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France this past June. #17281
08/22/2012 06:46 PM
08/22/2012 06:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 6,381
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AlanB Offline OP
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We were in Paris for a week, and down in the eastern Riviera for our second week 6/10-6/25/12. First time in France, so we hit most of the typical tourist sites in Paris, Louvre, Eiffel, Versailles, Notre Dame, etc. Probably our most enjoyable visit was to the Musee d'Orsay, in the old Gare d'Orsay train station. The most beautiful building housing an art museum we've ever seen. It's also a great place for lunch while you're there, and the observation deck up on the roof provides a knockout view of Paris. We took a nice little apartment in the 11th, two blocks from the Place de Republique. Right on the corner across the street from the Oberkampf Metro. We saved a wad of money staying there and found it very convenient for getting around town. The Metro is great...why don't we have one in Chicago? Highly recommend getting the 4 day Paris Museum Pass which was very handy. Missed a few things...we really wanted to see Chartres and just couldn't work it in.

Took the TGV down to Nice for our second week. Quite an experience pushing 200mph on the rails for much of the trip. The TGV is great. We're the greatest country on earth, why don't we have a TGV, eh?

We stayed in a lovely villa in Roquebrune Cap-Martin, just maybe 50 steps down the hill from the old village of Roquebrune. We found it to be a great base of operations for the week. Drove to Antibes, Arles, Eze, Monaco, over to Menton. There's a reason why the Riviera is so popular...it's absolutely beautiful, driving around up on the corniches with these fabulous views of the sea. And our villa had the most spectacular view of the sea and the entrance to the Monte Carlo Port Hercule in the distance from our terrace.

We booked both the Paris apartment and the Roquebrune villa using Home Away. It was great. Easy to use, our hosts were very nice people to do business with, I highly recommend it, particularly for a group...we were 5 and an apartment or villa rental is the only way to go, IMO.

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Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17282
08/22/2012 07:57 PM
08/22/2012 07:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,455
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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TomB  Offline
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Favorite Meal?


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: France this past June. [Re: TomB] #17283
08/22/2012 08:58 PM
08/22/2012 08:58 PM
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Posts: 6,381
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AlanB Offline OP
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AlanB  Offline OP
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Quote
TomB said:
Favorite Meal?


OK...this is a little obscure. Down on the Riviera in the little village of Roquebrune there's a little hotel called the Hotel Les Deux Freres. It's up on the hill overlooking the sea and with a clear view all the way to Monaco. It's had some mixed reviews now and then, it seems mostly because Willem the manager is such a character and I guess he occasionally rubs the more snooty customer's the wrong way. But Willem treated us like family, our meal was meticulously served and delicious. And it's in the most gorgeous location you can imagine.

http://www.lesdeuxfreres.com/
There's full information on the hotel and the restaurant menu on the website. Also a nice little gallery of photos and a really cool webcam.

If you can get a table at the rail, this is what you're looking at. There were 5 of us, so we had to sit a few tables in from the rail. That's Port Hercule, Monaco in the distance.

[Linked Image]

We didn't go to any really fancy joints in Paris, but interestingly, the meal we enjoyed most was not in a French cafe but in an Alsatian restaurant. It's near the Place de Republique, called Chez Jenny. We escaped from our traveling companions for the evening and had a really nice meal, at a front window overlooking Blvd du Temple...just the two of us. It was great.

Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17284
08/23/2012 12:18 AM
08/23/2012 12:18 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 901
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Bow_Rider Offline
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Bow_Rider  Offline
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Thanks for posting. We are considering an England and Paris trip in June 2013. How was the weather?


**************************
Alison

Life is short, dance often.
Re: France this past June. [Re: Bow_Rider] #17285
08/23/2012 08:37 AM
08/23/2012 08:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
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AlanB Offline OP
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Bow_Rider said:
Thanks for posting. We are considering an England and Paris trip in June 2013. How was the weather?


Cloudy, cool and a bit of rain in Paris. But we liked it. You didn't ask about the Riviera but it was sunny mid-80's every day.

Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17286
08/23/2012 09:06 AM
08/23/2012 09:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,455
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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Quote
AlanB - http://www.lesdeuxfreres.com/
There's full information on the hotel and the restaurant menu on the website. Also a nice little gallery of photos and a really cool webcam.


Great website, but I could not get the Webcam to work <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/cry.gif" alt="" />

Definitely a place that looks like an amazing place to visit. More pics always welcomed and encouraged!


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: France this past June. [Re: TomB] #17287
08/23/2012 07:29 PM
08/23/2012 07:29 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 901
SoCal
Bow_Rider Offline
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The Riviera sounds and looks lovely but we're more interested in the places you mentioned in Paris. My daughter is taking her second year of French in High School, it is her favorite subject. I am relearning some of most of what I forgot from my six years of French! England is at the top of her list for the big tourist draws in London and a side trip to Cardiff for the Dr. Who stuff that they have there. Some other year we'll get to the Riviera. Cloudy, cool and a bit of rain is fine with us, we get more than our fair share of sun here in So Cal!


