July 2010 Archives

Un certain conseil pour d'autres voyageurs

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For my last blog entry, I have decided to give some advice to others who may travel to Europe in the future.

Buy your electrical converters BEFORE you get to your destination. Make sure you know how many things you need to plug in at once. If you plan on charging things overnight, it may be worth while to buy an extra converter.
Also, if you plan to travel more later on, I would buy a converter for multiple countries right away. It will save you money in the long run.

If you're traveling in Europe in the summer, it will make your trip MUCH better if you invest in a little 4 inch fan for the nights. It is not uncommmon for hotels to NOT provide fans, and most places are NOT air conditioned. If you have just a little 4 inch fan to blow on yourself while you're trying to sleep, you will have a much better stay.

For travel in the summer, bring a nalgene bottle and invest in a waterproof sleeve to carry it in. You will save yourself A LOT of money. You can just fill up your bottle in the bathrooms from the sinks when you run out.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED

Either be prepared to walk a lot or pay more money for transport. This tip depends upon what you want to see, but you can save a lot of money if you walk to your destinations. Also, if you walk, you can see much more of the town you are visiting.

If you are wearing a bag that sits on your back, be aware at all times. I would advise you to use bags that are side-slung. Keep one arm over the side-slung bags as well. Don't get me wrong, you can still wear backpack-type bags while traveling, just be aware of the people around you. Pickpockets are everywhere at all times of the day.


If anyone has any questions about the trip or anything, feel free to e-mail me at schm2010@d.umn.edu

Mes derniers jours en France

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My last few days in France are here. Ever since my mother arrived, time has flown by. However, I am ready to go home. I miss Minnesota! I miss American food (although I will miss the bread here), I miss ICE WATER, I miss air conditioning and fans (which there seems to be a lack of here, and of course, I miss Paul (my boyfriend).

Here are some more photos of what my last few days have looked like here:

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My mom and I at the Eiffel Tower

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Close-Up of the Tower

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Watching the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower was completely surreal. We were around the Eiffel Tower all day so we had to wait a while to see the Tower at night. There were plenty of entertainers around the Eiffel Tower to keep us busy until the sun set though.

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Absolutely beautiful....

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There are no pictures that could possibly compare to the actual sight of this magnificent monument in person. But, I think my pictures are pretty good. At the top of every hour, there is a twinkling light show that lasts for 5 minutes.

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The Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower. This is a view from the top of the tower.

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The Arc de Triomphe

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There was a grand palace in front of a giant pool where kids could rent mini sail boats to sail around the water.

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Ah France....

Plus de Paris!

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Le Sacre-Coeur Basilica
It was incredible! Completely beautiful. We got to go up into the dome on the top as well (see next picture). However, there was no elevator. 300 steps up (I counted and there are 300, trust me), 300 steps down, probably another 300 steps up to the basilica itself, another 300 steps down from the basilica. Yeah, our legs were dead after that adventure. The stairway was unbelievably narrow too. I don't think a bigger person could have fit up that stairway.

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Here you can see the Eiffel tower from the top of the Sacre-Coeur Dome.

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"The Red Windmill" otherwise known as the Moulin Rouge was one of our stops as well...during the day. That is not a street I would walk down at night.

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The Museum of Erotica was just one of the many reasons I wouldn't walk down this street at night. I saw this, turned to my mom, and said, "There's a museum for my research project". I think it would have been interesting to see if an erotica museum is accessible for those with wheelchairs, but I really REALLY don't want to see what they have an display!

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The Montparnasse Tower. 59 floors to the top...with an elevator!

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A view from the top. Here you can see just how messed up Parisian streets are. There are no 90 degree intersections.

Paris avec ma mere

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My mother has finally arrived in France! After many adventures trying to get to the airport to meet her, we are together in our first hotel in Paris.

We walk everywhere we go, so our feet and legs are pretty tired at the end of the day. So far, we have seen Notre-Dame, The Louvre, Jardin des Plantes, Jardin des Tuleries, Musee d'Orsay, Place de la Republique, Place de la Bastille, Centre Pompidou, a few random small museums for my project and caught our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. (This is all in two days.)

It would take way too long to tell about everything I've seen, so as I put pictures on here, I will explain a bit about each one.

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Here is the front of the Notre-Dame. As impressive as it is from the outside, it is even better on the inside. It is FREE to get in (this still surprises me) and the views are breath-taking.

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The back of Notre-Dame

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The altar inside Notre-Dame

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It was complete luck that we found Shakespeare & Company. I had seen a girl in Notre-Dame with a bag with their name on it and I was going to ask her where it was, but then I caught sight of a wonderful statue and forgot. Shakespeare & Company is an AMAZING little library/bookstore. The old man that runs the place lets people stay there for free if they are studying literature. They have free reign over all the books and can use any and all of them for their research. It is an amazing place with an amazing story.

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The Place de la Bastille. Bastille Day is the French Independence Day. It is on July 14...unfortunately I will miss it.

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Just one of MANY MANY pictures I have of Le Louvre. We saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and tons of other pieces of art.

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Our first sight of the Eiffel Tower from the Jardin des Tuleries (just outside Le Louvre).

Photos!! et ma mere arrive bientot

I have added pictures to two of my entries. Fete de Musique and Puy de Fou now have pictures in them.

My mother will be here tomorrow! I'm excited to see her again and to see Paris with her. I am a little worried about getting there by myself. I will be taking the train from Cholet to Nantes, then a bus from the train station to the airport to meet my mom. After I meet her, we have to take the same bus back to the train station, and then we go to Paris!

Puy de Fou

The Puy de Fou is a HUGE park in France. It has all kinds of different shows and spectacles for visitors to see. Yesterday, I went there by myself.

First I saw a magician show. It was alright, but nothing fantastic. It is one of the smaller shows at the Puy de Fou, so it was bound to be a little less impressive than other shows. It was still fun to see though.

Next, I went to the Ball of the Phantom Birds, again. I have seen that show already with Manon, Eric and the kids, but this time I brought my Digital SLR! I got some really fantastic pictures of some birds, both in flight and standing still. Even though I had already seen the show and knew what was going to happen, I was still amazed. I have never seen a show like this before.

Here are some of the pictures I took of these amazing birds...

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After that, I went in search for food. I didn't want anything expensive like at a sit-down restaurant (yes there are a few of those in this park). All I wanted was a sandwich and something to drink. On the map, I saw all kinds of little stops for such things, but I couldn't find them in the park! I circled around the same scenes several times before I saw a place with cold sandwiches.

After I had my fill, I headed towards the area with all the animals. They have a GIANT area where there are a tons of different animals, some fenced in, some not. I ventured into some new areas that I hadn't been to before and did some exploring before the next show I wanted to see.

Gladiators! That was the last show I wanted to see for the day. There is a huge mock colosseum as the stage for this event and the spectators get to sit in the colosseum like they did in ancient Rome. Unfortunately, I hadn't charged my battery enough before I left, so my battery died. I only got two pictures of the outside of the colosseum. *sigh* Oh well, it was really cool to see and definetly worthwhile.

After a very long day of tons of walking and even more sunshine, I left the Puy de Fou with some really amazing pictures (that I will put on here as soon as I get around to it).

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2010 is the previous archive.

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