Discussed in this Episode
- La laiterie de la Reine
- La gauthique crapaudière
- La Chaumière aux Coquillages
- and Versailles
[00:00:00] Annie Sargent: This is Join Us in France episode 386 trois-cent-quatre-vingt-six. Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France. Everyday life and France, great places to visit in France. French culture, history, gastronomy, and news related to travel to France.
[00:00:40] A conversation with Jennifer Gruenke about her 7 day trips from Paris
[00:00:40] Annie Sargent: Today, I bring you a conversation with Jennifer Gruenke about seven day trips she took from Paris. She did all of this in one week and we talked about it soon after it happened, so it was all fresh in her mind. Plus she’s been living in Paris for just a few months, so she knew what to look out for. I met Jennifer last time I was in Paris and we hit it off. As you can imagine. She’s also one of the Facebook group moderators. And I have to say that they do such a wonderful job in the group. So thank you for that as well.
[00:01:16] Annie Sargent: This podcast is supported by donors and listeners who buy my tours and services, including my very popular itinerary consult and also my GPS self guided tours of Paris on the VoiceMap app. And you can browse all of that at Join Us in France dot com forward slash boutique.
[00:01:37] Annie Sargent: I am working on a newsletter about the Tour de France. Bicycling. If you’re not signed up, go to Join Us in France dot com slash newsletter and do it. My newsletters are not very frequent, but they are usually full of helpful information for anybody who loves France.
[00:02:11] Annie Sargent: Bonjour Jennifer Gruenke and welcome to Join Us in France.
[00:02:16] Jennifer Gruenke: Bonjour Annie.
[00:02:18] Annie Sargent: I am excited today to talk to you about seven day trips that you took from Paris. Now, not a lot of people get to do this, but the great advantage is that since you did them all like on in seven days, right?
[00:02:35] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah. Seven consecutive days.
[00:02:36] Annie Sargent: right. So it was all fresh in your mind and you can, you can compare and contrast and tell us what your favorites were.
[00:02:45] Rambouillet, Auvers-sur-Oise, Fontainebleau, Saint-Cloud, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Provins, and Versailles
[00:02:45] Annie Sargent: So let’s name the seven that you did. You went to Rambouillet. You went Auvers-sur-Oise, Fontainebleau,
[00:02:57] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah.
[00:02:57] Annie Sargent: Saint Cloud
[00:03:00] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah.
[00:03:00] Annie Sargent: Saint Germain en Laye and Provins
[00:03:06] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes.
[00:03:07] Annie Sargent: Versailles. Yeah. Okay. So there are a lot of people who want to take day trips from Paris, and they’re not sure how to do it or which one is best and all of that. So we want to hear all about it. The floor is yours, Jennifer.
[00:03:23] Jennifer Gruenke: Okay. Thank you. Um, so the setup is I live in Paris. One of the reasons I wanted to live in Paris is because it’s a great launching point from which to see other places in France and even outside of France. I moved to France in January and we got to a point in March, late March, I guess this was last week.
[00:03:49] Getting a week-long Navigo Pass
[00:03:49] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, I woke up Monday morning and I checked the weather forecast and every single day was going to be gorgeous. Highs in the upper sixties, Fahrenheit and sunny, no rain. And this was my sort of first, really good week of not having to wear my big, heavy coat outside kind of weather. And so I hatched a plan to buy a week’s Navigo Pass.
[00:04:16] Jennifer Gruenke: This is a pass or you can pay 22.80 euros, I believe. And you can ride on the trains that do not require a reservation, like a seat reservation, um, anywhere in the Ile de France region. Uh, during that week.
[00:04:35] Taking a different day trip from Paris every day
[00:04:35] Jennifer Gruenke: And so I was going to get my money’s worth out of this pass and go on one day trip every single day. And basically the only rule was I have to leave Paris and go someplace outside of Paris that I can get to on this pass.
[00:04:51] Annie Sargent: Wonderful. That sounds like a great challenge.
[00:04:56] Jennifer Gruenke: It was a great challenge. It turned out I didn’t save as much money as I thought I was going to save because starting March 1st, the train system, uh, lowered the prices for a lot of these places for single trips. I did save, I paid about half of what I would’ve paid if I had done them as single trips.
[00:05:12] Jennifer Gruenke: But, um, if there’s somebody out there that wants to do any of these day trips, the tickets are now capped at five euros each way. Um, so these would be, you know, cheap and easy day trips for anybody to do, even if you just want to do one of them instead of all seven.
[00:05:30] Annie Sargent: Definitely good to know.