**************************
Alison

Life is short, dance often.
Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17288
08/24/2012 10:42 PM
08/24/2012 10:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 327
swg Offline
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swg  Offline
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I really enjoyed your trip report. We are headed for Burgundy and Provence on a river cruise this fall. Your report makes me look forward to it even more!

Ah, Paris. One of our favorite places.

Sue

Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17289
08/25/2012 12:44 AM
08/25/2012 12:44 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 2,547
Spain and SXM
Sungoddess Offline
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Spain and SXM
I was there about the same time...end of June into the first week of July...I also went to Cassis and Marseilles, plus Cannes...met up with some SXM friends in Antibes

Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17290
08/28/2012 05:25 PM
08/28/2012 05:25 PM
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Thank you for the report Alan. I've only been to France once and it was decades ago. Fortunately, I traveled with someone who had researched Paris extensively and spoke French well. We visited all of the sites mentioned in your report but I must say Montmartre was my favorite. Had my portrait done by someone I thought was a local artist. Yes, his French was that good and I took 8 years worth. He was from Brookline, Massachusetts <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Laugh.gif" alt="" />

The only adventurous trip we made was on the bullet train to Dijon. Interesting little story involving meeting someone from my home town and a wild & wooly business visit while I was there but since I think I've already posted it in years past, I won't get into it here.

Re: France this past June. [Re: Bow_Rider] #17291
09/04/2012 03:13 PM
09/04/2012 03:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 6,381
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AlanB Offline OP
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AlanB  Offline OP
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Quote
Bow_Rider said:
The Riviera sounds and looks lovely but we're more interested in the places you mentioned in Paris. My daughter is taking her second year of French in High School, it is her favorite subject. I am relearning some of most of what I forgot from my six years of French! England is at the top of her list for the big tourist draws in London and a side trip to Cardiff for the Dr. Who stuff that they have there. Some other year we'll get to the Riviera. Cloudy, cool and a bit of rain is fine with us, we get more than our fair share of sun here in So Cal!


There were lots of places we visited that I didn't take time to mention. For instance...the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, on left bank overlooking the Seine, across from, and about three blocks west of Notre Dame. I think we spent over two hours in this tiny, but wonderful little bookstore.

We also enjoyed a walk and a cafe au lait on Rue Cler...full of market stalls, food shops, cool cafes, and occasionally live music on one of the corners. Nothing special...just typical Paris. It's close to the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, and the Musee Rodin so there's lots of other stuff to see in that neighborhood.

One night after dinner we just walked Bd. Richard Lenoir from the corner of Rue Oberkampf all the way to the Place de la Bastille. It's a long narrow city park the whole way, people all over the place from one end to the other. It was one of our favorite evenings in Paris. We were pretty beat when we got to the Bastille though, so we took the Metro back to the Oberkampf Metro station, just across the street from our apartment.

We also spent most of Sunday at the big flea market that starts at the corner of Rue de Rosiers and Ave. Michelet in Saint-Ouen. It's just up the street from the Port de Clignancourt Metro, follow the crowd. Fabulous, if you like flea markets. But when you're walking to the market, don't get confused by the swap meet in the parking lot just south of the Bd. Peripherique overpass...it's junk. People think it's the flea and never get to the actual flea...it's a shame. Anyway, keep walking past this place and go under the overpass and when you come out the other side, turn left on Rue de Rosiers, north side of the street, and duck into the first passageway you see, and viola!, you're in the oldest, and best section of one of the best flea markets in the world. Caution...it's only open on the weekend.

Re: France this past June. [Re: TomB] #17292
09/04/2012 03:18 PM
09/04/2012 03:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 6,381
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AlanB Offline OP
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Quote
TomB said:
Quote
AlanB - http://www.lesdeuxfreres.com/
There's full information on the hotel and the restaurant menu on the website. Also a nice little gallery of photos and a really cool webcam.


Great website, but I could not get the Webcam to work <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/cry.gif" alt="" />

Definitely a place that looks like an amazing place to visit. More pics always welcomed and encouraged!


I don't really have a server where I post photos. You know a good one? We're Yahoo Mail users...does Yahoo have something easy to use?

Too bad we can't just upload photos to the board. I would think that would be a really great feature for a travel forum...maybe when I start my own travel forum, eh Tom? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17293
09/04/2012 03:50 PM
09/04/2012 03:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
...actually, we DO have that ability here .

The pictures have to be under a certain size (250000 bytes), but you can upload individual pictures here.


Carol Hill
Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17294
09/04/2012 09:24 PM
09/04/2012 09:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,455
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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TomB  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,455
Virginia wishing STJ
AlanB,

The TTOL option works great! I like to use www.photobucket.com because you can set up different folders some private to share with family or some public for eveyone to see.

Send me an email or pm if you have any problems with posting pics.

