My Travel Adventures 2014 – Part 4

Part 4 of my travel adventures in 2014

October – Paris & Dijon, France

In October we travelled to France a country I have visited frequently in recent years. Although I have visited Paris before this was my first time back in Paris for many years so I was quite excited to experience it all again. Paris is one of my favourite cities, it holds a special place in my heart as it was the first place I visited outside of the UK and you could say my love of travel and experiencing different cultures began right here in Paris.

We did not have much time in Paris one full day and night before travelling to Dijon in Eastern France so here are some of my Paris highlights.

The Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is on the left bank of the Seine. It is in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915.

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 One of the museum’s giant clocks, inside from the restaurant you can get a great view through the clock.

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The Musée d’Orsay, seen from the right bank of the Seine river.

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The Louvre Palace and the Pyramid.

One of the world’s largest and most visited museums. Even in October the queue was huge so we  gave it a miss.

Walking around Paris makes you hungry so we did as the locals do and went for a baguette. Boulangerie Eric Kayser is a famous Parisian bakery and the queue to buy bread was out the door but luckily they also have a café so we were able to get a table and enjoy the wonderful breads and pastries and soak up the atmosphere.

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 Onto the The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as The Basilica Sacré-Cœur. The basilica is found in Montmartre, the highest point in the city so you get lovely views. It is a really busy touristy area where you can get your portrait sketched and buy the usual touristy trinkets but it is also one of the most historic and interesting neighborhoods in Paris so make sure you explore the steep and cobbled streets around here.

The Basilica Sacré-Cœur

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The next stop was the Montparnasse Tower which is the only skyscraper in Paris. The only floors open to the public for viewing the city are the 56th & 59th floors. One of fastest lifts in the world takes you up to the 56th floor 38 seconds to be precise. The 56th panoramic floor has a covered terrace and restaurant, you then have to climb the stairs up to the 59th floor to the roof terrace which on a clear day you can see up to 40km away. It offers a spectacular view of Paris and especially the Eiffel Tower which you can’t miss as Montparnasse is directly opposite.

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The Eiffel Tower from Montparnasse

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A view of the roofs, avenues and monuments of Paris from Montparnasse.

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We just had enough time before it started to get dark to visit the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, it is the most visited monument in France and no visit to Paris is complete without visiting here.

The Western Facade of the Notre-Dame

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The Eiffel Tower

Saving the best for last we visited the Eiffel Tower, Paris’s most famous symbol. It was just getting dark and we got there in plenty time for the Illuminations. Every evening, the Eiffel Tower lights up with its golden covering and sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, while its beacon shines over Paris.

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I hope you enjoy my short video of the illuminations below, it really was breathtaking and magical.

 [intense_video video_type=”youtube” video_url=”http://youtu.be/HeDLLKEBNII”]

We finished off a fantastic day with a wonderful meal. As usual it was not long enough but I am sure I will be back in Paris again very soon.

(Just incase you are wondering why I did not feature shopping in Paris it was because we visited on a Sunday and it is normal to find all the shops are closed not just in Paris but all over France on Sunday’s.)

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I hope you enjoyed my day in Paris. Where was the first place you visited?  What is your favourite city and does anywhere hold a special place in your heart? As always I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Join me again soon for my last travel adventure of the year in Dijon the capital of the Burgundy region of France.

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40 Comments

  • Ooh Hoosewifey, those cakes at the boulangerie look delicious! I have never actually visited Paris, although France was the first country I visited too – I think that is the case for most of us in the UK. My favourite cities are Amsterdam and Barcelona. and I never get bored of visiting them.

    • Oh I can assure you the cakes were delicious 😉 I have visited Amsterdam & Barcelona too a few years ago now pre blog days. Loved Amsterdam thought the people were so friendly and it had such a nice atmosphere.

  • Those are beautiful pictures Mary! They bring back a lot of memories, I was in Paris years ago. I remember the Louvre was also packed when we were there, and it was so monstrous and extensive I could have spent a week in there.

    How have you enjoyed the food? France was the first place I tried mutton… not a great memory! But the pastries in Europe are miles beyond what you could ever find in the states. Have you seen baguette dispensers on the sides of buildings? I remember we were in a smaller town and there was an nondescript box secured to the side of a building, you put in some coins and a huge baguette popped out! Maybe it’s not that strange, but I thought it was at the time.

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your travels!

    • Thanks for your kind comments about the pictures 🙂 Well I have had some really great experiences when eating out but some equally as bad.The wine,cheese,bread & pastries sure make up for that though, last time we did mainly self catering and bought food at the local markets and that was a great experience. I have not noticed the baguette dispensers though, you know what I will be looking out for next time I am there now don’t you 😉

  • Thank you for my vicarious visit to Paris. You pictures transported me front and center to its beauty especially Le Eiffel Tower. My favorites were the short video of the illumination show and the picture from directly beneath the Eiffel Tower. The breadth and depth are simply massive, and beautiful.

