The Orsay Museum, Episode 15

Orsay Museum: Van Gogh Painting
Night Over the Rhone River Valley by Van Gogh

The Orsay Museum in Paris

On today’s episode Elyse takes us to the wonderful Musée
d’Orsay in the heart of Paris. The Orsay is a favorite of
Americans and for good reason: you will see more impressionist
and post-impressionist here than anywhere else in the world.
Manet, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, they are all
there and they’re all magnificent. This is the museum for both
people who normally don’t visit art museums, and for the
sophisticated art connoisseurs. Have you been? Did you love it? Are you still undecided? We help you think it through on this episode.
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Versailles Chateau, a Day-Trip from Paris, Episode 14

Versailles chateau with cloudy sky

Versailles Chateau, a Day-Trip from Paris

Today on Join Us in France we take a day-trip from Paris to Versailles and visit the Versailles Chateau. This symbol of the absolute monarchy has always inspired both admiration and resentment and we are sure it will not leave you indifferent either. One thing is for sure: it is stately. As a matter of fact, the whole city of Versailles is stately in many ways: wide avenues, statues, grand buildings.

Elyse gives us some historical background, we discuss why you should consider going, and why maybe you should skip it too. Then there’s the question of the lines which can be formidable and some tips on what you can do to make it more bearable.  Should you take the time to explore the grounds or just be in and out of the château? These are all questions we tackle in today’s episode. Enjoy!

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Correction: Elyse misspoke, Louis XIV is the son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, NOT Mary of Medici.

If you enjoyed this episode, also listen to Louis XIV, Miraculous Child.

Episode Highlights with Time Stamps

  • [3’45”] Where is it the Versailles Chateau?
  • [5’50”] Historical background
    • Hunting Lodge
    • Louis XIII decides to build a country home there
    • Construction starts in 1631
    • Louis XIV decides to establish permanent residence
  • [13’05”] Louis XIV invests fortunes and hires the best
  • [16′] Le Notre, landscape architect
  • [22’30] The role of rich Americans in restoration efforts
  • No privacy for Kings and Queens
  • Le Petit Trianon
  • Marie-Antoinette
  • [30′] During the French Revolution
  • [33’15”] The furniture you will see inside
  • [36’45”] The blessing and curse of having so many historical treasures in France
  • [39’30] Versailles chateau restoration is a work in progress
  • [44′] Getting around
  • [46’10”] How to avoid being stuck in line for hours
  • [55′] The best way to get there

Conclusion: If you don’t have a reserved timed ticket and if you are not visiting with a tour guide, consider arriving around 1 PM so you don’t wait in line as long.

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Day Trips from Paris: Reims, Episode 13


Day-trips from Paris: Chartres cathedral

Great Day Trips from Paris: Reims and Champagne Country

Are you ready to venture outside of Paris? We are going to tell you about several great day trips from Paris, starting with this one: a visit to the best attractions in Reims and Champagne country.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Other day trips from Paris you may consider: Versailles, Chartres, Giverny, Chambord, Chenonceau, Cherverny, and Nancy.

To learn more about Champagne, listen to A Brief History of Champagne

Episode Highlights with Time Stamps

  • [4′] Start at Gare de l’Est in Paris, which is a gorgeous Art Nouveau station
  • [9’45”] Reims is famous for: Champagne and its magnificent Gothic Cathedral
  • [12′] Lime stone tunnels
  • [14′] Notre Dame de Reims Catheral
  • [16’15”] The Cathedral where French Kings were crowned
  • [20′] A signed Cathedral
  • [21′] Stained-glass by Chagal
  • [22′] The center of Champagne production
    • Veuve Clicquot
    • Mumm
    • Taittinger
    • Martel
    • [23’20”] How you can visit Champagne houses
  • [28’45”] Champagne retailers
  • [32′] Reims is an Art Deco city
  • [33’45”] How you can also visit Epernay
  • [36’20] Champagne route for those who have a car
  • [39′] Don’t put champagne in your suitcase, drink it in France!
  • [43’45] Champagne at every price point
  • [50’30”] Listener feedback

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