JWG (jwg) wrote,

A most delightful trip to Paris

rsc and I are back from our trip to Paris, inspired by Ina Caro's book: Paris to the Past: Traveling through French History by Train. She describes lots of places that she visited with many details about their history. Ina Caro is Robert Caro's wife - he's the LBJ biographer. We rented an apartment in Paris (11 nights) and took various train trips to nearby places described by her and saw various popular and weird Parisian sights.

Our apartment was in the 6th Arrondissemont near the Seine. We prepared breakfast in our place and ate out in 22 different restaurants, cafés, brasseries. And they were all great. Dinners were all in our neighborhood - I'd estimate there were about 100 places to eat within a 5 minute walk and about 8 of them a less than 50 meters away. The streets were always busy, many of the eating establishments spill out onto sidewalks and the food was all fantastic. I just love walking around the streets in this neighborhood in the day or the night and peering into shop and gallery windows, observing people, and enjoying the charm of this wonderful city.

I took bazillions of pictures which will be part of some subsequent posts. We went to some magnificent chateaux with gardens: Versailles, Vaux le Vicomte, Fontainebleau, Chantilly. We visited the great cathedrals: Rouen (that's the one that Monet painted ~30 pictures of), Chartres, NotreDame de Paris, St Denis. We went two great museums: the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay. We went to St Chappelle. And two off-beat places - the Musée d'Egouts (the sewers) and the Catacombes.

We did lots of walking (I wish I had had a pedometer) and used the Metro, RER, and SNCF to get about. The French public transportation system, especially in Paris is incredible. 14 Metro lines (with several branches) 5 RER (extended distance - less stops and go to nearby suburbs), and the SNCF suburban and Grandes Lignes trains from the big stations sprinkled around town. There are huge numbers of interconnections and they work quite well although there is lots of walking. It makes the Boston area MBTA seem like a joke.

Tags: france, paris, paris2013, travel

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