My husband and I decided in August 2009 to take a long-dreamed about trip to Paris in October 2009. Planning and preparing for the trip was fun and exciting....where to stay, what to wear (I was more into that than my husband), tours to go on, what sights did we want to see.
We chose a small hotel in the 7th Arrondissement at Hotel Duquesne near the Ecole Militaire and the Eiffel Tower. Through Google Earth we could actually see what our hotel looked like from the street. Our view from our 2nd floor room through the French windows was of the top third of the Eiffel Tower. I was thrilled.
We took the Metropolitan (subway) almost everywhere we went in Paris and got quite good at finding which routes we needed to take. We would end each evening at the Cafe Bar Le Tourville with a glass of wine. We knew the staff quite well by the end of our trip and enjoyed talking with them.
We spent three days in Avignon and loved strolling through all the narrow streets. We stayed at the Hotel D'Europe which was very old but had been updated and was beautiful. We took a private day tour with a wonderful guide and saw the ancient Roman Aqueduct, walked through Arles and saw the collesium that is still be used today for bullfights and sipped coffee at the Van Gogh Cafe that is depicted in his painting, Cafe Terrace. Lastly we went to winery located in a cave called Sancerre.
A day trip to Normandy was one day I will not forget. Seeing Gold Beach, Omaha Beach and the American Cemetary with rows upon rows of crosses representing those that fought and died during WWII, was a day of reflection.
I think the beliefe that the French are not friendly is false...we found people to be friendly and always helpful. I could go on and on about our trip but these were some of the highlights.
We're already thinking of returning in 2010 and hopefully it will be another dream come true for us.
Until then......enjoy life!!!