|On all our
student visits to Paris, we have stayed in the 7th (on rue Cler). This
location is safe and provides easy access to the places we want to visit.
For example, the Rodin Museum and the Invalides were an easy walk
from our hotel, and the Musee d'Orsay is only about another ten minutes.
The Rodin is a nice break from the ordinary art museums. The
building itself, a former home, is small and allows the visitor to be near
the sculptures. Many of the works, like "The Thinker" are displayed
in natural settings in the extensive gardens. Napoleon's tomb is located
under the Dome of the Invalides, and if you have time time, there's an interesting
Army Museum also located in the building.
is not only the most famous street in Paris (and perhaps the world), it's
also probably the most difficult to spell. Stretching from Place de
la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, the street can be roughly divided into
two parts: on the end toward Concorde, it is tree-lined and filled with gardens
and flowers; on the end nearer the Arc, it is a traffic-jammed boulevard lined
by movie houses, fast-food places, and car dealerships. But even at
its worst points, it's a great place to sit and watch the people go by!
Place du Tertre, the Dome of the Sacré-Couer rises above the other
buildings in Montmartre. The Place still retains some of its village
charm if you can get there early in the morning or late in the evening, especially
in the off-season. But even if you're limited to seeing Montmartre at
the height of the tourist season in the middle of the day, you can recall
a little of its colorful past by just walking a few blocks off the path leading
from the steps of the church toward Place du Tertre. There are still
many treasures waiting to be found, tucked around the corner on one of the
winding little streets in the neighborhood.
|For most of our
traveling in Paris, we prefer to use the buses, because we can see more
of the city. But for places that are farther apart, it's best to use
the Metro or the RER. They're fast and efficient and can help maximize
the most important thing on any trip: time. And for those of us whose
primary experience with public transportation has been a big yellow school
bus, these underground adventures are almost like a carnival ride (with strange
smells added, of course!)
able to see Versailles as we had never seen it before. As a result of the
huge drop in tourism in the months immediately following 9/11, we found
ourselves almost alone at many of the normally crowded spots. On this
visit to Versailles, we and our guide were the only people in many of the
rooms. We were able to take our time and see details that we'd never
seen before. On most of our prior visits to Versailles, I've usually
seen the back of a taller person's head. Furthermore, people were glad to
see us at almost every stop. Instead of pushing us along like a herd
of cattle, people in the museums, shops, and restaurants actually Thanked
us for coming! It was a nice feeling and one we'll probably never experience
at Versailles must have the smartest staff of any McDonald's in the world.
Realizing that they were facing a crowd of twenty Americans who had
no idea what goes into a Cheeseburger Royale, they moved us away from the
counter to our tables, took our orders as if we were at a regular restaurant,
and delivered the whole thing to us on a cart! On the travel boards,
going to McDonald's in France is often treated as some sort of heresy. In
fact, with a group of teens, McDonald's is perfect for lunch. It's clean,
fast, and has the best free restrooms around.