[00:05:32] Day trip to Rambouillet
[00:05:32] Jennifer Gruenke: Okay. So Monday I went to Rambouillet, is that right?
[00:05:35] Jennifer Gruenke: Rambouillet.
[00:05:37] Jennifer Gruenke: Rambouillet.
[00:05:38] Annie Sargent: There you go. There you go. That’s the spirit.
[00:05:42] Jennifer Gruenke: Get my French Rs. Okay. There is a Chateau here that is historically important. It was originally a medieval fortress. It was used by Louis the 16th. He pretty much was all over the place I’ve discovered in this week. Napoleon the first also used this Chateaux, Then, more recently it was used as a summer home by the French Presidents up until 2009.
[00:06:10] Jennifer Gruenke: So it’s kind of a French Camp David. The first meeting of the G6, uh, was held at this Chateau and they have. The dining room set up as if it were ready for all the dignitaries from the six different countries. And you can see the menu for what they ate. Um,
[00:06:33] Annie Sargent: Okay.
[00:06:36] Jennifer Gruenke: The Chateau has been kept looking mostly medieval, uh, much more so than some of the others I saw later on that had been sort of renovated during the Renaissance. But this one really does look like a medieval castle. Uh, you can see though, uh, Napoleon upgraded a room and put in a bathtub so you can see Napoleon’s bathtub, if you are so inclined, they also have two smaller outbuildings that you get on the one ticket. Um, and the first one you come to is, um, the Laiterie de la Reine the Queen’s dairy. So apparently Marie Antoinette.
[00:07:24] Jennifer Gruenke: She was brought to this Chateaux by Louis the 16th. And she did not like the medieval Chateaux. She called it la gothique crapaudière the Gothic toad house. And so Louie, the 16th built her a more Renaissance styles stone building. Um, it’s the same kind of idea as the Trianon at Versailles, which was built first. Um, it’s her play farm. Uh, but they do have some animals there. I walked up and there was this very large Tom Turkey that gobbled at me as I walked up to the building.
[00:08:12] Jennifer Gruenke: So
[00:08:12] Annie Sargent: So is it like Trianon or is it like the Hameau de la Reine
[00:08:17] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, I have not been to the latter, so I don’t know. It’s, it’s a stone building. That’s kind of, um, at the stone building was used. Both for tastings of things like cheeses, I guess. And they’ve got like carvings of the process of how to process dairy. So there’s, you know, a pastoral image on the wall in a relief of, you know, uh, shepherd, milking, the sheep or whatever.
[00:08:49] Annie Sargent: Okay. Okay. So I’m sure you’ll send me some photos of all these beautiful
[00:08:53] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes, I can send you as many photos as you would like.
[00:08:58] Annie Sargent: But it’s still a gothique crapaudière !.
[00:09:02] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes.
[00:09:04] Annie Sargent: And, you can tell French was not her first language because a French person would’ve said la crapaudière gothique we would have done it in the other direction. So yes.
[00:09:13] Jennifer Gruenke: I did not know.
[00:09:13] Annie Sargent: Yes.
[00:09:15] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, the second outbuilding they have is La Chaumière aux Coquillages, which is the, the seashell cottage I had no idea what to expect, but you walk out there and you, first thing you see is this, uh, cottage, and it has very large bones sticking out of the outside.
[00:09:40] Annie Sargent: Bones?
[00:09:40] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, Like the femur of a cow or something.
[00:09:44] Annie Sargent: Oh,
[00:09:46] Jennifer Gruenke: I don’t, I read online that it’s for drainage. It helps the water drain out from inside of the building.
[00:09:53] Annie Sargent: see.
[00:09:53] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, but it’s the first thing you see when you walk up and then you go inside the building, which is a very small cottage and you see this room that is covered with seashells.
[00:10:07] Jennifer Gruenke: Okay.
[00:10:08] Jennifer Gruenke: Like it’s wallpapered with seashells. It’s very dramatic looking. Um, it’s pretty, but at the same time, you wouldn’t want to like lean against the wall because the walls are very three-dimensional.
[00:10:23] Annie Sargent: I know a lot of people who collect seashells, they never know what to do with all these seashells.
[00:10:29] Jennifer Gruenke: This could give them some ideas.
[00:10:31] Annie Sargent: Yes. She didn’t know what to do with all the seashells. She stuck them on the wall. Why not?
[00:10:36] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, yes, this, apparently the cottage was built for a woman. It wasn’t Marie Antoinette, but it was somebody else associated with somebody that owned the Chateau at some point. Uh, but you get to see those three things.
