THE NORMANDY & WESTERN FRONT SERIES, DAY 17, 18&19
CHAMPAGNE – PARIS
Finishing up in Paris. So, after a 2 day chill its back to the car and off to Paris. The weather is really taking a decent turn so I’m looking forward to a day or 2 of city exploring and being able to actually wear my flip flops for the first time this trip!
IT WAS GREAT TO HAVE NO PLAN BUT WALK IN THE SUN WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT VISITING THE NEXT MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OR KEEPING TO AN ITINERARY.
There wasn’t much expectations on today’s sites but seeing as there was little planned we decided to tick the box and visit what we could.
WHERE IS PARIS?
MEMORIAL DE DORMANS
A memorial for those who died in World War 1 but specifically those who fought during the two Battles of Marne. It is a unique memorial as it sites a large Chapel and an Ossuary which contains the remains of 1,500 unknown soldiers. It wasn’t open for us but you can often climb the 100 or so steps to the top for some great views of the valley.
DAY 17 DAILY INFO….
- HOTEL – Monsieur George 8/10
- RESTAURANT – Cedar 7/10
- ATTRACTIONS –
XMemorial de Dormans 7/10
American Monument of Château Thierry 7.5/10
Aisne-Marne Memorial & Cemetery 7/10
DAY 18 DAILY INFO….
- HOTEL – Monsieur George 8/10
- RESTAURANT – Market 7.5/10
- ATTRACTIONS –
Museum of the Liberation of Paris 6.5/10
Pantheon of Paris 6.5/10
Arc De Triomphe
AMERICAN MONUMENT OF CHÂTEAU THIERRY
The American monument in Chateau Thierry took us completely by surprise. It was something that wasn’t even part of the itinerary until mum pointed at it across the valley, you can’t miss it no matter where you are in the town. Like every other American Monument it’s a huge work of art that has been very well maintained and also houses a small museum which tells the story of the Battle of Marne. I spent most of my time wondering why there were only 48 stars engraved on the pillars until it dawned on me that the memorial was only erected in 1930. I’ll leave you to figure out the rest.
DAILY TRAVEL STATS….
- Steps – 10,900, 31,600 & 6,400
- Miles covered – 76 miles
AISNE-MARNE MEMORIAL & CEMETERY
This was another one on the list but with little expectations. You would really think some of these were only a few years old, the majority of cemeteries are very well maintained, down to every blade of grass! This memorial is a perfect example that it’s not just the biggest cemeteries that receive the most investment. With just under 2,300 graves, it was one of the smallest but probably the most impressive. Everything from its entrance to its flagpoles were incredibly grand.
I couldn’t say anything bad about the roads in Paris, what a network they have however it appears that the network is a little too advanced for even Google Maps. There were a few times we missed a turn off, yes some might have been my fault sure but Google Maps was in direct competition with me there. If you want to get around either make sure you are comfortable staring at your phone the entire trip or make sure you have a decent co-pilot, mine were too busy making cups of tea.
WHERE IS EIFFEL TOWER?
It was great to arrive in Paris, some familiarity for once. We checked into the very green and actually very nice Hotel Monsieur George before heading for some comfort food at Cedar, decent but not for the rents!
3 FACTS ABOUT PARIS :
- The Eiffel Tower was supposed to stand for only 20 years as part of the 1889 World Fair.
- Paris has 3 replicas of the statue of liberty, the most famous of which sits on an island in the Seine and faces towards NYC.
- Paris was originally called “Lutetia”, during it’s Roman era.
MUSEUM OF THE LIBERATION OF PARIS
This was 1 of 2 museums in Paris but after arriving at the Museum of National Resistance we learned that it was French only, too much of an ask for even my mum’s French skills. But today we had one more visit to finish off our series and that was the museum of the Liberation of Paris. It actually had very little to offer which was disappointing but the underground tunnels were good, and mum was relieved to know this would be the last tunnels she would have to encounter!
You cannot come to Paris and not do the typical things such as the Pantheon, Louvre, Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe. Some of the most famous tourist spots in the world. But the real sites are seen walking between these places. Like the numerous couples smooching at the Luxembourg Gardens, the countless scammers floating around the Eiffel Tower or even the scattering of dog sh*te that my mum walked in, a glorious city! All in all if you visit make sure you do plenty of walking but just remember to look where you are going!
- HIGHLIGHT – The aimless walking around Paris, good to have no set plan for once.
- LOWLIGHT – Some might think it would be going back and getting my mums bag but always a pleasure Marge!
- MVP – The waitress that kept my mums shopping bag she left behind…
A few days in Champagne followed by the same in Paris was a great way to end the trip. Don’t get me wrong, my head is fried but I wouldn’t change any of it. I have learned more than I ever thought I would and the two amigos have kept me entertained and sane with their antics! Until next time…
The trip reflection post!! Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Why is there only 48 stars on the memorial?
- Have you been to Paris?
- What do you think of the French roads?
Let me know in the comments below . . .