Paris Stories

Giverny

Posted on Mar 15, 2016

Giverny

As with Versailles, there’s lots more to Giverny than Monet’s house and gardens.  Don’t skip those either but give yourself a few extra hours and walk to the other end of town to see the cemetery where he and his family are buried as well as the little church.  And there are many shops and galleries and the museum of impressionists that often has good exhibitions.  And do not miss lunch and a visit to the gardens at Hotel Baudy....

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Versailles

Posted on Mar 15, 2016

Versailles

There’s much more to Versailles than the big over the top chateau.  There’s also the gardens, the two palaces of  Trianon and Marie Antoinette’s estate and hamlet (it’s a working farm).  You should plan to spend your whole day out here.  There are very decent restaurants on site down by the grand canal and you can rent bikes and golf carts to speed things up. But if you’ve visited the chateau already or if you want to modify the day a bit, think about visiting the...

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Georges Clemenceau

Posted on Mar 11, 2016

Georges Clemenceau

I use the metro stop Champs Elysees-Clemenceau all the time and finally, I’m getting around to knowing who exactly is Georges Clemenceau anyway?  Lo and behold, the guy has his own museum, in his former home, located between the Trocadero and Passy metros (Line 6 or 9) on rue Benjamin Franklin.  They have audio guides in English so no excuses for not visiting. This man is worthy of his museum.  He was a medical doctor, journalist and Statesman.  A full and rich life and I think, a very...

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St-Pierre of Montmartre

Posted on Mar 9, 2016

St-Pierre of Montmartre

One of my very favorite little churches in Paris.  It’s been through a lot over the centuries.  Some kind of church has been on this site since the VI century.  Saint Denis is said to have been martyred here and it has since been associated with that event (250 A.D.). It became the church of Saint Pierre in the 1100’s when the site became a Royal Abbey.  It suffered the worst years during the 100 years war (1400s) but in 1534, it was the site of the founding of the Society of...

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Chartres

Posted on Mar 7, 2016

Chartres

Chartres is a very easy train ride from Paris with regular departures from Montparnasse.  Chartres has more than a very old cathedral (the main attraction) to visit.  The town is beautifully preserved and mostly pedestrian!  Quaint restaurants and shops abound.  So plan to make a day of it.  There are audio guided tours you can rent from the tourist office for walking the old town.  And at the cathedral, don’t miss the 300 stairs to climb into the church’s north...

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Eglise Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart Church)

Posted on Mar 2, 2016

Eglise Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart Church)

If you know me, you know I love to go up to Montmartre.  I have a nice walk that winds around to the front of the Sacred Heart Church.  And if there’s time and interest, I’ll climb up in the tower and visit the Crypt. The lines are nothing like at Notre Dame.  Of course, the view isn’t the same either but it’s not...

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Lyon

Posted on Feb 27, 2016

Lyon

Ever been to Lyon?  It’s a sweet little city that’s about a 2 hour train ride from Paris (thank you TGV).  It’s known for food (Paul Bocuse has a small empire) and has great little restaurants dotted all over town.  The city is divided by two rivers and has lots of greenery so if you like to ride bikes, think about using their “Velib” system to get around (I think they may have taught Paris how to do this).  There’s an excellent bus and tramway system too....

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Hôtel du Lauzun

Posted on Feb 23, 2016

Hôtel du Lauzun

Another treasure I visited in August of last year.  I was actually doing some research for an upcoming group trip for Cara Black, the murder mystery author who’s heroine “lived” at this address.  I found a guided tour (in French and the only way to get in the house) and had a pretty breathtaking couple of hours.  The history of Lauzun goes way back of course (it’s on the Isle Saint Louis) and pieces of it can even be found in the Metropolitan Museum in New...

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Chateau Maintenon

Posted on Feb 22, 2016

Chateau Maintenon

In August last year, I took a train out to Maintenon to visit Chateau de Maintenon.  What took me so long?  It was very easy to get there from gare Montparnasse.  It takes just under an hour and trains leave almost every hour.  There is a fairly good walk (20 minutes or so) into town and to the property but it’s flat and very easy to find. I was blown away by the wonderful history of this place and astounded that it has survived.  And it survived thanks to the locals and an heir to the...

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Grand Royal Gowns by Lamyne M. at Cathedral of Saint Denis

Posted on Feb 21, 2016

Grand Royal Gowns by Lamyne M. at Cathedral of Saint Denis

An exhibition, Grand Royal Gowns by Lamyne M. is in the cathedral’s crypt (mostly). “Each gown was designed based on the recumbent effigies of the queen or princess whose name it bears. The gowns were inspired by the medieval clothing they wore but they use contemporary fabrics, notably those worn by the Dionysians: sportswear, shimmering African waxes, North African pageantry fabrics, Chinese fabrics, denim, jersey, twill, nylon, etc.” Under the artist’s direction, the...

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