FRANCE: Paris – First Leg of 23-Day Excellent French Adventure

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

“And yes Mr. Trump, Paris is still Paris regardless of your previous condescending remarks. If Paris can handle a visit from you then surely it can stand up to most anything. It’s been over 75 years since a Nazi sympathizer like yourself has been chauffeured down the Champs Elysees, and paid a visit to the Eiffel Tower. I just hope they ripped out and burned the carpets from the Jules Verne restaurant after you dined there so they could get the stench out of the place.”

“At least you didn’t leave Paris with the stained glass from Notre Dame to put in one of your tacky properties like the real Nazis did. One day when you’re huddled with the rest of your greedy little brood in the bunker in the sub-basement of Trump Tower, you’ll realize that like your cousin, Adolph, you stretched yourself a little too thin, and became engulfed by your own hubris. Those that once supported you will awake from their collective delusion to realize that the one who offered them greatness had only delivered empty promises and devastation.”

Thanks, I needed to get that off of my chest. Now onto an epic 23-day adventure beginning with the truly amazing city of Paris which is one of the most visited cities on Earth.

First of three provocative ads in the Metro this trip – Strangely, it is for a shopping mall where I ended up buying tickets for two museums and a jazz performance. A new set of wireless earphones replaced a dilapidated set that I jettisoned in Bordeaux.

A souvenir for my adorable little granddaughter, Mia.

St. Michel Metro – Awaiting a new wall covering, it left an invitation for an artist to intervene.




Street musician encounter on the way to the Isle Saint Louis.

L’ILOT VACHE – A pretty and tasty restaurant on the Isle Saint Louis.

Magret de Canard – Duck heaven with raspberries.

Second of three provocative ads in the Metro this trip.

Jardin de Luxembourg

The Bateaux are back providing fun for the kiddies.



                                            MUSÉE D’ORSAY

Museé D’Orsay – My favorite museum in Paris, hands down.

A repurposed railway station and the pride of Paris preferred by many to the Louvre.

Pierre August RENOIR – Bal de Moulin de la Gallete – 1876

Pierre August RENOIR – Pont du chemin de fer á Chatou – 1881

Édouard MANET – Berthe Morisot au bouquet de violettes – 1872

Claude MONET – Coquelicots – 1873

Claude MONET – Régates à Argenteuil – 1872

Claude MONET – La barque á Giverny – 1887

Claude MONET – La bassin aux Nymphaes, harmonie vert – 1899

Claude MONET – Meules, fin de l’été – 1890

Camille PISSARRO – Paysage á Chaponval – 1880

Mary CASSAT – Jeune femme cousant dans un jardin – 1880-1882

Paul CÉZANNE – La Table de Cuisine – 1888-1890

Paul CÉZANNE – Le Garçon au gilet rouge – 1888-1890

Paul CÉZANNE – Baigneurs – 1890

Edgar DEGAS- Ballerina – First bronze to integrate fabric into artwork

One of three eateries in the museum.

View of the Sacre Coeur through the clock.



                                       VINCENT VAN GOGH

Vincent VAN GOGH – La Chambre de Van Gogh à Arles – 1889

Vincent VAN GOGH – Self Portrait – 1887

Vincent VAN GOGH – Madamoiselle Gachet dans son Jardin á Auvers-Sur-Oise – 1890

Vincent VAN GOGH – La Nuit Étoillée – 1888

Vincent VAN GOGH – L’Église d’Auvers-Sur-Oise – 1890

Vincent VAN GOGH – Chaumes de Cordeville á Auvers-Sur-Oise – 1890

Vincent VAN GOGH – Portrait de l’artiste – 1889


Paul SIGNAC – Femmes au Puits (Jeunes Provencales au puits) – 1892

Maximiien LUCE – Henri-Edmond Cross – 1898

Paul SIGNAC – Le Château des Papes – 1900

Maximiien LUCE – Le Quai St. Michel et Notre-Dame – 1901

Hector GUIMARD – Plaque de l’entrée du métropolitaine de la Station Montparnasse-Bienvenüe – 1910

Beautifully Maintained Original Railway Clock



                            MUSÉE DE L’ORANGERIE

Rodin’s “The Kiss” sits in front of the museum which faces the Place de la Concord and the Palais Royale with the French flag flying atop it in the distance.

