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Travel, Uncategorized, Wanderlusting

Paris with Love

Bonjour mon ami!

If you follow me on Instagram you already know my love for Paris, France. S and I try to fly there as often as possible. This February, we stayed at the ultra charming hotel in Le Marais called L’Hôtel Paris Marais Caron de Beaumarchais. When looking for a place to stay, we flirted with the idea of renting an Airbnb, but ultimately settled on this place because of the charming décor. The nerd in me is obsessed with 17th and 18th century France, so the opportunity to stay in a property that is decorated in the baroque style made my heart instantly flutter. This charming 19-room boutique hotel offers rooms with a gorgeous balcony or if you would prefer to save a few euros, a courtyard facing room.

The hotel was named after Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais. Monsieur Beaumarchais was a renaissance man most notable for writing the comedy Le Mariage de Figaro, this inspired Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Beaumarchais was also a watchmaker, who invented the first timepiece that was accurate to the second and the size of a ring.

He also, had a huge hand in persuading the French government to support the revolt of the American colonies against the British.   Beaumarchais supplied a shipment of ammunition and guns for 25,000 men in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. I wish I had thought to snap actual pictures of the hotel, but here are some from the website and one of my own.

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

Photo Credit Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais

How dreamy was that?  Someone take me back, please!

I want to share our last full day in Paris with you all. Typical of Parisian winters, this day was rainy and overcast, with pockets of sunlight.  We were feeling a bit down, as it was our last day, so we decided that it would be a good idea to be tourists.

We settled on taking a tour bus for our “touristy activity”, as this was the best way for us to see all our favorite spots one last time before we leave (I know, I know, we are dramatic people. But, I effing adore this city. I’m obsessed with food, culture, people and language).

We chatted with the ever-so-charming and knowledgeable British French front desk agent, Phil, who recommended the Le Open Tour to us. Unlike the other double decker bus tours in the city, this one offers four different lines, which take you through most of the Arrondissements.

So, that was that… we settled on this tour. You can pick up the bus at a number of stops across the city and tickets can be purchased right on board. We walked over to the Notre Dame Cathedral stop and hopped on the bus there.

I find that having a strategy helps when you’re taking advantage of these touristy things. We planned out the areas we wanted to see and we knew that we wouldn’t be getting off the bus to explore, as we’ve already done that before and were limited on time. Here’s the breakdown of the lines, followed by our strategy.

  • The Green Line is the main attraction line, it hits notable areas like the Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde.
  • The Orange Line takes you to the left bank, hitting the areas of made famous by the Lost Generation, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and Montparnasse (think café culture!). This also stops at Le Jardin du Luxembourg.
  • The Blue Line takes you through Le Marais to places like Maison de Victor Hugo.
  • The Yellow Line takes you to Montmartre and Pigalle. You’ll need to actually get off the bus and head up the hill if you want to see Sacre-Coeur, but it’s totally worth it.

Our strategy:

As I mentioned, we wanted to use the open tour as a way to get a final glimpse of the city before having to say au revoir to Paris.

  • We blocked off approximately 3-4 hours for the ride, we knew that we could easily walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral stop and pick up the Green line there.
  • Because we were staying in Le Marais, we skipped the Blue Line.
  • We then looked at the map, identifying the areas where we could easily transfer lines. We noticed that it made the most sense to transfer to the Orange line at stop 17, Hotel des Invalides.
  • We would ride the Orange Line all the way around the left bank back to stop 17.
  • We would then get back on the Green Line and continue to stop 19, Place de la Madeleine and transfer to the Yellow Line.
  • We would then take the Yellow Line all the way around back to stop 19 and transfer back to the Green Line to take it back to Notre Dame Cathedral, Stop 6.

 

 

Once we hopped off the bus we walked across the street to The Shakespeare and Company where I purchased a couple of books and pretended to be a member of the Lost Generation (nerd alert times 2). Pictures are not allowed in the bookstore, although people were still taking photos. I chose not to participate in taking pictures, because I love rules and S and I felt that it would be disrespectful to the property and to the owners (nerd alert times 3). No judgment if you have more of a rebel heart than I do.

To stay on topic, in my next post, I’m sharing how I made Baguettes at home to cure my Paris blues.

 

Au Revoir!

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