I finally gave in and agreed that a trip to continental Europe was overdue. Almost all of my previous travel has been to warmer (if not downright tropical) climes, so the early November chill in France was quite a shock for me. Luckily, I was prepared for the cold and managed to bring enough wool to keep me warm – even if I did have to steal a scarf from the wife for a few days. As always, I brought the camera gear and even managed to drag the tripod with me this time. In a return visit, I’d like to go when it is warmer and more conducive to sitting outside at night to capture the lights.
Facts and Favorites
Favorite Eats: Probably a tie between L’Acanthe in Paris, and L’assiette du Poete in Strasbourg. Both were small, one-room restaurants with great service and a comfortable atmosphere. L’assiette du Poete was decorated in a bit of a gaudy modern manner, but the service was fantastic.
Favorite Pastry: Croissants and pastries were a general disappointment for most of the trip, but Patisserie la Galette des Moulins near Montmartre had the best croissant of the trip, according to the wife (the self-proclaimed croissant expert).
Favorite Coffee: Unfortunately, France is going down in history as one of the worst places for coffee, in my book. The few Starbucks locations we could find probably had the best and most consistent coffee of the trip.
Favorite Site Visited: The Louvre wins, but mostly due to it being a fascinating refuge from the cold weather. The crowds were bearable with the exception of the room with the Mona Lisa. Had the weather been warmer, the Île Saint-Louis would probably have been a tie with the cobblestone streets in Colmar and Strasbourg.
Favorite Travel Tip: The Paris museum pass turned out to be an excellent value for us, but most importantly, it allowed us to get around some of the huge lines (most notably at the Louvre) by using the side entrance reserved for groups. We spent a good deal of time indoors because of the weather, so it turned out to be a good value – if the weather is nice you might not be indoors enough to justify it.