Archive for the 'Paris' Category

Paris – Foire Saint-Germain

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Considered one of the oldest summer fairs in Paris, although it has been a Faire since at least Medieval Times, the Foire Saint-Germain in Paris is holding its 33 rd modern one right now, until July 4.

It is a multidimensional art and performance fair with many artistic disciplines represented. This year, June 22 will be a Night of Contemporary Photography, which will be particularly enjoyable. In the past, other evenings have been designated as time to enjoy the ceramic arts, time for children, poetry and theater or cultural events.

The festival hit hard times over the centuries, but it is invigorated now and the Districts of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Musée d’Orsay and Montparnasse will enjoy your presence.

It is mostly being held near St. Sulpice.

Métro 10 Mabillon, Métro 4 Saint-Sulpice, Bus 39 , Bus 63 , Bus 70 , Bus 84 , Bus 86 , Bus 87 , Bus 95 , Bus 96

Just about all the information on the internet about this event is in French, only. So, check with your concierge at the hotel or the official visitor’s bureau to see if they have brochures in your language.

Paris travel article Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Paris – Fête de la Musique

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

On June 21st, the Summer Solstice, for one day all of Paris suspends the noise ordinance and celebrates in a citywide way! This is free and completely different from any other music festival.

The Fête de la Musique is open to any amateur or professional musician who wants to perform in it, so if you are traveling to Paris, you may want to bring your instrument(s).

The event expresses all styles of music in a festive context. It attracts a large audience, and it hopes to popularize musical practice for young and not-so-young people from all social backgrounds.

Major music institutions (orchestra, operas, choirs, etc.) participate and usually perform outside their regular locations, giving everyone a chance to hear their world renowned ensembles.

Launched in 1982 by the French Ministry for culture, the Fête de la Musique is held in more than 100 countries around the world.

This event gives an opportunity to communicate and share a very special moment through music.

Paris – Fête de la Musique

Paris travel article Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Memorial Day – America, France and the United Kingdom

Monday, May 31st, 2010

History binds us together. Today is Memorial Day in the United States of America, a day of remembrance held since the late 1800’s. It is a day to reflect and be grateful and to honor those who gave their lives to help their country and other countries gain or regain their freedom.

The tradition of wearing poppies to remember our fallen soldiers, sailors and air(wo)men is one that began in 1915 in America and then it spread to France, Belgium and the United Kingdom and beyond, where it continues today.

In 1915, inspired by the famous poem “In Flanders Fields*” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She conceived of the idea to wear red paper poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. The symbol was especially poignant for the families and comrades of those who had recently died in the Belgian red poppy fields of Flanders, in World War 1 – “the Great War, the war to end all wars” (we wish that had been so).

Moira was the first to wear this Memorial red poppy — and she sold poppies to her friends and co-workers — with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.

Later Madame Guerin, from France, was visiting the United States and learned this new custom. When she returned to France, she also made paper red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women.

This tradition then spread to other countries including the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

In 1922, shortly before Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) became the first American veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans.

In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement.

Today, the boy scout troops usually visit the graves of America’s fallen and place American flags upon their resting places. But, 125,000 American military never came home after World War 2, and many local people and international visitors pay their respects and acknowledge our gratitude to them in American Military Cemetaries on many continents.

When you travel, you have a chance to teach your children about the Great Evil which nearly won, especially in World War 2. Had it not been for these brave men and women, we would not have the better lives we have today.

So, please be mindful, and visit these islands of repose in:
__ Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands
__ France (especially for those who fell on D-Day, on the French beaches of Normandy, as the Allies opened their ground war to regain Europe from the Nazis)
__ Mexico, the Phillipines
__ North Africa – Tunisia
__ and even Thailand (where the British maintain the cemetery for British and American servicemen who died as prisoners of war, at the Bridge of the River Kwai camps).

Learn more and do not let them be forgotten:
American Military Cemeteries Overseas
American Military Cemeteries Overseas: specific sites

Travel is meant to broaden our minds and give us new perspectives about what has and is happening, so we can fashion a better present and future. It may seem strange to say ‘go visit a cemetery’, but I hope you will.

You can also actively participate with your thoughts and memories of a loved one at: America Remembers Her Veterans.

* By John McCrae, (1915): “In Flanders Fields”.

Paris travel article Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Paris – Basic Guide 4: Buses, Metro and RER

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Paris is a large metropolitan area which is served by a wide variety of transportation modes — some of which are united into an integrated, multiple-option system.

The buses, Metro and RER local rail is such a system, and if you can learn its rules and nuances, this will be the best choice for you to navigate Paris.

There are also some discount passes for you to learn about at the Tourist Office, 127, Avenue des Champs Elysées,8th. Arrondissment.

Using at least one of these modes, you will be able to see pretty much anything you want, within a short walk from the system. All the famous tourist spots: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris Museums, Champs Elysées shops and much more are accessed this way.

In the accompanying, fuller archived article, you’ll learn much more and in detail, even about the late-night options and traveling the Seine by Batobus. So use the link below, now.

Paris Transportation – Metro, Bus and RER

Paris travel article Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Paris – Specialty Maps

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Before you go to Paris, as part of your planning, download several specialized one-page maps from the Internet. Print them in color, if possible, as most of them show multiple routes or great detail of the city.

Look on the official tourist site and on the ones from the French railroad and municipal buses. You’ll get some of their links in past and future articles here, as we discuss what you need to know about how Paris is organized.

I suggest you use this method for starter maps, as when you arrive at the airport or train-station, you may not find what you want, if the shops are even open.

Once you are settled, make an early visit to the official visitors center to ask questions and to get more maps.

Generally, you need to understand that there are several levels of train transportation; there are options to travel on a network of buses; how to get an official taxi and what you must know about how they operate.

Additionally, a moderately detailed map of central Paris will be helpful, to ask questions about your destination, in any weather, especially if you get it laminated before leaving home.

Paris is divided into quadrants, 2 above the Seine River and 2 below. Then, each quadrant has a portion of the city’s 20 “arrondissements” (official administrative neighborhoods) by which you can tell more accurately where a street is. Part of the official address always includes the # number of the arrondissement.

Take a good look at the central core, as each arrondissement has its own flavor, and differs also in its socio-economic status. When looking at accommodations, keep this in mind.

Paris travel article Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review