In ten previous visits to Paris, I was unaware of this major wonder of the art world which was featured in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”. There are eight enormous panels by Monet exhibited in two ovoid rooms with natural lighting filtered through protective material in an identically shaped opening. The rooms were designed per the instructions of Monet since he donated the pieces to the museum and wanted them to be displayed properly.

Claude MONET – Water Lilies

Claude MONET – Water Lilies



André DERAIN – Portrait de Madame Paul Guillaume au grand chapeau 1928-1929

André DERAIN – La Table de Cuisine – 1925

Pierre August RENOIR – Portrait de Deux Fillettes – 1890-1892

Pierre August RENOIR – Femme nue dans un paysage – 1883

Pierre August RENOIR – Jeunes filles au piano – 1892

Claude MONET – Argenteuil – 1875

Paul GAUGIN – Paysage – 1901


La Duree – The finest macarons in Paris.

Bistrot Saint Andre – A charming little French bistro that is now a Lebanese restaurant.

The entry to my AirBnb.



                                THE AMELIE TOUR

This is where Amelie encounters the blind man with the phonograph.

Cafe des Deux Moulins – Not far from the metro stop is the cafe where Amelie worked.

Much of the movie took place inside the cafe. The only thing missing is the tobacco counter which was manned by the hypochondriacal Georgette.

In an alcove near the bathroom where Georgette had her frantic tryst is a little shrine to the film with assorted paraphernalia, including one of Amelie’s bedside lamps.

Amelie’s Bedside Lamp

Four Japanese fangirls receive their order of Amelie’s favorite dessert. Creme brûlée of course which Amelie took great joy in cracking the sugar crust.

Sacre Coeur


Paris Panorama



Sunset Sunside Jazz Club – Le Marais

This sultry and delightful French songstress covered a serious quantity of jazz standards, as well as some classic Billie Holiday.

I made a mad dash to the Pont Neuf bridge to catch a peek of the Eiffel Towers nightly sparkle-fest.







Sailing toy boats in the bassin. I did this in the Tuileries when I was eight years old.




La Fontaine Medicis – This shot would make a nice painting.

The Pantheon





Albert BARTHOLOME – Monument A Jean-Jacques Rousseau – 1907



Musee D’Orsay – As seen from a tourist boat cruising the Seine.


Pont Alexander III


EIFFEL TOWER – Unmistakable



Châtalet Metro Stop – Châtelet used to be the tenth ring of Parisian Metro Hell, but it seems as if progress has been made in the last year. The actual stop is still shabby as you can see, but they are finally starting to sort out this intersection of four major lines which up until now has comprised a clusterf*ck of massive proportions that Parisians have been known to add a half hour to their travel just to avoid the dread station. The pleasant name made it even viler by comparison. In a world gone mad, there may be hope for Châtalet yet. We took a chance on it on our last night in Paris and were met with no unpleasantries.

As you can see, a functioning modern escalator and glistening white tile work betray its reputation as a filthy mess beset by construction noises and all form of wires and effluvia hanging from the ceilings. Seriously the place was a mess for like ten years!

The third and final provocative metro advert I encountered on this year’s trip to Paris. This is perhaps the most provocative and haunting of my exposures to Parisian metro adverts in my eleven visits, and what a phenomenal behind to offset the ingrained sexual confusion.

Gare de Lyon Train Station- Location of the truly stunning restaurant, Le Train Bleu.

Le Train Bleu – Like no other, and loved by the French all over France. I always make a stop here when I visit just to soak up all of that stunning atmosphere.

Belle Epoque at its finest at a price most can afford depending on what you order.

