Antiquity, countryside and history greet you in Annabel Simms’ book, “Half an Hour from Paris … 10 Secret Daytrips by Train”. First you have to find your way there. Annabel Simms arranges the book like a quality French baguette au levain sandwich: yummy ingredients between the crunchy crusts. This is a book of self-guided walking tours of various lengths.
Suitcase? Check! Camera? Check! Walking shoes? Check!
Reading material? Prepare in advance with some book ideas!
Language? Brush up on that French grammar! Frantastique is my Wednesday exercise. Then when I go shopping or chat on the street, those proper verbs just slide right out … still studying though!
Some of the books in my library are Paris walking tours. They provide enough material to stroll through Paris and explore. Another prepares you with a story and history for your Champagne tasting.
David Downie’s books are walking tours of history. Each chapter of each book weaves a tale of discovery. Tilar J. Mazzeo’s book whisks you into Champagne history with the Veuve Clicquot. (Reims is a 46-minute train ride away from Paris.) Interested in Street Art? The perfect sightseeing book with maps…..
The RATP (Paris transportation system) has highly upgraded their website. They provide clear information when you find it. Some pages are in English, French and Spanish. Others include German, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Brazilian. How would a party of five find their way into Paris from the airport?
A day trip to Giverny is easy. The SNCF train from Gare Saint-Lazare takes you to Vernon/Giverny in 45 minutes. Rent a bike across from the train station and take your time pedaling to Giverny. The biggest piece of advice: buy your tickets in advance to Monet’s house. Follow the online ticket links at Foundation Claude Monet. Twenty minutes before departure in the direction of Rouen Rive Droite, the departing platform (voie) is posted. While you wait, enjoy the updated three-level shopping mall at Gare Saint-Lazare. If you want to “powder your nose” the “2theloo” spot is open from 6 am to midnight and is constantly being wiped down and freshened up. Hint on train ticket pricing
After forty years, RER A is renovating between July 23 and August 21. Alternative transportation options are available. Two videos and a website explain the details. The RER A serves forty-six stations (35 RATP metro and 11 SNCF) and carries 308 million travelers a year with two minutes between trains. Read more about the RER A project and other statistics. Guides for How to Get Around this Summer on RER A and C can be downloaded as well as the special instructions booklet, practical guide to prepare ahead, guide for the disabled and how to get around Paris and the outlying areas this summer…..
Often I give advice to travelers and ask them to return the favor with their experiences. Responses to that request would cover the rounded top of a straight pin. But one day I received a response from Christie Semmens of Scribbles and Smiles. Having seen my story and photos about the Paris Photo walk at Pont Alexandre III, Christie wrote: “I’ve been searching for a photo group or photographer who offers a session with helpful instruction; to take photos and ….