Posts Tagged ‘Day Trips’

Get Transported to Easter Sunday in Paris: Video

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Paris Easter Morning from Bill L'Herault on Vimeo.

Villa Savoye

Friday, October 28th, 2011

The Villa Savoye is a modernist villa in Poissy, France. Poissy is on the outskirts of Paris and easily accessible for visitors who are staying in a Paris vacation rental. Poissy can be reached by taking a Regional Express Network (RER) train from Paris. The RER trains connect to the Paris Metro. This is convenient for tourists whose vacation rentals Paris are close to RER stations or Metro stations. A bus goes from the RER station in Poissy to Villa Savoye.

Swiss architect Le Corbusier designed the Villa Savoye during the 1920s as a weekend home for the Savoye family. It was completed in 1931 and the Savoyes used the house until 1940. Villa Savoye was damaged during World War II and the city of Poissy eventually took control of the house. It was restored between 1985 and 1997.

The ground floor of Villa Savoye is supported by columns. The driveway goes into a garage underneath the house. Villa Savoye’s exterior is white concrete. The first floor has horizontal windows and there is a garden on the flat roof.

Visitors to Villa Savoye will enter the house by taking a spiral staircase or an entrance ramp from the garage to the first floor. The spiral staircase winds through the house to the top floor. The ramp goes to the first floor terrace and along the outside of the house to the solarium on the roof.

Every exterior wall on the first floor has windows running along its entire length. The living room has a glass wall and adjoins a courtyard. The other rooms on the first floor are three bedrooms, the kitchen, the pantry and bathrooms. There is a terrace off the master bedroom.

The open-air solarium on the roof is surrounded by high walls to protect it from the wind. The solarium is next to the rooftop garden. The first floor of the house can be reached from the roof by the ramp or the staircase.

Visitors can wander around the house without a guide. Most of the rooms have no furniture. A leaflet with information about the house is available to visitors.

Visitors who are staying in a Paris luxury apartment rental in a historic building will find the Villa Savoye quite different from the areas surrounding their Paris vacation rental and can be a welcome retreat.

On the outskirts of Paris..

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The hustle and bustle of the city of lights. Nothing beats it. The excitement, the sites, the monuments, the people, the food, just about everything seems magical. If you want to see a different side of Paris, drive west of the city. Fresh air with ” down to earth fun” can be found at the Fermes de Gally on the outskirts of Paris.

When you arrive  to the farm a billboard greets you, much like  a menu. Everything ready to be harvested is listed and priced.  Once you are settled, and have a game plan, you can begin to farm. You are given a green wheelbarrow, some biodegradable bags and plastic containers at the entrance to the fields. If you’d like to snag some wild flowers or dahlias, clippers are available as well.  Down the dirt path, you are immersed in the aromatic herbs that line the farm. Flower boxes, laid out neatly, contain thyme, rosemary, parsley and mint. You can head out to the fields to harvest things such as radishes, lettuce, rhubarb and various berries. If you’ve never harvested your own food, no worries. Each patch has a sign staked at the entrance. It gives the name of the crop and directions on how to harvest.

If you’ve got something popular in mind to harvest, such as berries or lettuce, keep in mind that they do close down the patches when the the crops get worked over. This being said, it’s best to arrive on the earlier end to have your ideal pick of goods.  When you’re done “shopping” the produce and vegetables are weighed on scales near the exit and flowers are normally counted by the stem. If you’ve got a few more items on your list, you can head to the fabulous market down the road to collect your wine, cheese and other necessities for dinner.

When looking for a countryside adventure, give the Fermes de Gally a try. At the end of the day you can return to your Paris vacation rental and whip up a fresh meal or cocktail. After all that hard work, you’ll definitely need it.

Summer in Paris!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Paris Plage

By: Daniella Carrese

L’ete, c’est bon! The summer is a great time to visit Paris. Paris has many wonderful events that happen all over the city. During the summer the sun sets later, so you will have more time to adventure about the city, and experience what it has to offer during this season. Some activities to do in Paris include picnicking under the Eiffel Tower (or anywhere for that matter), Fete de la Musique, and going to the Paris Plage.

Pique-nique a Paris
Imagine, sitting on green grass, surrounded by other happy and friendly people enjoying a beautiful local picnic. You are able to enjoy such a fun experience in Paris, at anytime and almost anywhere. The best place to have a memorable picnic would be under the Eiffel Tower. To make it even better, you are can savor dinner under the tower, when it is illuminated for the city to see. For five minutes every hour, the lights make the whole city light up for an experience that will make you have the best meal you have ever had! Planning your picnic is not very hard, stop by the closest boulangerie to your Paris apartment rental and pick up a baguette. Then stop at the fromagerie to feast on wonderful French cheeses. You will never forget the experience of eating a meal under the Eiffel Tower.

Fete de la Musique
Translated to “Day of the Music”, where a music festival makes the streets of Paris very lively. On the 21st of June each year, tourists and locals are entertained by musicians’ performances. All concerts are free, and in all of Paris’ neighborhoods. The best way to hear the music, is by staying in your very own Paris vacation rental because you will be in the middle of all the action and the music. It is a great event that will take you around the whole city and relish in what the locals take part in every year.

Paris Plage
This artificial beach was created in 2002. It runs from the Louvre to Pont de Sully, along the Seine River. The Paris Plage is the ultimate summer time activity in the city. Complete with beach volleyball, deck chairs, and most importantly, sand, which makes it a wonderful summer day outing. There are other alternative activities such as kayaks, row boats, and a pool. All the beaches are open from July 21st to August 21st, 8 a.m. to midnight. After a long day at the beach you can relax in your Paris apartment rental, to regenerate for your next exciting day in Paris.