Given that this glorious eatery is in a train station, you can see the beautiful brass luggage racks between the back to back banquettes.

Since it is located in a station there is not a strict dress code. Obviously, you’d look like an idiot in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops, but most people are in smart casual.

Now, this turbot for two came at a bit of a premium, but it was well worth it given the pomp, circumstance, and flavor.

The langoustine ravioli that preceded it was so tempting that we ate them before a suitable photo could be secured.

Amazing Finale – Tomorrow begins the road trip around France with the transfer of copious luggage into my new Citroen and perilous escape from Paris through midday traffic.


  1. Janet
    September 16, 2017

    Hi, John – thanks for all the photos. I especially liked the last one of this entry, the railway clock. I wonder if we in modern society will ever again take the time to create such embellishment for all to enjoy.

  2. Janet
    September 16, 2017

    I took another look at the St. Michel fountain. It captures so much of the historical French aesthetic, and now that I’ve been to India, I’m a little less desensitized to all things western. I found this website that had interesting facts about the fountain…

  3. The Travel Zealot
    September 21, 2017

    Hi Janet,
    Sorry for the delay. The days have been so packed that little attention has been paid to the blog. We have seen 12 chateaux in the Loire, and spent five days in the Dordogne, and I have yet to finish the Paris post! Whether modern society will take the time to create such tasteful embellishment in these horrible days of Trump, we’ll always have Paris.

  4. The Travel Zealot
    September 21, 2017

    Janet, Thanks for the facts on the fountain. I have been a bit remiss in my historical embellishments, but it is a spot that I visit every time I am in Paris. I had breakfast at Le Depart three days in a row, which has a view of the fountain as well as the beautiful art nouveau St. Michel metro entrance. The omelets and croissant were great as well.

  5. Sarah Drover
    September 26, 2017

    I have just caught up with the blog and have one word for Paris – gorgeous! No dog poop in sight either.
    Beautiful Art in the museum too – thank you for sharing!
    It looks likes you and Karen are having a wonderful time, the very ornate restaurant looks eye wateringly expensive. How was the fish?
    I look forward to seeing your update for Provence. If you need a film to go to for an evening when you are relaxing ‘A Good Year’ is set in the area and one of my all time favourites – right up there with ‘Ferris Buellers Day Off’! I think you will both enjoy it – not sure if I asked you on the boat in Santorini if you had previously seen it?
    Anyway – enjoy the rest of your trip and share pics soon!
    All our warm wishes,
    Sarah and Corey ?

  6. The Travel Zealot
    September 26, 2017

    S&C, Hope Ibiza was good, and sorry I am so behind on the blog. With everything we’ve been doing, there has been no time for it. We finally took a day off yesterday, and barely made a dent in the backlog. We needed the rest. Today was not overloaded and tomorrow we stay in Saint Remy for market day and our Van Gogh walkabout.

    The ornate restaurant is featured in a great French thriller directed by Luc Besson. It’s called “La Femme Nikita” and is worth renting. That beautiful Belle Epoque restaurant is not cheap, but also not as expensive as it looks depending on what you order. The turbot was great as were the langoustine ravioli. I still have to finish the commentary on the Paris leg, and am really shamefully behind. Wait until you see the Loire and the Dordogne!

    Hope to see you next year on my way back to the States after my full round the world tour.


  7. Jason
    October 11, 2017

    Simply amazing! Such a beautiful place. Looks like you are doing things right and having a wonderful time. I am off to Atlanta with my mom to visit the good side of the family! lol check back in when I return.

  8. The Travel Zealot
    October 13, 2017

    Yeah Jason,
    We tore up the countrysides, ate copious quantities of duck and shot so many pictures that I am only getting to Marseilles here in New York where I saw Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. Looking forward to total chill in Playa. I see you are indulging in a beautiful aquarium in Atlanta. So peaceful and beautiful. We need to do the whale sharks in the Yucatan one day. I think Cyndi would enjoy it. It’s all snorkeling with the gentle giants.

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