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traveling with my 18 year old son to Paris in May

 
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Alecia



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:29 pm    Post subject: traveling with my 18 year old son to Paris in May Reply with quote

Hi,
I'm new here, but so glad to have discovered this site. It has all the things I love about Paris. I'm so excited to travel to Paris again next month. I'm taking my son for 10 days, he's into photography, good food, exploring and just so easy to get along with. I just want to walk around and discover Paris all over again and share my love for the city with my son. My question is to anyone out there who may have any suggestions for me. Since we have a nice long time, is there a must see, or an excursion or a festival or event going on that I should not miss. We will be there from May 22-June1. Merci beaucoup en advance.
Alecia
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alecia! Welcome to C & Z!! I'm thinking for an 18 year old young adult male there are a few unusual sites in Paris worth considering. There is a delightful tour of the sewers available--takes about an hour, the entrance is somewhere along the banks of the Seine. Contrary to what one might think the sewers are clean, odourless and fascinating (I think a sewer is un egout--accent acute over the "e"). The other one is the catacombs. When Paris was rebuilt the planners had to figure out what to do with all the bones in dozens of neighbourhood graveyards. So they dug them all up and transported them to what was probably the outskirts of Paris at the time, built underground tunnels and then piled all the bones down there labelled with the name of the original graveyards. Yes it is morbid, but it's also fun and interesting--but most of all it is unusual and the kind of thing a teenage male would get a kick out of! Okay I was in my late 40's when I saw them and I still got a kick out of it!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a book called Paris secret and another called Paris Insolite

Both have great things in them that are a bit unusual.

David, sorry, but the reason the bones were put into the catacombs was overcrowding in the cemetaries. They actually had so many people buried in them that bodies occassionally couldn't be covered over as not enough soil.

There is now a "lease" type arrangement were you buy the family plot for 99years (I think) and you can bury your loved ones there and at the end of the time period you must either renew the contract, or the plot is sold.

In most large graveyards in Paris and other urban centres they also disinterre the remains and the bones are then transferred to the ossuary. A great example is in Pere Lachaise. The catacombs are basically a huge ossuary!

Pere Lachaise cemetery is interesting as it has "graves" of famous people in it....... but the people are actually buried elsewhere. The reason for this is that no one wanted to be in a new graveyard so in order to make it appealing they made false graves for famous people in there. If you can do a guided tour of Pere Lachaise it is fascinating.

If you do go to the catacombs, please do not touch the bones. There is a huge temptation for some people to touch them and old bones actually carry some really nasty "bugs". I cringed when I saw people touching the bones down there and when we got out I made my husband clean his hands with antibac solution.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooops! Mea Culpa Debbie! Yeah those old graveyards must have been pretty scary!
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, Alecia!

If your son is into photography, you could visit the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (http://www.mep-fr.org/default_test_ok.htm). They've always got several interesting shows on, and it's in a lovely part of town. You might also want to check out the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (http://www.henricartierbresson.org/)...

If the weather cooperates (and I should imagine it will when you're there), one of my favorite Paris walks is along the Canal St-Martin, starting from Republique and going all the way up to the Bassin de la Villette. If you're feeling particularly energetic, you could turn right at the metro tracks and walk up to the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, which is one of the best (and most unusual) parks in Paris and a great spot for a picnic. There are also boat trips up the canal, starting from the Bassin de l'Arsenal (down by Bastille) - I've never taken one, but have often been tempted to.

Hope that gives you some food for thought!
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Pavlova



Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 32
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alecia,

Welcome to the forum Smile

I'd like to recommend you to the fresh food market at La Motte-Picquet Grenelle (the 15th Arrondissement of Paris) which has a Metro station and you'll find the market underneath the (train) subway bridge. I think its only on Saturday's and Sunday's in Summer.

I don't know the name of the market - but it's the best food market I've been to in Paris. They sell fresh hot food, seafood, coffee, pastries, bread and lots more. Shop around because some stalls have the same goods but you will find good prices if you look carefully.

