Posts in Western Europe
Paris: Visiting Musée de Cluny (Museum of the Middle Ages)

We decided to visit Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages, because I have always been particularly fascinated by that time period and wanted to see the famous tapestry housed at this museum, the Lady and the Unicorn, that I had studied and fallen in love with in an art history class in college. The museum is located in the vicinity of the Latin Quarter of Paris nearby the Pantheon, so if you plan on visiting both, you should do so back-to-back.

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Visiting the Pantheon in Paris

First, when most people hear Pantheon, they are generally thinking about the famous Pantheon in Rome. (Not to be confused with the Parthenon in Athens.) But still, we were curious about the Pantheon in Paris and thought it would be worth checking out. A ‘pantheon’ by definition is a group of important people or gods. Paris’ Pantheon is currently a secular, state-run mausoleum that began life as a cathedral and houses the remains of some of the city’s most important historical residents.

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Street Art of Paris

The creativity and unexpectedly universal themes and elements that show up in street art always make for an interesting lens through which to view a city. Paris did not disappoint. The majority of these images were captured in the 3rd, 4th, and 11th arrondissements during a day where we spent a lot of time walking through the city.

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Three Irish Female Writers To Pay Attention To

Ireland has a long-standing literary tradition and is a country that values its writers and poets. Over the years, I have read many inspiring novels by the likes of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and others. But recently, I have found myself on a kick of reading contemporary Irish novelists without even realizing it! These newer-on-the-scene Irish female writers are making their mark in the literary world.

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 7 - Notre-Dame de Paris, Crypte archéologique de l'île de la Cité

The final day of a trip is always bittersweet: bitter that it is coming to an end and for the upcoming return flight home and sweet for the new memories and experiences.  I often get to the end of a trip having not done things I thought I would do but having done other things that led to unexpected surprises. 

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 6 - Musée de Cluny, Pantheon, Jardin de Luxembourg, Musée Rodin

With different itineraries, we parted ways with our traveling companions for the day. The first stop on the list for us was Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages. I have always been particularly fascinated by that time period and wanted to see the famous tapestry housed at this museum, the Lady and the Unicorn, that I had studied and fallen in love with in an art history class in college.

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 5 - Picasso Museum, L'Atelier des Lumières, Jardin des Plantes

Our day started with what had become our Paris norm: flaky goodness of croissants. Adding some excitement to the mix, Dustin added a ham and cheese croissant, whereas I stuck with my you-can’t-go-wrong choices of croissant au beurre and pain au chocolat. Hey, if you can’t have chocolate for breakfast on vacation, when can you? (Never is not an option!).

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 4 - Bike Tour of Versailles

After long days of walking around Paris, our feet were sore and some blisters were starting to rear their ugly heads. So, we planned our fourth day perfectly: a bike tour of Versailles to give our feet a rest and use some other muscles for the day!

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 3 - Sainte-Chapelle, Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Musee l'Orangerie

While we are pretty active travelers, we are not over-active travelers; we know when to go-go-go and when to go slow! With a full week in Paris staying at one place, it was a perfect excuse to explore the city at just the right pace. What that meant is we whiled away some mornings over croissants, coffee, and conversation. Bonus: the day was able to warm up a little before we ventured out. Our April in Paris was a tad on the nippy side!

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 2 - Père Lachaise Cemetery, Place des Vosges, and Other Wanderings

If you like wandering without a goal in mind, Paris is a great city for absentminded discoveries. Our first full day in the city can be summed up in that sentence. Along the way we explored a huge section of the city on foot, wandered much of the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, lunched in the oldest planned square in the city at Place des Vosges, which dates to the 17th century, and dined casually along the Seine.

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 1 - Getting Settled

We arrived in Paris by way of Reykjavik after departing from Washington-Dulles airport late in the evening. It was an odd feeling to land in familiar Reykjavik, having just been on our Iceland Ring Road trip last June/July (check that trip out here), and wished we could stay in Iceland but also still go to Paris. The more we travel, the more frequent the feeling of familiarity in different airports, cities, or countries occurs, making the world feel very small.

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Paris Overview: A Week in the City of Love

We talked about going to France for several years before we actually took this trip. When we finally booked it, we weighed whether to spend a handful of days in Paris and then head out to the French countryside or to just stick with Paris. I can’t think of another trip we have taken where we stayed in one city the entire week but we knew Paris had so much to offer and didn’t want to feel like we were rushing to jet off to the next spot. We easily filled our 7 days in Paris and didn’t even get to every spot on our list! Don’t worry, we feel other regions of France deserve the same dedicated focus, so we will be back to France at some point!

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