Oh yeah Taj Mahal just released a new CD from days gone by - really good


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17295
09/07/2012 11:58 PM
09/07/2012 11:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 901
SoCal
Bow_Rider Offline
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Bow_Rider  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 901
SoCal
Quote
AlanB said:
Quote
Bow_Rider said:
The Riviera sounds and looks lovely but we're more interested in the places you mentioned in Paris. My daughter is taking her second year of French in High School, it is her favorite subject. I am relearning some of most of what I forgot from my six years of French! England is at the top of her list for the big tourist draws in London and a side trip to Cardiff for the Dr. Who stuff that they have there. Some other year we'll get to the Riviera. Cloudy, cool and a bit of rain is fine with us, we get more than our fair share of sun here in So Cal!


There were lots of places we visited that I didn't take time to mention. For instance...the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, on left bank overlooking the Seine, across from, and about three blocks west of Notre Dame. I think we spent over two hours in this tiny, but wonderful little bookstore.

We also enjoyed a walk and a cafe au lait on Rue Cler...full of market stalls, food shops, cool cafes, and occasionally live music on one of the corners. Nothing special...just typical Paris. It's close to the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, and the Musee Rodin so there's lots of other stuff to see in that neighborhood.

One night after dinner we just walked Bd. Richard Lenoir from the corner of Rue Oberkampf all the way to the Place de la Bastille. It's a long narrow city park the whole way, people all over the place from one end to the other. It was one of our favorite evenings in Paris. We were pretty beat when we got to the Bastille though, so we took the Metro back to the Oberkampf Metro station, just across the street from our apartment.

We also spent most of Sunday at the big flea market that starts at the corner of Rue de Rosiers and Ave. Michelet in Saint-Ouen. It's just up the street from the Port de Clignancourt Metro, follow the crowd. Fabulous, if you like flea markets. But when you're walking to the market, don't get confused by the swap meet in the parking lot just south of the Bd. Peripherique overpass...it's junk. People think it's the flea and never get to the actual flea...it's a shame. Anyway, keep walking past this place and go under the overpass and when you come out the other side, turn left on Rue de Rosiers, north side of the street, and duck into the first passageway you see, and viola!, you're in the oldest, and best section of one of the best flea markets in the world. Caution...it's only open on the weekend.


Thanks for the additional information, sounds great <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />


**************************
Alison

Life is short, dance often.
Re: France this past June. [Re: Carol_Hill] #17296
09/12/2012 12:12 PM
09/12/2012 12:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,438
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Quote
Carol_Hill said:
...actually, we DO have that ability here .

The pictures have to be under a certain size (250000 bytes), but you can upload individual pictures here.


Carol, don't the pictures still have to be hosted somewhere on the internet, or can I upload a photo directly from my computer?

Re: France this past June. [Re: GaKaye] #17297
09/12/2012 01:19 PM
09/12/2012 01:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
You can upload individual pictures directly into THAT forum only, provided they are below the 2500000 bytes. For THAT forum, they do not have to be hosted elsewhere. It only works for individual pictures, one at a time, and not for a whole album, however.


Carol Hill
Re: France this past June. [Re: Carol_Hill] #17298
09/12/2012 01:24 PM
09/12/2012 01:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,438
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Cool! I didn't know that.

Re: France this past June. [Re: AlanB] #17299
11/13/2012 01:32 PM
11/13/2012 01:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 156
Toronto
carolandgeoff Offline
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Toronto
AHH Paris...we haven't been in 6 years. You mentioned Versailles. We will be in Paris end of May and I wonder, is Versailles a day long event.
Did you book as a tour where they pick you up from your hotel or did you take a train and purchase your ticket separately.
Did you go to Giverney?

Re: France this past June. [Re: carolandgeoff] #17300
01/24/2013 01:21 PM
01/24/2013 01:21 PM
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Posts: 6,381
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AlanB Offline OP
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Quote
carolandgeoff said:
AHH Paris...we haven't been in 6 years. You mentioned Versailles. We will be in Paris end of May and I wonder, is Versailles a day long event.
Did you book as a tour where they pick you up from your hotel or did you take a train and purchase your ticket separately.
Did you go to Giverney?


Hi...I've been away from the forum for a while and never saw this. So here goes...

We took the Metro/RER to Versailles. It's RER-C. Then it's maybe a half-mile walk through town. It was no problem at all and we weren't stuck with a tour schedule. We bought the Paris Museum Pass and it includes admission to Versailles.

It was really pretty amazing in it's size and grandeur. But IMO perhaps too big. Walking through, it was room after room with the same renaissance art and the whole thing was pretty much blending together after a while. We probably enjoyed walking around the grounds more than the interiors.

A friend recommended Fontainebleau as more manageable...but we felt, we're going to Paris, we probably should see Versailles.

We did not go to Giverney. We were told the gardens are lovely, but that it's often very overcrowded, and at times it can be uncomfortably hot...late May could be. We were also advised that the best places to see Monet's works were at L'Orangerie and D'Orsay, so that was our choice. The latter was spectacular and our favorite of the museums we visited in Paris. The restaurant at D'Orsay was also excellent, and the cafe upstairs is supposed to be very good. We found the Louvre to be somewhat overwhelming as well.


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