A Travellerspoint blog

La Tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower


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From the Palais de Chaillot I walked to La Tour Eiffel or nicknamed in French La dame de fer which translates to "the iron woman". When I think of Paris, I immediately think of La Tour Eiffel.... don't you?
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My breath was taken away when I was walking closer and closer to the tower, I had no idea that it would be as beautiful as my eyes saw for the first time. Sure I've seen it in pictures, movies and sorts but it's so different when you're standing right there seeing it with your own eyes for the first time.
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Gustave Eiffel, the designer and engineer built the tower as an entrance to the World's Fair of 1889. It's a very tall tower at 1,063 feet. There is something so romantic about the Eiffel Tower that makes your heart skip, beat faster and puts a little rose in your cheeks from how gorgeous it is. Be sure to go there with a loved one and take lots of pictures. My husband was at work so I took pictures with my domokun doll - - Who you'll see in future posts travels in my purse with me all over the world.

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And another day when my husband and I came to the tower at night. It's so gorgeous with all the lights! Every hour at night they have a light show that makes the tower light up like crazy. But I love it most when it's like this: Enjoy.

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Posted by domokun 16:01 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Palais de Chaillot

First day on my own


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After Napoleon's empire fell, his plans for a palace for his sons on Chaillot hill didn't go through. But it was later used for the original Trocadero palace which was build for the Universal Exhibition (1878).

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Located in the 16th arrondissement, the Palais de Chaillot has a spectacular viewing platform for the Eiffel Tower across the Seine.

In 1937, the Palais was replaced by the present Neo-Classical building with huge wings for another exhibition. There three museums located here which you can go to but I chose not to go. Even in the winter time there were an array of souvenir sellers with tacky souvenirs that you can find anywhere in the world. I strongly suggest taking a self pic shot of yourself and the Eiffel Tower like I did.

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I searched all over the internet for the gold/bronze statues that are located on both sides of the viewing platform. They are so beautiful and I wish I knew the exact history of the statues so if you know, please share. There were four statues on each side.

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When you walk below the viewing platform there are two giant bronze statues of Apollo and Hercules on each side of the front terrace.

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I was really impressed with how big this place was. It was the perfect viewing platform as well as being so magnificently decorated. I was also hoping to visit the Cimetière de Passy which is across the way from the Palais but it was closed for renovation. I particularly wanted to see the grave sites of: Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Comte Emanuel de las Cases (historian and friend of Napoleon!), Berthe Morisot and Henri Farman.

I hope to one day return to Paris and see it and maybe visit the Palais when it isn't so dreary out. Maybe a nice fall or spring day. Perhaps at night, the night shots I've seen from the viewing platform were jaw dropping. One day I know we'll go back for sure.

Posted by domokun 13:02 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Arc de Triomphe

First stop in Paris


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We were so jet lagged the moment we arrived in Paris and took a nap straight away. When we woke up, we were groggy and noticed that it was considerably late. Oops - - We walked out of our hotel and decided to walk to the Arc de Triomphe. Officially it is actually called the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile. It is there to honor those who fought for France mostly during the Napoleonic Wars.

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This is located right in the Place Charles de Gaulle or also known as Place de l'Étoile. It is a magnificent site at night with all the lights shining up and displaying the amazing detail on the monument.

We decided to walk up all 284 steps to reach the top of the Arc. It's kind of funny looking back how we didn't think the steps were too bad. That is until we hit the half way point and wondered how much longer it would take. About 2/3 of the way up there was a little section inside for a gift shop and statues, names of French generals of the first French Empire.

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At the very top you have a very clear view of Champs-Élysées. The blue lights are very distinctive and it is the heart of fashion in Paris. At the very end of the street you can see the Ferris wheel!

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You can also see the beautiful La Tour Eiffel in the distance. At night time you can see it very clearly. Though trying to take pictures with a point and shoot at night time isn't easy at all.

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When we came back downstairs we noticed bagpipes and soldiers but we couldn't see since it was blocked off. It was for the Tomb of the Unknown Solider which is below the Arc. The grave has an eternal flame which burns in memory of the soldiers that were killed and never identified in both World Wars. The French model came to inspire the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey. John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy visited the Arc and Tomb in a visit to Paris. After JFK was assassinated she requested an eternal flame to be at JFK's grave which was also inspired by their visit to the Arc.

To finish off this post about the Arc de Triomphe: some pictures I took outside.
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Posted by domokun 20:53 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Our Paris Eats Part Deux

Everything tastes good in Paris


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Continuing my posts on our eats during our time in beautiful Paris!

Some places we ate that weren't in the heart of Paris but well worth the food.

Zeyer
62 Rue d'Alésia (Subway d'Alésia)
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If you've ever lived in New York and take the subway all the time then you'll have no trouble with Zeyer. It seems to be far from the center of Paris but in reality Paris is a really small city. We often walked at least 3-4 metro stops no problem and it was in the middle of winter. So I say be adventurous and go try Zeyer!
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The staff did not speak English at all but they are incredibly friendly! The area seems to be more natives than tourists and I really liked that. I couldn't tell you what we had honestly... But the dish that looks like mashed potatoes were that plus fish mashed into it. I think the other dish is egg noodle with duck or chicken kidneys. It was tasty and very heavy which surprised me that it was on their brunch menu.
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Guido de Luca
14 Rue de Thann Tél : 01 42 27 25 43 (Subway: Monceau)
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I know what you're thinking... Wait, Guido de Luca? Isn't that an Italian place? Yes. But again, this is a locals only place and it's really small and kind of a trip if you're not used to taking the Metro. It's so worth it though!
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We asked the owner (Guido) and his son to make us whatever they please and I am so glad we did. We had seafood pasta that tasted so fresh and so mouth watering delicious. There was also the giant parmigiana wheel that Guido himself cooked our 2nd pasta dish on which he set on fire!
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The dessert was heavenly and their humble restaurant was so uplifting and felt as though you were in their house. The food was incredible and you should call for a reservation since they get booked up fast. Guido also gave us an array of drinks, wine, liquor and shots. We were full and happy. The experience itself was well worth the trip.

