Walk30 page views

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Day 13 Birthday in Paris!

Champagne orange juice and french pastries! ... ooo la la!
Day 13 Birthday in Paris!

I had a hard time deciding what to do today because it was raining (the first real day of rain since we arrived :(   oh well. We had been talking about a cruise on the Seine with a dinner but the weather was not really saying "oui" to that idea.  I wrote in my journal and read a little but shortly after 3 p.m. the rain was still pouring down so we decided to head out anyway ...toward the center of Paris.  We took the Metro which was unusual for us too ... we have been walking everywhere. 

We went shopping on the Rue de Rivoli for quite a while and while we were shopping the rain stopped so we went looking for food.   We went for dinner near the Louvre to a restaurant that was recommended in one of our guide books ... Le Fumoir ... very good!
After dinner we wandered across the street and encountered an amazing group of people ... all in white ... enjoying some feasting near the pyramid at the Louvre ... hundreds of them ... they all brought tables and food and drink and seemed to be having a grand time! A movable feast! Later we did some research and found out that this was the 25th anniversary of the "White Dinner" which is held every year in a different location (which is a secret until very close to the event) in Paris.

We were thinking of a cruise after dinner but it was getting after 10 p.m. and we missed the boat ... so to speak. 

To end the day we sat on the river watching the cruise ships pass by and then took the metro home to our  apartment. 

We are really enjoying your little home ... it is a wonderful place to arrive at when the day is done ... a good retreat and quiet.

A wonderful birthday!

Walk On Strong!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Day 12 Walking in Paris ... Monet's Garden

Day 12 Walking in Paris

There are not many places that are on the top of an artist's bucket list ... but this one is must ... Monet's Garden.
Wednesday we were off very early in the morning to get to the metro which took us to Gare St. Lazare, the rail station that we needed to get to in order to connect with the train to Vernon. We were then off on what was advertised as a 4Km walk to Monet's garden at Giverny. 

We met a wonderful traveler from Japan that shared our journey from the Vernon train station to the gardens ... which is actually more like 5 or 6 kilometers. 

The weather was a little cloudy so it was a good walk and we arrived with some energy for wandering in the gardens.  One of the tips we had found online was to be sure to head to the water area at the bottom of the garden first ... good advice.  If you arrive early and are the first in the gate then you would see the lower garden without a crowd.  We were there later so it was a little crowded ... not too bad.  
You will get a better idea about the beauty of the lower gardens through the video rather than me trying to express just how beautiful it was ... there really are no words.

Monet's home is like a work of art itself with every room in a different color and his studio filled with original works of art that stagger your mind.

I have been reading a biography of his life and even though he became quite famous and successful in his lifetime ... he struggled for most of his career with financial concern and critics opinions. I had no idea just how prolific he was in his work. He must have created thousands of paintings in his long life ... he lived to 86 years and painted almost every day right up until the end.

What an education this trip is for us! There are more adventures to come ... 
Walk On Strong!

We walked back to the station and on to the  train bound for Paris. We were so exhausted that we were nodding off in our seats along with all of the other commuters at the end of a busy day. 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Day 11 Walking in Paris

Yes ... in Paris ... it's true!

Day 14 Walking in Paris

We have had a busy few days here in Paris.
On Monday we walked to a beautiful park that is not too far away ... Parc Mountsouris ... we went shopping first for a little bread, cheese and wine so that we could enjoy a picnic.  We found a bench and had our picnic while we checked through our walking guide book for more ideas and information about routes in Paris for the days ahead.
Parc Mountsouris

From there we headed to the Place D'Italie which is an area that we stayed in on our first trip to Paris seven years ago. 
I remembered some good shopping there in the mall right on the place. After a little browsing around we headed back home again.
Tuesday we decided to visit Musee Rodin.  We had heard that the museum had a garden filled with Rodin's sculptures and we were not disappointed.
The work looked so perfect surrounded by the huge gardens that are behind the hotel that houses the museum.
We sat in the garden cafe and enjoyed a bit to eat and a glass of wine and soaked in the beauty.
Tourist reflections

After the museum we wandered further in search of the English bookstore Shakespeare  and Company.
It is quite the funky place with prospective authors in a writing area upstairs and a book talk and book signing going on for The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver while we were there.  
We wanted to pick up a book on the History of Paris but couldn't find one we liked so off we went again over to the islands across from the bookstore. For a dash of Paris flavor and a bit more information ... check out the video below.

I am going to save Monet's Garden visit for another blog ... great walk and an amazing garden!

Walk On Strong,

Monday, 10 June 2013

Day 10 Sunday walk in Paris

Advice ...If the rain starts ... stop in a cafe for a bite to eat and a glass of wine!

Day 10 Sunday walk in Paris

Yesterday it was a bit chilly and the rain was coming down in the morning.  At first we were contemplating a short walk to search out Parc Montsouris which is nearby and one that we remembered from our first visit to Paris seven years ago.  Then we decided that possibly a rainy day would be a good day to see if we could find a place to do a little shopping in the tourist district near the Sein.  We thought that we would just start out and hope for the best knowing that we could take the metro home if we got stuck.  