Here's some information about the area which is my favourite part of the city. It's a really lovely 30 minute or maybe a bit more (depending how fast you walk) from La Motte-Picquet Grenelle towards and via Cambronne to the Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower). Cambronne is 1.5km to the Eiffel Tower.

If your looking for a cheap but comfortable hotel surrounded by cafe's, bistro's, metro station, pattiserie, pharmacy, parks etc I suggest booking a hotel in Cambronne - which would be less than a 5 minute walk to La Motte-Picquet Grenelle market.

I always stay at the IBIS Hotel in Cambronne, I love the area, its not too touristy and its got lots of great shops and for the distance to the Eiffel Tower etc.

Here is the hotel:

http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-1400-ibis-paris-tour-eiffel-cambronne-15eme/index.shtml

June is a very touristy time so you'll find most of the hotels are a bit pricey at this time of the year so if you haven't booked I would book soon to avoid further summer rate increases, or check online for special online cheap rates which means you can book for a flat rate per night but if you can't make the journey for some reason or another the rates may be non-refundable but that's a great way of saving some money.

Cambronne is the next stop from La Motte-Picquet Grenelle so if you stayed in Cambronne you would follow the metro subway bridge to the left towards La Motte-Picquet Grenelle and you'll have no trouble finding the market.

I suggest you bring the following on your trip:

plasters (for blisters, cuts etc)
headache tablets
antacid tablets - the food is gourmet here and takes getting used to
very good walking shoes
a foldaway small umbrella
a map of paris metro (you can get this at the big stations or bookshops)
a lonely planet, frommers etc guide to Paris

If your planning to go to Disneyland Paris in Marne-La-Vallée, which is not too far a train journey from the centre of the city, I'd suggest you book your tickets in advance online - otherwise you'll be waiting in long queues for hours, especially during European school holidays and summer time.

http://www.disneylandparis.com/uk/

English version of the website.

Also make sure you bring Euro money with you, if you have any old money from past visits you won't be able to use because they don't honour French Francs anymore. I'm sure you know about that, but it is worth mentioning (because you said you hadn't been there for a while).

If you wanted to go to London this is also possible and it would take about a 2 and a half hour "Eurostar" train journey from Paris Gare du Nord Station to London St. Pancras Station (the train is hi-speed and goes underneath the English Channel). Some people refer to it as the Chunnel but most call it by its proper name, The Eurotunnel.

I just thought I'd mention that because it really is a quick journey and you could possibly alter your itinerary for a 2 or 3 day trip to London.

If you want to do that you'll need to book train tickets at:

http://www.eurostar.com/dynamic/index.jsp

I hope you enjoy your trip to Paris.
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alecia, I haven't been to Paris since the 90s, but if you can get a small book called the Plan de Paris, get it. It's like a London A-Z, a street map that goes arrondissement by arrondissement. There is a Metro map in the front and it has an index of museums and churches too.

He, and you might like the Musee de Cluny, which has medieval stuff and there is the Musee de Montmartre, near our very own Debbie as well!
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Alecia



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for all your great suggestions, I will print the list out and report back to you in June when I return.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a super time Alecia, you and the lad! Look forward to your report!
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caponata



Joined: 02 May 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: traveling with my 18 year old son to Paris in May Reply with quote

Hi Alecia,
if your son is into photography I would definitely recommend the MEP ( maison europeenne de la photographie ) which has Cartier-Bresson and Gerard Uferas shows right now. It's located in the Marais, an area you also want to visit. The address is 5-7 rue de Fourcy, 75004 and the closest metro station is Saint-Paul.

if you want to have lunch or dinner in a nice bistrot offering an inventive and tasty cuisine, one of my favorites is " Carte Blanche ", located 6, rue Lamartine Paris 9th tél : 01 48 78 12 20 ( you should make a reservation especially for dinner ). Prices are quite reasonable, and it's a cosy and warm atmosphere.

Enjoy your trip and your stay !
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Alecia



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 3
Location: California

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Photography Reply with quote

Yes, he is very much into photography and he's received awards in our home town for his talents. Thank you so much for the recommendation, we will visit the MEP and check out your restaurant suggestion, as well.
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