During your summer holiday you can enjoy yourself with all these fun activities and many others you may find about the city. Have a great pique-nique sous la tour Eiffel, ecoute de la musique, or aller a la plage.

Flea Market Finds

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Puces de Vanves

If you want a morning of bargain shopping and unusual finds, you should absolutely visit some of the Paris flea markets. You will be sure to see some great deals, some glimpses into Paris life and some of the most interesting people that call this city home. One of a kind treasures, plenty of junk and your fair share of quirk. The three largest flea markets are held on the outskirts of town so hop on a bus and don’t forget your bargaining skills. If you are going to head out to the markets, there are few tips you should keep handy.

The early bird gets the worm. If you are a serious scavenger, it will be worth your while to get up with the sun. The best deals will go quickly in the morning so to get your pick, grab your espresso to go. If you aren’t in the market to buy, rather to soak in the culture, no rush. Mid-morning is when the markets really liven up and the real action begins. If you can plan ahead, peruse the stalls around meal times. The masses will part temporarily to fill their stomachs and the vendors will be relaxed enjoying a meal of their own. They may even share a glass of wine with you.

Flea market shopping is not the time to carry lots of accessories. Leave as much behind at your weekly apartment rentals in Paris. No need for pocketbooks or large bags, just a shoppers tote will suffice to carry home your treasures. Pick pockets love a good crowd so be cautious. Never carry your passport. The best thing to do is carry cash secured on your person. Oddly enough, if your looking for a bargain, leave or hide your camera as well. That tips off vendors that you are a tourist and bargaining might not work in your favor. Speaking of bargaining, don’t be afraid to ask. Being polite and using a little tact can really go a long way. Sometimes you can get an additional 10-15% off by just chatting with the vendors and trying a little charm.

When you are shopping through the markets always make a point to speak when you approach a booth. A simple ” Bonjour!” and ” Merci” for their time will start you off on the right foot. You should always make a point to attempt to speak a little French and at least acknowledge each vendor while you are browsing their booth. You don’t need to attempt an entire conversation, pleasantries will be appreciated. My favorite thing to do at a flea market, people watch. It doesn’t cost a thing and you can really learn about the culture and locals. Grab a baguette and saunter through the flea market scene.

Les Puces de Saint-Ouen spans 17 acres with over 2500 vendors. Open Saturday thru Monday.
Marché d’Aligre, open Tuesday through Sunday, is made up of both a covered and an open-air market.
Puces de Vanves is open on Saturdays and Sundays. 350 vendors with a wide variety of treasures.

Pedal your way around Paris

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

In Paris, there are a million ways to see the sights. You can head down to the metro, hop on a bus, hail a cab or cruise the Seine by boat. One of the newer trends? Biking. They have set up a one of a kind system in Paris to ensure any one who wants to hit the streets on two wheels can. The Velib system is a large scale public bicycling system in the city. Since its debut in 2007, they have amassed over 20,000 bikes and set up over 1,202 stations. Right now, there is a Velib station approximately every 300 meters throughout Paris. Let’s put the pedal to the metal.

How it Works: You can rent long term or daily. Regardless, the first 30 minutes of any ride are free. You can take as many of these free trips a day. To use the system you have to subscribe and provide a valid card for the rental. Subscriptions can be purchased at €1.70 per day, €8/week or €29/year. You simply head to a station, insert your card or pass and it unlocks a bike for you. It’s that easy. You can also buy passes online to make it even easier. When you’ve had your fun, just return the cycle to any Velib station. You pull up to a slot, insert the bike, wait for the green light to signal it’s locked and get on with your day. The make sure it’s been locked, it’s handy to print a receipt. Thinking about stealing a Velib? Since they’ve got your card they will be sure to charge you €150 Euros it the bike if it’s not returned. They’ve even got an online boutique where you can purchase baskets, helmets, seat covers and reflectors. All customized to fit the Velib.

The next time you want to tour the city, after getting a good nights sleep in your Paris vacation rental, think about touring around on 2 wheels. Nothing beats seeing the city fly by through the fresh air. Get cycling.

Get all the details and how to’s about the Velib {here}

The Parks of Paris: Something for Everyone

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Parc Monceau

Whether you’re traveling to Paris on your own, with your spouse, or with children or family, a walk in the park can be the greatest reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the inner city.  The many parks of Paris offer strikingly different atmospheres for different people and tastes.  So, if you wake up in your hotel or Paris apartment rental one morning and decide its time for some fresh air, read on for a short breakdown on a few of Paris’ best. The most well known park in Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is an absolute haven for parents and their children. Not only does this park offer fun and safe playground areas, but you can even rent little toy boats for your kids to paddle around with in the many shallow ponds. For a more romantic experience, head over to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont for one the best picnic environments in all of Europe.  With over 61 acres of beautifully expansive green areas, the park’s well manicured lawns and shaggy trees create thousands of picturesque spots to sit and enjoy a small meal.  If you’ve reserved your hotel or Paris vacation rental over the weekend, you absolutely have to check out the park’s in house snack and wine bar, Rosa Bonheur, for an authentically Parisian experience. Another gem is Parc Monceau in the slightly snooty Ternes district. Even though the park fits into the surrounding area well with its grandiose, gold-tipped gates, the thousands of flowers and slightly over grown trees give the park’s interior a classically natural feel. Very near by the park, Boulevard de Courcelles has an amazing selection of bread, cheese and wine to use for a picnic or to bring back to eat in the kitchen of your luxury Paris apartment rental.

For more information on the parks of Paris, ask your knowledgeable booking agent.