[00:10:51] Chateau gardens are often free
[00:10:51] Jennifer Gruenke: There also are extensive grounds where you could walk around and it’s very beautiful. Um, there are a lot of people from the nearby town that just, you know, you could walk outside for free. You don’t have to pay to get into the gardens.
[00:11:06] Annie Sargent: That that’s usually the case for French chateaus. Very often locals can get in. Well, anybody can get in the gardens for free. They check your ticket to enter the Chateau, but not to enter the garden. Yeah,
[00:11:20] Versailles gardens on fountain days
[00:11:20] Jennifer Gruenke: The one exception I found is Versailles when the fountains are on.
[00:11:24] Annie Sargent: That’s right. When fountain days or a musical fountain days, you have to pay to enter the gardens, but
[00:11:32] Jennifer Gruenke: But you can pay a lower fee and just see the gardens and not the Chateau. If you want to.
[00:11:36] Annie Sargent: Right. I think it’s 9 92. Just enter when the gardens are on, which is quite a bit these days, uh, like all through the spring and summer, the, the, the waterworks and the fountains are going to be on like every Tuesday and Friday, Saturdays, Sunday. I mean, it’s, it’s several times a week, so yeah. And they charge you all day because even though only turn on the water at certain times because they figure you can stay in the garden all day. So they just charge you.
[00:12:13] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. This Chateau Rambouillet, it was not nearly as expensive and they actually gave me a discount for having the week pass on my Navigo card.
[00:12:23] Annie Sargent: Oh, cool.
[00:12:25] Jennifer Gruenke: Which is something that’s fairly new. I think they announced this last year that many of them, you see them and cultural sites around France are now giving a discount if you have this train pass.
[00:12:39] Annie Sargent: Hmm. Well, they gave it to me like les Batobus. I only had a Navigo easy, but they still gave me the discount.
[00:12:50] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, I had the same thing. I have the Navigo découverte and they technically weren’t supposed to give me the discount, but they did
[00:12:59] Annie Sargent: Yeah, that’s French people because we don’t, we, we like to stick it to the man.
[00:13:09] Jennifer Gruenke: Oh, goodness. Um, I did, whenever I was wandering around the gardens, have a nice conversation with a French lady who did not speak English. So I was very proud of myself for managing to carry on a conversation in my limited French. Um, but she was very patient and spoke very slowly. Um, and she told me that her son had moved to America so her grandkids did not speak any English or any French. They only spoke English. And so I suspect that she’s had practice speaking with her grandkids. Um, but it was nice to talk to her.
[00:13:48] More people willing to speak French with visitors outside of Paris
[00:13:48] Jennifer Gruenke: And once you get out of Paris, that’s something that you find is that there are people who will speak French slowly, and because they don’t speak any English, they won’t switch to English. Because usually when Americans are coming here Our French is not as good as other people’s English when we’re in Paris.
[00:14:11] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. They even try to speak English with me. I set them straight right away.
[00:14:22] Jennifer Gruenke: I’m sure you do.
[00:14:24] Rambouillet gets a 7/10 from Jennifer
[00:14:24] Annie Sargent: All right. So Rambouillet. Yeah. So like on a scale of one to 10, how much did you enjoy Rambouillet? Did you buy food on the premises? Did you use any, like, did you use a little, they, do they have a little tourist train or bike rentals or anything like that?
[00:14:40] Jennifer Gruenke: I did not do any of that. I think I got, I’m kind of getting mixed up as to what food I got, where.
[00:14:48] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Well, yeah, that makes sense.
[00:14:51] Jennifer Gruenke: Because I didn’t write that down,
[00:14:53] Annie Sargent: If it doesn’t stand out in your mind,
[00:14:55] Jennifer Gruenke: yeah, I mean, most of these places I brought food with me cause I had it in my refrigerator because this was a really last minute and I already had food. Um, I would, I think I would give it a seven it’s it’s good. It’s not like my favorite.
[00:15:09] Auvers-sur-Oise, the town where Van Gogh lived at the end of his life
[00:15:09] Annie Sargent: Okay. Okay. Good to know. Auvers-sur-Oise.
[00:15:14] Jennifer Gruenke: Okay. This one was my favorite and I was not entirely expecting it. But, um, the, the draw of this village is this is the town where Vincent van Gogh lived the last few months of his life and painted a lot of his paintings. I think it reports varied, but between 60 and 70 paintings, he painted here in just a couple of months.
[00:15:39] Annie Sargent: Right.
[00:15:41] Finding Van Gogh Podcast
[00:15:41] Jennifer Gruenke: Something that really added to the enjoyment of visiting Auvers is a podcast called finding van Gogh. It’s put out by a German museum.
