Archive for December 29th, 2016

December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016 in Paris !the marché de Noêl

Following my trips to some Christmas markets I could not be away from Paris even if now live 6 hrs away by car (not paying tolls). I used to worked in the city for 10 years before moving out west to Brittany about 6 years ago. You can read more in my blog and do search on the front page to seek other places and to know me more. Love to travel and share experiences.

Paris is a big word, awesome, unbelievable, amazing, a truly world city and why not the most beautiful city in the World. 32 millions people attest to this  every year since the WTO -UN decided to keep tabs of tourists visits back in 1949.

I took a car drive on the N12 getting to Versailles first (where I lived for 10 years), and then got to Paris on the A13 getting by the Porte Dauphiné into Avenue Foch ,around the Arc de Triomphe (yes!!!) and into my parking garage at the Etoile-Wagram in avenue de Wagram. From there took the walks of Paris you all should take and not the metro/subway , better see the beauty above ground. Here is the parking:

For information on the Christmas market or marché de Noêl , read here:ées

And here official site on markets in French ,Champs Elysées not the only one in Paris but over the years since the first I was and really honestly thought would never made it as it was almost empty has grown to a really nice good Christmas market; here is more:

We walked down the Avenue des Champs Elysées from the Arc de Triomphe all the way to the metro Roosevelt square rond-point des Champs-Elysées and into the Place de la Concorde and the big wheel in front of the entrance to the jardin des Tuileries.

In between, there was a plethora of chalets, kiosks, bank ATM, rides and food stalls even full restaurants serving season’s fare and trinkets from as far away as Brazil. The ambiance was very nice and locals mingle with tourists alike in a wonderful holiday spirit.

We love the season and sharing it with the world is great way to spend good strong family time. Nothing better than the Christmas market at the avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Most comments came in at 4 out of 5 rating which is very good.

The market will continue until January 8 2017, all from 12h to about 21h but we were there from 10h and many chalets were already open . You have about 180 chalets and two paying attractions, the Grande Roué or big wheel taking you 70 meters high (about 231 feet) and the ice skating or patinoire all of 1600 m2 or about 17,2K ft2.

By the Rond-point des Champs-Elysées, about 20 chalets will be dedicated to creators from fashion clothing to wood makers, glass blowers, jewelry makers and potters. Further, towards the Concorde you will see a village of artists coming from all the regions of France showcasing their creation. There will be a Food court or food village that will have from hot wine to pretzels (great we try it) to many other goodies.

Organizers are expecting from the opening on November 11st to January 8 closing almost 16 million visitors will show up! I think they will surpass it.

Other than the wonderful food court do not miss the Thriller ride with spooky characters and if with kids the petit train at the gare de Paris,and the cerfs flying train; also the petting area or pony rides.

All in all, the best Christmas market we have seen this year in the West of France.  Other markets going on were held at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Gare de l’Est, Gare Saint Lazare, Abbesses-Montmartre, Eiffel on ice, mail de Branly(near pont d’Iena) , Pont de Suffren, around tour Montparnasse, quai Branly( Pont de l’Alma to Pont Bir Hakeim), and just outside Paris at La Défense.

Over the years we have been to all of them and other than La Défense that started strong, the one at the Champs-Elysées has surpassed it as the best of all in our opinion.

Now looking forward to the New Year 2017 and wishing all my followers and readers the very best in 2017. Happy New Year, Bonne Année et meilleurs voeux 2017!!!

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December 29, 2016

Another visit to Paris, after all it’s worth a visit again and again and again!

Ok so long title but Paris has so many on it, and not just written but photograph that by now it’s everybody’s capital city, beloved city, love city, and nostalgia sets in with me as met my wife there on the Champs-Elysées and at the Bistro Romain resto near the Arc de Triomphe lol! That was 26 years ago !!!!

Since then, visited umpteen times, and eventually came to worked in the city for 10 years, leave again and visit again now several times a year. Paris, we will always have Paris.

This time came to see my beloved Versailles where I lived while working in Paris, and why not take advantage of the Christmas market (Marché de Noêl); next post stay tune . Let me tell you, it started out as a tiny thing , never in my wildest dream believe it would turn out like it has, but then again, this is Paris. The festivities, the chalets and rides, the food on the Avenue des Champs-Elysées is awesome.

You can see still some until January 8th 2017 here:

We rode our car into Paris, yes nothing to it even with the so call alternate driving dates and the ecolos trying to diminished Paris, and the terrorists doing their usual crap, well Paris is Paris ; it was saved from WWII destruction and nothing will stop it.