And that's about it for us venturing outside the heart of Paris. But here are the rest of our Paris eats.

Remember how I was saying exploring Paris is the best way to find a place to eat? Here are some examples of places we wandered into.
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You seriously can't eat poorly in Paris. If you did, please tell me which places to avoid because every single place we tried together or on my own was crazy good.

We also stumbled upon this coffee shop:
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La Tartine
24 Rue de Rivoli (Subway Saint-Paul)
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When we walked into this sit down coffee shop/dessert/grab a quick bite to eat place I felt like I was on a set of a Parisian romantic movie. It's so warm, inviting and was a perfect place for us to rest our feet for the hubby to have a cafe and for me to have some gelato!

Speaking of gelato. It's very popular in Paris
Amorino
http://www.amorino.com/fr/
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Parisians love their gelato. I ate these a couple times on my own while I was walking around the city and I noticed that they were quite a few of them around. Give it a try, it's really rich and creamy so if you're lactose intolerant like we are... make sure you have your lactaid. They also have some nice chocolates, chocolate covered blueberries and other things of that nature that you can take back as gifts.

I really wish that I would have been better about taking pictures of every meal we ever had but sadly I was too hungry. The baguettes were fresh, delicious and tasted so different than the baguettes I've had in New York. French food was also very different than what I thought it was... It was very butter heavy, which is no surprise but I'm not used to eating so much butter and often times I felt sick from everything being too heavy. Next time I go I know I'll order different things and explore more food. There were times where I went to the grocery store and get a baguette, cherry tomatoes, some cured meat, pâté and have that for dinner or lunch. Loved eating whatever I felt like, whenever I wanted.

Next up: Paris sight seeing!

Posted by domokun 12:06 Archived in France Tagged food Comments (0)

Our Paris Eats

Everything tastes wonderful in Paris


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Paris is really a beautiful city, even in the winter time when it's freezing cold and snowing everywhere. My husband had work there so most of the time I was on my own to explore the country. We did eat a lot together and to me, eating is my favorite time with people that I love.

I will start our Paris posts of the food that we ate. Sadly I didn't take a picture of every single meal and I wish that I did but I promise I have plenty here for your eyes (and stomach) to see!

Here we go!

Ladurée
http://www.laduree.fr/
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There was so much hype about their macaroons all over the net and among my friends who have visited Paris. Normally I take hype with a grain of salt since most of the time I am sorely disappointed. But I was determined to try them myself and I was in heaven! They are so carefully made and not to mention incredibly beautiful. I tried some when I came back to New York City in the Parisian bakeries and I was sadly disappointed. They are worth the expensive price and I heard that if you plan to bring it back with you as gifts, think again. The air pressure from the airplane can crack the delicate macaroons and change the texture. Though that was only one person's opinion.. I didn't want to chance it. I visited the location on Champs Elysees - they have a pick up side and in the back seating for dinner guests. Your pick.

Locations: http://www.laduree.fr/public_en/maisons/maisons_accueil.htm

Paris is all about discovering places on your own

Coffee Link
66 Rue Pierre Charron (Subway: George V)
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The best places to eat are the ones off busy streets. We stumbled upon this restaurant while walking on Champs-Elysees. We heard the best tip about Paris: Nothing tastes bad in Paris but eat off the side streets where it's not so busy. That ensures you're probably getting an authentic meal, it's less expensive and you'll end up at a place nobody recommended but you love. We enjoyed Coffee Link, nice sit down restaurant with friendly staff. I'll let the food speak for itself through the pictures.

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Another place we stumbled upon. I can't even tell you where or what the place is called because I don't remember. Doesn't it look delicious?

Creperies
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Creperies are everywhere in Paris and whether savory or sweet it is a delicious snack or breakfast! We sat in crepeires, we had some at the stands right outside the Saint Michel stop but honestly they all taste just about the same. I'd say go with the stands so that you can have your food on the go, or if you go into a creperie go to the bar, stand and eat. Eating at the bar is generally a cheaper option than having a sit down meal. I really loved getting my crepe to go and sightseeing. I miss crepes.

We ate a lot of crepes.... look how happy we are!
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L'as Du Fallafel
34 Rue des Rosiers (Subway: Saint-Paul)
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L'as Du Fallafel was another one of those places that everyone seem to rave about. To my surprise (again) I agree! They are located in the Jewish district so be sure to check their hours of operation. We showed up on a Saturday and of course they were closed. Wasn't really thinking when we showed up on a Saturday and everything in the area was closed! They have signs everywhere that says Lenny Kravitz's favorite fallafel place is here. Really, I don't care about celebrity endorsements. But the food here is really yummy and plentiful! I suggest you wait in line for the take away instead of eating inside. The lines are long and no matter how hungry you are do NOT go to another place, not across the street especially. You will be so disappointed if you go across the street because it taste horrible. I would stick with the fallafels with all the fixings. The food is very filling and highly delicious.
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Since this post is already quite long, I'll continue our food posts another day. Stay tuned!

Posted by domokun 12:26 Archived in France Tagged food Comments (0)

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