Archive for Paris

More Adventures on the Road: Summer in Paris

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Part 7: Finé – Paris in the summer…

Enjoying the best of Paris

We arrived in Paris at the Gare de Lyon in the hustle and bustle of a Friday afternoon in a train station.  So many people coming and going!

We looked at the metro to get to our hotel and when we realized it was two different changes, we said, all right, one taxi coming up!  It was only our second taxi in the whole trip, so we thought we’d earned it.

Across the Seine and up into the Latin Quarter, past so many buildings I recognized and streets I knew.  That is my part of Paris, where I feel at home.

I hadn’t been to the hotel in 3 ½ years, but we found it just fine.  I’ve been going to this hotel for at least twelve years and it is exactly the same each time, clean, very simple and the best deal in Paris.  But certainly not fancy.

But we did have a TV in our room, so were able to watch the end of that day’s stage of the Tour de France, which has been getting more exciting each day, as it is closer and closer to the end.  We were pulling for the Australian and it turns out he won!  Now that I’m an Aussie, I felt proud.

We walked down the street and found a restaurant that I’d been to before, right near the Pantheon.  Chicken, frites, salad and a glass of wine with a very polite waiter—not always the case in Paris! Read More→

Part Four: One train, one subway, then the TGV train across France…

July 14, 2011

The TGV in Cote Azur

We left Normandy early on the 13th for the two-hour train trip back to Paris, then connected by metro to the TGV train to Annecy, in the Haute Savoie, almost to Switzerland.

The TGV or fast train, the marvel of the French National Railroads, makes the journey from Paris to Marseilles, about four hundred miles, in just three hours.

The lake at AnecyOur trip, from Paris to Annecy, with a few stops, just under three hundred miles, also took three hours. The drive would have taken at least six, along winding mountain roads.

We used our French Rail passes, bought from Rail Europe, where we can travel any four days in a month in France, any distance on those days. We got a discount by buying a “saver pass”because we are traveling together and the rail pass ends up being much more economical than buying individual tickets.

The train is also less expensive than driving, when you take into consideration the cost of renting a car, gas, toll roads and parking. And in addition to being economical and fun, taking the train is much more “green” than driving.

As we sped across France, we sat back in plush seats facing each other across a table, chatting, laughing and enjoying the beauty of the countryside as if unfolded in front of us.

We passed bright fields of sunflowers, turning toward the sun, and rural cottages with tidy gardens and laundry flapping in the breeze. We watched the sky change as rain clouds danced across it and majestic mountains came into view. Read More→