France so far!

We arrived in Paris on Saturday.  Although we left Portland and arrived in Paris at similar times, we took different flights.  Bret went through New York City and I went through Minneapolis because Bret’s flight was booked by his employer and I booked the cheapest similar flight I could find.  Luckily, there were no problems.  The widespread availability of wifi makes communication pretty easy these days.

We jumped on the train and headed to our hotel in downtown Paris.  I highly recommend the Hotel Victoria Chatelet.  It is located in the actual Theatre du Chatelet.  It was relatively inexpensive, the staff were so nice, and the location could not be beat.  Just a few minutes to Notre Dame and the Seine.

We were determined to do better with the jetlag on this trip than we did when we arrived in Ireland (it took us about two weeks to adjust), so we really pushed through the exhaustion to stay awake until after 9pm. Our philosophy was to just keep moving…


So we walked all around our neighborhood, ate some food, walked some more, ate some more. We even had some wine with dinner, although we were worried that it would just put us to sleep… when in Paris 🙂

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The next morning, we actually slept later than we expected.  We grabbed some breakfast, then met up with a family friend, Jo Ann.


We had a lovely morning exploring Paris.  We walked along a beautiful greenway on a converted elevated train track.  We went to a market near the Bastille.  Then we got to see Jo Ann’s home, across from an 11th century church that was converted to a science and technology museum (several centuries ago, but I can’t remember the details exactly).

After a lovely lunch with Jo Ann and her family, we were off to explore again.  I have a strange love for boat tours and the day before I had seen a river boat go by with couch seats in all the windows.  I thought that would be a relaxing way to spend the evening.  Bret and I walked down to the Eiffel Tower along the river, but we could not figure out which boat offered such a cruise.  All the ones we found were really packed in with people or included dinner, which we were not interested in.  Eventually, we gave up on the idea and continued to stroll along the Seine.  We made it to the Statue of Liberty on the Ile aux Cygnes.  It is a 35 ft replica of the original commissioned by some Americans living in Paris.  We started making our way back from there.

Here are some pictures of the Eiffel Tower from every angle.

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and some pictures of how I spent most of the afternoon… watching Bret trying to get the perfect shot (I am sure his pictures will be much better than mine when he posts them).

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and then again after dinner…


We were pretty exhausted when we got back to the hotel… according to my watch, we walked around 17 miles through Paris in all that day!

The next morning, we slept late then got some food before we caught the high speed train to Nantes.


Bret will be in Nantes for the next few weeks, working, while I explore France and visit my cousin in Geneva.

First stop for me, Saulieu in the Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan.  This town looked much smaller when I was booking my hotel, but I have enjoyed my stay here so far.

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The area is very rural and is marketed as a mountain biking destination.  I hiked along a mountain biking trail.  Which was mostly a walk on very quiet country roads and rocky, former roads.  It was very nice!

I also found a beautiful wool shop!  The shop keeper keeps her own herd of Angora goats and makes the most beautiful wool and some hand knit scarfs.  I would have loved to buy everything in the store, but I managed to leave with only a few skeins of soft yarn.

Today, I am off to Geneva on the no tolls route… should be interesting!


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