We came in by our usual entry on the Porte Dauphiné and into Avenue Foch to the Arc de Triomphe and get on Avenue de Wagram parking Etoile-Wagram; where we got in right from Wagram or you can come in on the side street rue de l’étoile. More on it here:

We ,then, set out to walk Paris. Coming right at the Arc de Triomphe, the emblematic arch on the grand Avenue des Champs-Elysées. This was again a walk thru as we have been to the sights ,and now walking like a local is the thing to do; always gratifying to come here. The official Paris tourist office is here in English:

We do like to report (as we are big eaters on anything lol!) there is a new burger joint at the Avenue, this is the American chain Five Guys at 49-51 Avenue des Champs-Elysées. serving burgers from 9€ and smaller ones from 7€, fries medium for 5€, beef hot dogs from 5,50€, grilled cheese sandwich for 5€, sodas from 3,50€ milkshakes for 6,50€ with already good reviews and a huge line to get in outside and across the sidewalk! No wonder it arrived in France and this is their second one ,more here:

We had good views on a sort of cloudy day to the Assamblée Nationale, Invalides, Ecole Militaire, Eiffel tower, and passing the glorious Grand and  Petit Palais was awesome.  I went to see my old job for several years there now the Westin I was in the transition from the Intercontinental hotel (the L’Inter as we called it) and had my lunch breaks out at the Café l’Imperiale on rue Rouget de Lisle where the employees entrance to the hotel is still today.

The famous Lido cabaret is right here with a new show Paris Merveilles. However a whole lineup of dinner spectacle and champagne are in order for the New Year from 100€ to 630€ dinner show combination. More here just because it was one of the two favorites of mine, (other is lapin agile in Montmartre) ;

The wonderful stores on the CE of historical significance after all the tourists walked by, are the Arcades des Champs-Elysées there since 1927; deco is Paris turn of the century inside, worth a detour from walking the avenue.  You continue onwards to the Concorde and pass the Galeries des Champs, more here:

Moving right alone you reach on the same side of the street towards Concorde, the Galerie du Claridge; well for us was a fixture as there is the FNAC store and our boys went crazy for games, dvd,cd accessories when in town lol! still now !!!

There is even a committee of merchants and citizens that looks after the avenue and has a ton of information even if in French;

The activities official site of the avenue is here:

But we continue, into the great Jardin des Tuileries, this my boys played when young and me work just across it so it was my time off relaxation place and what a place with our great gardener André le Nôtre! The short story goes that Catherine de Médicis who was the queen regent at the time passed by and saw a dirty terrain with a tile factory (most now still covered the Louvre fortress museum); and she saw a very small plot of land well lawn and trim tree. Curious she ask who did it and they went to get the young men, admitting that it was him who did it she ask if he can do the whole terrain like that, and he said yes. Well ,the young boy was born there in a shackle, his name André Le Nôtre who later became the grand gardener of France from here to Versailles and onwards.  In French, the city of Paris page on the garden here:

From the garden and my job there was an easy 5 minutes walk to the place Vendôme another jewel of Paris and a pleasure to walk it again.  However, right in the garden are two of the best museums of Paris. The  Museum of Jeu de  Paume, great contemporary modern museum and more on the tourist page in English here:

The other closer to me is the Museum of the Orangerie, right alone the Seine river; here you see the great work of Claude Monet ,Nymphéas.  Right there is a great show on the American painters of the 1930’s; more here in English:

Do take a look at the obelisk of Luxor in the place de la Concorde a gift from Egypt, and the wonderful fountains of the rivers and the seas or fontaines des fleuves et des mers as in the photos. I could not help it but passed by Pizza Pino resto on the avenue, a regular meeting place for business lunch in town, and the best look from the Pont de la Concorde to the Pont Alexander III and the gorgeous Seine river. Paris is eternal!

And something for the curious we have the Palais de l’Elysée for our home President home right off the Avenue and here you will see a picture of the front entrance.  More on it’s history in French here:

Of course, we could not leave Paris without eating and sampling the Parisian way of life in a cozy place just by our parking and perfect for our way out of the city. I have passed by it and been on business lunch before but this time told the family on our way home we will eat here before leaving the city and so we did. A pleasant dining experience as any in Paris!

We step into the La Flamme 6 avenue de Wagram, tel +33 (0) 1 42 27 85 25. It has a colorful ambiance in purple and red, with terrace and French traditional dishes. The baroque period frames are bordering the TV screen showing for this afternoon the NBA basketball game. The service was very good and the place very cozy indeed even for a family to be quiet having an excellent French dish of Fricassée des poisons or fishes 3 kinds tuna, snapper, and turbot. all wash down with a pelforth brune beer and to finish expresso coffee. The rest of the gang had different dishes all good and the price is just right ! no webpage of course, this you need to come and see it, taste it right down from the Arc de Triomphe on Avenue de Wagram right hand side. Bon appetite !

I will close out the year with the post on the Christmas market of the Ave des Champs-Elysées next, stay tune. Cheers and Happy New Year 2017 to all my followers and readers ,Bonne Année! Meilleurs voeux! !!!

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