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annabelle

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Jun262012

Tour/Activity

Paris Walking Tour: Discover the Marais District

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Our guide was an English woman who had been living in Paris for 10 years. She was very knowledgable and friendly. The tour was informative and despite rain it was an enjoyable morning. We chose this tour because Marais was an area less known to us and because it has more back streets and history linked to WW2 that is not immediately apparent. We found the information she provided about the jewish Quarter, where the gestapo lived and how the multicultural nature of the area was maintained and flourished very interesting. This is not a tour of 'BIG SITES' that you normally find in the 'Paris Highlights' but that is why we enjoyed it. We had a week in Paris and could do the 'BIG SITES' on our own - this is a tour if you have that extra half day to see something different.

Jun252012

Tour/Activity

Paris Pass

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Well worth the investment. Get you Pass as soon as you arrive - and pick up the free ice cream from HR Cafe. The Pass makes everything easier and helps you work out what to see and when. Check museum and gallery opening times/ days. the boat cruise included in the Pass was excellent and a good way to end the first day. The red-bus is great too but be aware that the map in the paris pass book does not show the exact locations well - the red dots are approximate locations. For example, the red dot for the bus stop at the Louvre is actually on the Pont des Arts not on the bridge at the end of the Tuileries gardens. The red bus gets very full in summer and there is no such thing as orderly queues - so be prepared to jostle on!

Jun242012

Tour/Activity

Giverny and Versailles Small Group Day Trip from Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Our tour guide was English and he was very knowledgable. The small group was pleasant. The morning trip to Givernchy was lovely because we missed the crowds as big buses come in the afternoon. We had plenty of time to wander in the garden. On a next visit I would wander through the town which seemed very pretty. Lunch was efficient and tasty - again we missed the big bus tours by arriving ahead of them. The weather was terrible so we could not wander across to the old mill which looked very pretty. The afternoon in Versailles was a crowd experience. the guide said it was not as crowded as usual, but we thought it was extremely busy. We waited in line for 30 minutes in the rain (the tour guide/bus had no umbrellas in the van to give us) then had about an hour to get through the building - it was not enough. The rain was so bad we could not do the gardens. I think this tour is good if you do not have the time to do one day for Giverncy and one day for Versailles. If you do have the time I would suggest a day for each is better to give you more time to wander around. This was an efficient way to see 'the sights' with no hassle.

Jun232012

Tour/Activity

Seine River Cruise and Paris Canals Tour

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

So glad we did this tour even though we had a seine river cruise included in the Paris Pass. The canal St Martin was gorgeous and took us up to the Parc de Villete where we chose to get off . You could ''catch the boat back' through the canal again to the starting point or get off and walk/ metro back on your own. We went through the Parc and then to the Musicale de Cite ourselves (not included in the tour) - the most magnificent museum for musical instruments in the world - just amazing - the audio tour of this museum is fantastic - then we walked back to the Louvre - this is a very long walk but flat and interesting. I highly recommend this tour - for the canal, or for a beautiful way to get yourself to the Parc de Villette. By the way, the roof top seating on the boat was full so we were downstairs - we actually found this better because the big windows open right out and we could walk from one side of the boat to the other to catch the sights on both sides.

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