Although the weather isn't always nice, the major sites are not crowded and prices are very affordable.  

Up next:  Part 2 - five days in Barcelona.

Until next time,  peace!

L






23 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us. I love Paris and Barcelona! Can't wait for your Barcelona post. Glad you had a great time!

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    1. Thank you! I enjoyed the time and wouldn't hesitate to go back.

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  2. what a fantastic trip, so envious! happy holidays

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    1. Thanks Beth! Happy holidays to you as well!

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  3. How awesome! Your pictures look fantastic, and look like you both had a great time! Thanks for sharing..

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    1. Thank you Candice! I've got to catch up on my blog reading. I see you are rocking some fabulous new duds!

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  4. Your trip sounds awesome! The first time that I went to Paris, I went in November, and I agree that the "off" season is a great time to affordably travel (there or other major cities). Looking forward to reading about Barcelona--I've always wanted to go there.

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    1. Indeed, off-season travel is the way to go! Our hotel room was under $300 per person for four nights! You can't visit Manhattan for that price! Barcelona was WOW!

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  5. Wow, you really go girl! What a great trip! I was in Paris in August 2002. I climbed the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower too, but I don't remember them being numbered. What I do remember is my menstrual cramps that started as I began climbing, ha ha.

    And wow, you did a lot of museum-y stuff on day 2. I stayed in Paris for a week, so I think I did each of those things one-per-day (except for the chocolate museum--I didn't know there was one, otherwise I would have gone!)

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    1. Haha, thank you! I remember my stomach growling like a rabid dog. =) That Hershey's bar was the best thing ever. LOL As for the numbered stairs, I actually started noticing them at the 400th step. I was too focused on the "what the hell am I doing" thoughts. LOL

      The chocolate museum was interesting. They make chocolates on site and give out samples - not as many as I had hoped, though. =) What they did have, we were able to sample at will and I did just that!

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  6. I am with Kyle. Never knew there was a chocolate museum in Paris otherwise I would have been first in queue. Great post - brings back lovely memories. Glad you had a great trip. Hope your Christmas was wonderful too.

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    1. My friend and I did little planning. Once we arrived, we grabbed a map and just started looking for things to do. We saw this on the map and went for it! Thank you BeaJay! I hope your Christmas was wonderful as well. *hugs*

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  7. WONDERFUL L! I've always had Paris on my list of places to visit. Looks like you two had an amazing time!

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    1. Merci! If you can, definitely go. As Michelle said, off-season is the way to do it. There aren't as many people and flights/rooms are affordable.

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  8. Sounds like you and your friend had a fabulous time and you found things we didn't when we had our short visit to Paris. Would love to go back one day.

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    1. We did! Definitely go back if you can. Happy holidays my friend!

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  9. Wow, you sure had a wonderful time......

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  10. Paris is such a wonderful place to visit - I've been to all the places you have mentioned, with the exception of the Catacombs, which must have been sort of interesting, in a macabre sort of way. When I went to Versailles it was closed as a film was being made - so we saw the actors in period costume - but smoking in a very 20-21 C way :).

    Love the Mona Lisa shot - as you say, the Louvre is normally packed - the Mona Lisa room was packed when I saw it, and you sort of shuffled past pretending you had seen it and making appreciative noises.

    I'm glad you made this getaway - Paris is always good for that, as you say, the Metro is easy to use.

    Looking forward to the Barcelona post.

    Glad you had such a wonderful time.

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  11. How funny, my mom, godmother, & I stayed at the Eiffel Kennedy about 20 years ago. Breakfast in "le cave" made quite an impression. But you are right, it was a wonderful place to stay. I am envious of your trip, and I'm looking forward to hearing about Barcelona (another favorite place to visit)!

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  12. HAPPY NEW YEAR and Looks like you had a wonderful time! I would love to have been able to join you on such a great trip to a beautiful place like Paris! I don't know if I will ever get there but a girl sure can wish! So happy you enjoyed your time with your friend, that's what life is all about...enjoying your time on this earth!

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  13. Oh how I envy you that trip to Paris. I'm glad you had a great time. Happy New Year.

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  14. You sure had a wonderful time, so glad for you. It's been many, many years since I went up the Eifeltower and loved to see the pictures of those views especially. You certainly did the right thing traveling to Barcelona as well.

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Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.

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