A short city break in Paris

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Grandad
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A short city break in Paris

Post by Grandad »

Last weekend we spent a three night city break in Paris. We have never been there before so we went with a party just for an introduction to the city with a view to returning under our own arrangements if we liked the place. The journey from St Pancras takes just 2 hours and 15 minutes. The Eurostar reaches speeds up to 180 mph on the French side so with just a 30 minute check-in it is faster, city centre to city centre, than flying. (And there is no luggage limit, within reason)

The city is beautiful and will be even more so in a couple of months when all the trees and flowers are out. Travel around the city is easy by bus and metro. Tickets for these cost around £1.10 if you purchase a 'carnet' of 10 tickets for 12.80 euros. Otherwise tickets for single journeys are 1.90 euro. A ticket will take you anywhere within the city on a single journey by the bus or metro system.

We found prices to be significantly higher than in the UK. We also found that many Parisians go to restaurants for lunch (they tend to have long lunch breaks up to two hours) and this would suggest that they are more highly paid than in the UK which would also mean that the UK is an attractive visitor destination for French people.

As usual, I took loads of pictures and although this is not intended to be a travelogue, I have put together a selection of pictures to give a flavour. I expect many of you have been to Paris but this was our first visit. Many of the pictures have titles although these may be difficult to read. The pictures are taken around The beautiful Palace of Versailles; at Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre area; and views from the river on a Bateaux Mouches, tourist river trip. This trip is to be highly recommended because for 11 euros, about £10 you get an excellent one hour fifteen minute cruise along the river seeing many of the attractions from a different angle and with an English commentary.

I have probably mentioned before that I like taking candids and there are many amongst my selection plus some of the Tuesday market at Porte de St Cloud. You simply cannot beat a French street market for fresh produce. And at 1pm everything disappears and the market is cleared. We will certainly return by ourselves with time to actually visit the places of interest that this short trip did not allow.

There is some background music and the slideshow runs for about 8 minutes.....you can always fast forward if it is too boring. :( :)

[youtube][/youtube]

Please let me know if this does not play........


:gg:

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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Horus »

Absolutely superb Grandad and it plays beautifully :up I will comment more later.
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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Jayway »

LOVELY, :up Grandad, really made me want to take the same trip - thankyou -

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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Ruby Slippers »

Wow, Grandad! I can only say "Encore"! Wonderful photos with a great choice of music - and better in large screen! Erm - can I get in your suitcase next time you go, please? I've never been to Paris either! :lol:

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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Horus »

Well that brought back a few very pleasant memories Grandad, a few years back Mrs H and I did one of those short breaks to Paris, but by coach. To be honest the coach part was the worst bit for us due to the distance, my dislike of coach travel and the time it took, but that is another story. Paris itself was wonderful and we did a very similar itinerary to yourselves with regards to what you visited. I don’t know whether you were in a group, but we did it a bit independently in some parts. The main tour was heading for Euro Disney, but as we had done the ‘real’ thing a couple of times we decided on an alternative plan, so on our free day we visited Versailles. It was a fabulous day out, we caught a local bus from outside our hotel and I practiced my pigeon French to get there and make our way around.

We went all over the palace and grounds spending all day there, even having our lunch in the garden restaurant. Do they still have the audio players that you can use as you move around? I found them to be a really excellent idea not having to listen to guides because they activated the information from your personal headset as you entered any particular room on your tour. It would take a travelogue in itself to discuss all the interesting places we visited, The Eiffel Tower, the river cruise taking you “under the bridges of Paris” and a quick dash around Notre Dame with it’s beautiful Rose window. Clambering to the top of the roof at Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre, strolling along the Seine in the Artist Quarter and watching them paint. Walking at night along the Champs- Élysées from the manic roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre Museum with not one awful coloured neon light in sight, did you know that it is the only place in the world where the McDonalds sign is in white so as not to destroy the ambience? We did such a lot and I don’t want to highjack your great thread so I will stop my reminiscing and end by saying that my only regret was not getting the time to visit the Louvre, but like Egypt you can’t see Paris in one visit, so that’s something I still have on the back burner.
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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Phantom »

Ah, memories. I love Paris and have been many times, including a month spent working there when I was 18. Never been to Versailles though - lovely pics Grandad.

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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Kiya »

Fantastic Grandad the video & sound played very well :)

I watched recently a series of the french kings & saw the " Hall of Mirrors " stunning/breath taking.

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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Horus »

An interesting fact Kiya, at one end of the Hall of Mirrors is the 'War Room' and at the other is the 'Peace Room' as it was used to sign the Treaty of Versailles to end WW1, it is a fabulous place to visit as it mirrors all of the gardens outside through huge floor to ceiling windows reflecting in the mirrors.
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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Grandad »

Thanks for your nice comments folks :)

Yes Horus it was a package city break so there was a fair size party. This was not ‘conducted’ as such, more an introduction by a coach tour of the city by day and night, and the visits to Versailles and Montmartre. They do still have the audio players for different languages at Versailles. We were free for much of the time to do our own thing but we had decided that to get the best of a visit we would return for a longer stay.

We really don’t like the tourist party thing and always prefer to go our own way. Next time we will get inside the buildings, such as the Musee D’Orsay, Les Invalides and the top of Eifel Tower. We are looking at September on the assumption that the high season will be dropping off and there will be fewer visitors. The summer months must be hectic because there were many visitors even now, in March.

I am still waiting for some of you other folks to tell us about somewhere you have been. Our next outing is to Dubrovnik in May so I will let you know how that goes….It is NOT conducted, I hasten to add. :)

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Perhaps I should tell you a little about where we ate during our visit. Our hotel was the four star Mercure in Porte de St Cloud in the south west of the city. It is away from the centre and caters largely for seminars, conferences and business travellers. We were on B & B terms.

There were a number of small restaurants in the narrow and low lit streets around the hotel. We are of an age that we do not need nor eat large meals. :) We used three of these restaurants and to give some idea of prices this is what we had.

At a nice little Chinese there was the customary dish of crackers on the table. We had crispy chicken rolls with a dip followed by two sizzlers ( beef and prawn) stir fried veg, and stir fried rice Thai style. This with a couple of bottles of Chinese beer was 43 euros net of service.

On the Sunday evening most places were closed and we ate in another Chinese place, rather strange but the food was good and with Chinese beer it was 26 euros.

The third restaurant was the north African. Here we had some tomato salad as a starter (they didn’t do meza) Then we both had a fish tajine and a bottle of beer (just Hoffmeister I believe) That was 41 euros net.

On the day we left we visited an Italian at lunch time. This was very busy with locals and had a great buzz. Two excellent lasagnes with a mixed saled, two cokes and some water was 33 euros servis compris.

The service at all three was good if a little slow, and the ambience was very pleasing with local people and visitors using these restaurants. Coffee at pavement cafes is 4 euros but it is worth every cent to sit and watch the world go by…..great for people watching…. :)
:gg:

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Re: A SHORT CITY BREAK IN PARIS

Post by Bearded Brian »

Thanks Grandad - brought back some happy memories.

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