Parlez-vous bien Français?
Unfortunately, I do NOT speak French very well. I had the best of intentions to really work on it during the Winter when outside activities are very limited here in Idaho (unless you are snow skiing, which my body gave up on many years ago). That hasn’t stopped me before to go to a country where my language proficiency was limited (and that is being generous!). One week from today, my wife Darlene and I will be flying from Boise to San Francisco, and then from San Francisco to Paris, France.
So, you might be wondering, why would we first fly west when our destination is to the east? Because it will give us the opportunity to try out the new Polaris Business Class service on United Airlines. Plus, we will have several hours at SFO to enjoy the very large Polaris Lounge. All that might sound extravagant, but this might be our last trip to France, and I want it to be as enjoyable as possible!
- Our schedule is as follows:
- Arrive in Paris April 11; two nights at hotel near Montparnasse
- Train to Bordeaux on April 13; board Viking Forseti for an 8-day river cruise “Châteaux, Rivers & Wine”
- Train from Bourdeaux to Tours on April 20 for a 5-day stay in an airbnb flat
- Train from Tours to Paris on April 25 for 2-week stay in hotel near Gare de l’Est in 10th arrondissement
- Fly home from Paris on May 9 (CDG-SFO and SFO-BOI)
We have many activities planned for our two weeks in Paris, such as visiting Parc Monceau (the largest park inside Paris, and one of which we have five pieces of art—our goal is to find the locations of the paintings of each of them!); taking a trip to Giverny (where Monet did much of his painting); a trip to Chartres (beautiful cathedral with awesome colored glass); enjoying meals on sidewalk cafés, and a lot more. We even have an Irish Pub close by (we visited it many times during our 2-month Paris stay in 2014), a fun place to have a brew and speak English!
You probably won’t see many photos of the Eiffel Tower (yes, we’ve been to the top, to the sides, taken videos of the flashing lights in the evening, etc.). We have those photos, but they aren’t the reason we are going there this year. We are going to bring to you photos of some of the not-major-tourist-spots, hopefully even some places where no one speaks any English!
Those are the highlights of our month in Paris, 2019 style. Stay tuned for photos and other items of interest. If you’ve never been to France, then see why we love going there (and maybe why you’d also love it)! If you’ve been before and want to return, let our photos be that push to get you back.
Au revoir for now!
Stuart Gustafson is America’s International Travel Expert® who speaks on cruise ships, writes novels, sends out an infrequent newsletter (almost every month!), is an avid TripAdvisor reviewer, and loves everything about travel. Visit his website at www.stuartgustafson.com. You can also connect with him personally on Facebook and/or with him and other travelers on his International Travel Expert page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/International-Travel-Expert-147321228683651/
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