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France Summer 2006 Archives

July 22, 2006

Still At My Desk

Many years ago, I landed in Paris while on my way to Turkey. Three days in Paris gave me visual, auditory, and tactile indigestion. So much, so rich, but the tastes were absolutely wonderful. Glutton that I am, I had to have more.

Time and pacing were needed.

Four visits later, I still feel I’m only just beginning to know the city. My last stay, I barely made it out of the Marais in six days. Such a tiny corner, but so full of history, layers of change, tides of people. I had wanted to stay in the Marais again on this trip, but had difficulty finding an apartment in my price range with that most useful feature—an air conditioning unit. I dislike a/c at home, but living without in an upper floor city apartment one summer long ago has given me a firm appreciation of its usefulness. And with the torrid temperatures in Paris this July, I'll be very glad to have one.

We’ve rented an apartment in the Gros-Caillou, the area between the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, where the main street is rue St-Dominique. It’s an attractive area, wealthy, a bit dull, but with good shopping, restaurants, Metro and bus connections.

We’ll begin our trip in Paris, then travel to Burgundy for a week, and finally return to Paris for a few days. Today we take the boys to Camp, and we leave tomorrow.

And no, I am not packed.

July 25, 2006

Travail

Travel: the word travel has a common origin with the word travail. Once upon a time, travel was exceedingly uncomfortable and often dangerous. Indeed, the ultimate source of the word 'travel' is a medieval instrument of torture - the trepalium - a contraption would pierce its victim's flesh with three sharp stakes (tres 'three' and palus 'stake'). The trepalium became a verb, trepaliare, which meant any form of torture. From torture to the Old French concept of travailler - or 'putting oneself to pain or trouble. Travailler came to mean 'work hard' in French. English borrowed the word as 'travail' and this, in turn, was used to describe a wearisome journey - travel.

The French language, on the other hand, never regarded travel with quite the same sense of discomfort as did English. Voyager - to travel - comes from the Latin via, or 'way'.

Just about the only benefit of Larry's business travel is the chance for the frequent flyer tickets that make our trips possible. Due to some bad timing this year that I won't bore you with, we were only able to use our points to get an Aer Lingus routing involving a nine hour layover in Dublin. Add to that the difficulty of getting to Logan these days made for a very long, tiring day of travel. Twenty four hours to get from Boston to Paris? Travail.

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August 3, 2006

East in Auxois

Wednesday, we stuck close to home, exploring the area just to the east of Semur-in-Auxois. First, we stopped in Semur to explore a bit more. My first impressions of Semur stick--it's almost most appealing at a slight distance from the Pont Joly, where you can appreciate the fairy-tale view of towers and ramparts. The inner core has been stuck with cafes and gift shops for the tour bus crowds, but there are still many lovely old buildings and quiet streets to explore.

After our stop in Semur, we headed to Flavigny-sur-Ozerain. This is a tiny town high up on a hill dating from the middle ages. It now seems chiefly known for the little anise-flavored candies you can smell as you walk through the town gates. The little factory store in the old abbey was busy! It's an attractive little town, with many houses featuring turrets, weathered sculptures, and other interesting details. One reason I wanted to get to the town was the Maison de Matieres & du Design Textile. It's a wonderful little museum in an old house that explores facets of textile design and production. Each floor focuses on a method or material, and beautifully mixes ancient techniques and contemporary. There's also some fabulous textiles to buy, for those of you with more euros than I.

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August 5, 2006

Semur-in-Auxois, Revisited

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A few days ago, I had written that I was somewhat underwhelmed by Semur. It has this glorious, romantic look to the place, especially from a slight distance. When you visit during the day, the overall impression in the village center is of tour bus refugees milling around the few gift shops, patisseries, and cafes in the tiny streets inside the old town gates.

But when you return, it's another story. I think I've changed my mind.

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August 11, 2006

Thursday's Child, Once Again

To get home, we flew Paris-Dublin-Shannon-Boston. As you can imagine, flying on Thusday had some unexpected bumps.

Since we had left Paris early in the morning, we had no idea of what was happening in England, and so were stopped in line in Dublin with our carry-on canvas shopping bag with wrapped bottles of pistachio oil, lemon oil, wine, mustards, local cassis, etc.

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August 12, 2006

Details, Details

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Some of you have written to me asking for the details on where we stayed and ate. Here you go. I've also gone back and added some entries from our Burgundy week, and uploaded additional photos. Big thanks to Pauline for making it all pretty.

Paris apartment

Burgundy Cottage

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Paris Restuarants:
Le Florimond, 19 avenue de la Motte-Picquet(7th) tel. 0145554038
Cafe Max, 7 avenue de la Motte Picquet (7th) tel. 0147055766
Le Petit Nicois, 10 rue Amelie (7th) tel. 0145518365
La Fontaine de Mars, 129 rue Saint Dominique (7th) tel. 0147054644
Chez Omar, 47 rue de Bretagne (3rd) tel. 0142723626
(Asian restaurant--note to find name and address)
(Place in the 11th with D&A--note to get name and address)

Burgundy Restaurants
Ferme Auberge La Garande
9 ru des Tilleuls
Jeux le Bard
tel. 0380967451

Auberge Les Tilleuls
Vincelottes
tel. 0386422213

Le Chalet Bleu
3 rue Jeannin
Autun
tel. 0385862730

Le Marronnier
Buffon
tel. 0380923365

Paris shared shuttle from/to CDG

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Destination Anywhere in the France Summer 2006 category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Alsace and Paris 2010 is the previous category.

Paris 2007 with the Boys is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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