We walked down the Avenue du Maine all the way to the Monparnasse Tower and the weather was still clear and cool so we took the Rue de Rennes up toward the river and then across and into the shopping district near the Louvre.  Our luck gave away and the rain began so we ducked into a little cafe in sight of the Louver pictured above and enjoyed a pizza and a glass of vin!  Such a great way to enjoy a rain shower and as we finished ... so did the rain and off we went. 

The last time we were in Paris two years ago I bought 2 Paris mugs that were a little bit more stylish that most and since then we use them all the time at home.  One of the mugs has a chip in it, probably from over use, and the one thing that I wanted to be sure to get was a replacement mug or two.  As we have been walking these first few days in Paris I have been on the look out for a mug like the ones at home .... yesterday I found them!!  I bought three of them ... just in case. 

We continued to walk through the gardens along the river on the right bank and at Pont Alexandre we crossed over and started toward home.  We were thinking that it might be time for a stop at a cafe and we remembered that there was a Canadian Bar that we thought was close by ... just for fun. It turned out to be challenge trying to find this bar, which was not where we thought it was. We then turned down a street that I thought I knew and I didn't .... which led to our getting lost ... not seriously lost but enough to be a little frustrating as we tried to get going in the right direction.  

Musee d'Orsay on a rainy Sunday in June
We decided that if you get lost at the beginning of your walk while you have energy it is not too bad ... especially in Paris ... because it is so interesting and it could be a good way to see something you might have missed otherwise.   But ... it is not as good to be lost on your way home after walking for about 5 hours ... it tends to put a strain on even the best of relationships. 

We managed to end up on Bd St-Michel near the Luxembourg Gardens wondering which way to go ... left or right? ... fortunately we went in the direction that would lead us home ... seven hours after we had left.
Dave is getting restless again and I think that we are heading out today toward the Parc Montsouris and up toward the Place D'Itale and then ... who knows??
I will be back again soon to write about walking is in Paris... until then ...
Walk On Strong!


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Day 8 Walking in Paris

Walk ... Eat ... Walk ... and eat again!

Day 8 Walking in Paris

Our second day in Paris and we were feeling more awake and a little less jet lagged.  We decided to follow a map that our friend Peter in Kitchener had given us before we left.  It looked like a great way to just get reacquainted with Paris in hurry. It ended up being a ten hour excursion and 18Ks from our door at noon and back again at 10 p.m. ... a superb 10 hours!!
So we are calling this walk an Introduction to Paris ... but, of course, Paris is so very much more than this! There is a map in this link above. Remember that you can shorten the walk from 18 K if you simply take the metro to the starting point at the Seine River. 
On this walk you won't have time to go into the Louvre but at least you will familiarize yourself with the layout of this part of the city. You can always head back to visit some of the museums on another day.

We did do a tour of the Petite Palace, as our friend Peter had recommended, and we were glad we did ... it was magnificent and there was an impressionist exhibition there as a special event.
An absolutely beautiful day to walk around Paris for 10 hours! Hello Eiffel Tower
Yes, we had to make a stop at the Eiffel Tower.  We hadn't walked around it this way before so we got some great pictures. Thank you so much Peter!

By the time we got home again we were absolutely done ... but the feeling was good.

Another day and another walk in Paris ... after a good rest we will be off again.
Walk On Strong,

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Day 6 Walking in Paris!

This might be hard to make out but it is lights out time on Air France on our flight last night

Day 6  Walking in Paris!

Well, we made it to Paris! 
Dave and I left Toronto yesterday at almost 7 p.m. and arrived in Paris at about 2:30 a.m. ( Toronto time) today. The flight with Air France was quite wonderful ... great service and the hours flew by (no pun intended)It was 7:30 a.m. Paris time so we had a good head start on our day.
The RER train takes you right through the center of Paris and connects with the metro ... easy!

We took the RER train into Paris from the airport.  The train system is so easily accessible it was about a half an hour and we were just a few blocks from our final destination in Montparnasse.  We have stayed in this area before so we felt a bit more sure of ourselves as we walked toward what we hoped was our little apartment getaway. We were met by a friend of the owner and he guided us the last block and helped us get in and look around.
It is just wonderful to have a real home to stay in while we are here. It really does feel like a home away from home.

So we settled into our new home and had a celebratory glass of wine ... this is Paris ... it had to happen sooner rather than later!

The next thing we did was plot our first walk to orient ourselves to our location so that we would be able to find our way back ... always a good idea when you are on holiday.  

We walked toward the river and the Montparnasse Tower which is an amazing landmark and definitely helps a poor traveler in Paris orient him or herself.  We walked for a hour or so and all of a sudden I felt absolutely exhausted ... so, not wanting to push our first day too much, we headed back home. 
We stopped at the grocer briefly to pick up the essentials of life: red wine, cheese, baguette, cream for expresso and croissants!
Life is great here in Paris and it is only our first day!!
We promise you more soon ... Walk On Strong ... in Paris,