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Ahhh, Paris!

23 Dec
The City of Light certainly enhances its reputation at Christmas. Unabashedly celebrating the season, the city is bedecked with myriad trees, dangling lights, kitschy windows and shooting stars. Shopping bags and parcels adorn the arms of many as they hurry to prepare for the coming days of merrymaking.
Hardly needs a caption, does it?

Hardly needs a caption, does it?

We took a 3-night stop on our way to London, indulging in a few fine meals and thankfully about 37 kilometers (22 miles) of walking to atone for the excesses. We were also fortunate to meet Portland friends who know Paris well for lunch one day at the elegant and festive Vagenende on Boulevard St. Germain. If you get to Paris and want a romantic splurge, skip the places you find in the tour books and go here. If you want a fine meal in a low-key bistrot, dark and romantic yet casual, the best Boeuf Bourguignon ever is served at La Cave Gourmande in Montmartre. (During our last trip, we had a lot of marginal meals and only a couple of really good ones. This time we had several winners, I am happy to say.)
I am told the after effects of the terrorist events are being felt in some quarters. I understand some of the clubs and fancier places are not very well attended. There are announcements on French TV with actors telling people to join them and go out, as people are apparently staying home in fear. But we saw young people out enjoying the terraces even in the cool weather of December (which for December was not too cold) and the bistrots we ate in were busy, although skewing to the younger market (30-to-40-year-olds). The streets on Saturday were chockablock with shoppers. Security is high and omnipresent.
Three nights and two days is not enough to “do” Paris, but as we spent a week there last March, we did not feel we had to cram in a dozen museums. Instead, we took long walks through the city, two escorted Paris Walks tours (fabulous!), and simply soaked up the atmosphere, viewed the lights, and enjoyed the city. We treated ourselves to a nice boutique hotel in the 7th, and from our room could see the top bit of the Eiffel Tower. As we usually stay in apartments or little B&Bs, this we a holiday treat with daily maid service, a lovely breakfast, and top notch service in a convenient neighborhood.
We are now in London, also unusually warm, but buzzing with holiday activity. More to come, but probably after Christmas. So for now, let us wish you a simple but heartfelt Happy Christmas! 
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12 Responses to “Ahhh, Paris!”

  1. Anita December 24, 2015 at 23:25 #

    Merry Christmas

    Like

  2. Gina December 24, 2015 at 12:58 #

    Dave and I enjoyed the photos! Paris knows how to do Christmas, that’s for sure!

    Like

    • gooddayrome December 24, 2015 at 16:07 #

      Thanks Geeg! It’s fun to see how other cities “do” Christmas. London closes down! Today very few sites are open, and tomorrow there’s no Underground nor buses. Very little opens the 26th, either. It’s likely to be very peaceful tomorrow. 🙂 Happy Christmas to you, Dave, Jamie & family!

      Like

  3. Maarja December 24, 2015 at 06:28 #

    You really got wonderful photos of Paris! So great to see you too! Joyeux noël !

    Like

  4. Marcia Kakiuchi December 24, 2015 at 02:36 #

    In January 2017, we think we’ll be traveling through Paris for a couple of days onto a south seas destination. Could you share with me (mlkakiuchi@yahoo.com) the name of the hotel you stayed at this time and approximate cost so we might consider that? Last time we stayed at the Marriott on the boulevard and while absolutely lovely and a great great location during Christmas season, it was quite spendy. Would love your input on where you just stayed and enjoyed!

    Marcia

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome December 24, 2015 at 07:40 #

      Ciao Marcia! We stayed at Hotel Relais Bosquet. °Friend° them on Facebook and watch for special offers. We qualified for free breakfast as a result of a FB offer. Very close to the Eiffel Tower, close to Metro, nice quiet neighborhood. For Paris, not a bad price, Euro 525 for 3 nights. Bon chance!

      Like

  5. mvaden1948 December 24, 2015 at 01:29 #

    Merry Christmas….Buon Natale! Lovely pictures.

    Like

  6. Chloe Erkenbrecher December 23, 2015 at 23:35 #

    So happy that you were in the ‘City of Lights’ for part of the holiday season. It is fantastic. wonderful that you found a good restaurant. We are still looking for something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and serves good food. We do enjoy Le Souffle, even though it is a bit touristy, but the souffles are fantastic. We particularly like the Grand Marnier, which they pour the Grand Marnier into and then leave the bottle at the table for you to do your own refills.

    Like

    • gooddayrome December 24, 2015 at 07:45 #

      Wow, that souffle sounds amazing! In Italian we say something costs °Un occhio della testa° (An eye from the head). Since we found the U.S. crazily expensive last summer, so we are less price-sensitive in Europe now. When we travel we get apartments for stays of 4-or-more nights and try to “cook” (I use the term loosely as it is more like ‘prepare’) either lunch or dinner to save on calories and funds.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Trains, buses, and the Tube | gooddayrome - January 4, 2016

    […] to blog about this trip. You’ve seen plenty of pictures of Christmas lights in Roma, Milano, and Paris (plus blogger John Henderson did a far better job than I ever could about Roma). A litany of the […]

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