  • These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I have always wanted to visit Paris, but haven’t gotten a chance yet. I especially love the pictures of Notre Dame, I love the architecture and the stained glass! Paris is such a beautiful city, you’re so lucky to have been able to visit there more than once! 🙂

  • Very comprehensive post. I actually got to go to Paris myself and I wasn’t nearly as impressed, although not because the natives were rude or anything like that. To me, the CITY just wasn’t impressive. Each to their own I guess

  • I think I stared at the photo from that French café for far too long, my mouth is now watering. It looked so good I would have a hard time choosing what to get, I think “one of everything” might be a tad indulgent but gosh I would be tempted!

    I’ve only done a bit of travel through Europe and only spent a scant amount of time in France so I’d have to say my favourite city would be Berlin (amazing diverse culture and history) and first city was Luzern. But now I’m thinking I need to spend more time in France, particularly at that bakery!

  • Wow, these pictures are gorgeous!!! It looks like you had such a good time. I am like Linno… I think I stared at the pastries a little longer than necessary. I have never traveled out of the country so this is peaking my interest even more about traveling!

  • Incredible photos! I’ve always wanted to visit France more for the food than anything else. The architecture is incredible from what I’ve seen, but I’m more of a food person myself! I’m happy that you go to visit multiple cities in the country, even though the time was somewhat limited. I know a couple people that studied abroad in France, and they all loved the experience!

  • You are so lucky! The architecture is beautiful and the scenery looks breathtaking! (Those pastries did not look too bad either! lol) It was very informative and I definitely learned a thing or two especially about the tower being the only skyscraper in Paris. It looks like a lovely trip, very relaxing and elegant. You are an excellent photographer by the way! I particularly loved the one from the bottom of the tower.

  • Beautiful pictures! I’ve not been to Paris in a very long time – it was a school trip and we whizzed round the city so had hardly any time to stop and really take stock of the atmosphere. I really need to go back and do Paris at a far more leisurely pace. Maybe I should start hinting to my husband?!

  • I would just like to thank you for sharing your travel experiences with everyone. It is very inspiring to see all the beautiful sites from other countries. For those who cannot travel to these places it’s very inspiring to have someone bring them to us. I have had the pleasure of traveling to the Bahama’s, Mexico, and different states over the years. It always amazes me the beauty you can find in a new place.

    • Thank you for your kind words, I am so glad you and many others enjoy the blog so much. It really is a pleasure to continue to share my adventures with you all 🙂

  • All very familiar sites with fond memories for my part. When I visited Paris I kept to the tourist trails most of the time. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower; they were magnificent in person. As somewhat of an architectural buff myself, Paris was like a candy store full of delicious treats.

  • Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous!! Oh, how wonderful your video was! I have never been to Paris, probably never will, but my daughter wants to go there when she’s an adult. Keep those precious photos and look at them often, I am a camera crazy mom, so everything is a photo opp to me. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos – and the food, oh yummy!!

  • Wow! For only having one day and night in Paris you sure seemed to make the most of it. I have not been to the city in almost a year and miss it so much. It was also one of the first places I visited as I began traveling and it made it very clear how diverse and different the world outside the U.S. is. I could almost smell the bakery with that photo of all the pastries. Thanks for sharing.

  • What more can I say? Your adventure in Paris is such a breathtaking experience. All those Gothic architecture, picturesque buildings, museum housing history from the 1800, the majestic Eiffel Tower and the delectable breads and pastries – all in one day! Just perfect!

  • That is amazing. I’ve always wanted to visit France. I want to try the pastries, I had no idea that they have great seafood as well. I enjoyed the view of the Eiffel Tower. I assumed that there would be fireworks around the Eiffel Tower but I had no Idea it lit up as well. Those were beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh wow, those pictures are gorgeous! I’m so jealous of your trip 🙂 Paris is definitely close to #1 (if not actually #1) on my list of must-see places. You got an incredible picture of the Eiffel Tower, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be so close to such a historical, beautiful landmark. And it’s so funny how the French make even a simple tray of cheese look amazing!

  • My first out of the country experience was Italy and it was so cool! I didn’t get a long enough time there, though. Not even a week. I recommend now to everyone that any time you go out of the country, you should plan a longer time around one or two places…rather than plan a small amount of time with many places. You can’t really enjoy the time the way you should because you’re in a rush! Your trip looks amazing, makes me want to travel!

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