[00:15:54] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:15:54] Go to the Orsay Museum then go to Auvers-sur-Oise
[00:15:54] Jennifer Gruenke: And so the podcast is a series that’s very professionally produced telling the story of this interaction between van Gogh and this doctor. And the whole reason that van Gogh was at this town is there’s this doctor here. Um, and there is a painting that van Gogh made of this doctor in the Orsay museum, which I had been to recently, so that the order here is first go to the Orsay museum and see the van Gogh paintings that he painted in this town and then go to the town, um, and see the place where he painted them.
[00:16:31] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, the cool thing. You can actually recognize when you see this, this church at Auvers, that is, um, a famous painting that’s in the Orsay museum and you walk up to it and you immediately recognize it from the painting. But of course, van Gogh’s paintings are very stylized. And so it’s very different, but still recognizable.
[00:16:55] Annie Sargent: Yeah, he had such an imagination, such a wonderful imagination. I, when I look at that, a photo of. Um, church, it would have never occurred to me to paint what he did. Like he was just a genius. Brilliant man.
[00:17:10] Lookout for things to be closed on Mondays or Tuesdays
[00:17:10] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. Yeah. So Auvers was my favorite. I want to go back because not everything was open cause I was going in late March on a Tuesday and that’s probably something else I should say is that a lot of these things are closed on Tuesdays. Um, so if you’re planning to do a day trip, um, look out for things being closed on either Mondays or Tuesdays.
[00:17:35] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes. And also find a good podcast that talks about it. That always helps doesn’t it? Yeah. Yeah.
[00:17:43] Jennifer Gruenke: All in favor of good podcast.
[00:17:45] Annie Sargent: So you told me about this podcast finding Van Gogh and I listened to it too. And I thought it was very interesting. I mean, they make it sound like it’s all a big mystery. I’m not sure it’s that big of a mystery, but it was really informative and very interesting to listen to.
[00:17:59] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. And I listened to that on the train going there. And then while I was walking around, so it’s a good, a good combo.
[00:18:06] Van Gogh plus in Auvers-sur-Oise
[00:18:06] Annie Sargent: I wanted to ask if the town has a lot, is it all Van Gogh stuff or is there other stuff.
[00:18:14] Jennifer Gruenke: There is a Chateau and it’s not just Van Gogh. It’s really, um, they have this sort of a light show where they explain the history of the impressionists in the area. So it includes Van Gogh, but it’s a lot of the others. Um, and that I think is worth doing it. Wasn’t like my favorite part of the visit because I pretty much already knew everything that they had worked on.
[00:18:42] Jennifer Gruenke: About, um, but still was a nice show and, you know, in an interesting building, so it’s worth doing as part of the visit, but really for me, the highlight was comparing these things that Gogh painted to the actual real thing.
[00:18:59] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:19:00] Jennifer Gruenke: Kind of makes me want to go find other places that van Gogh painted. I know that he was in, he was in the south of France for awhile and I’m sure that there’s something similar down there.
[00:19:11] Annie Sargent: Saint Rémy de Provence has a lot of that
[00:19:13] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah,
[00:19:14] Annie Sargent: and Arles as well and places like that. Yep. Yep. Okay. So this, this one is for art lovers. Obviously this is
[00:19:24] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. And specifically Van Gogh
[00:19:26] Annie Sargent: How about Fontainebleau?
[00:19:29] Jennifer Gruenke: Fontainebleau. This is a UNESCO world heritage site. Um, and it does feel more touristy, I think, because it has this the UNESCO seal, Has this very fancy Chateau, that has been used by French Kings going back a very long time. The building is considered architecturally important because, it was sort of the initial importation of the Italian Renaissance into France. So the very beginning of the French Renaissance.
[00:20:06] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:20:08] Jennifer Gruenke: And the Renaissance style is very, very fancy, which is not, it’s not usually what I would choose if I’m decorating and you walk into these places and it’s just absolutely every inch of the walls is painted in this very elaborate, you know, flowers or. You know, decoration, it’s just sort of overwhelming. It’s beautiful. And I’m glad that I went, but it wasn’t like my favorite of the week.
[00:20:34] Annie Sargent: Okay. Hmm, but you spent a whole day there.
[00:20:38] Jennifer Gruenke: For all of these I kind of like left between 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM and came home about 5:00 PM.
[00:20:47] Are these all easy to get to once you get off the train?
[00:20:47] Annie Sargent: Yeah. So it’s a it’s a whole day. Was there one that was more difficult to get to? Once you got off of the train?
[00:20:53] Jennifer Gruenke: Oh, that’s a good question.
[00:20:55] Jennifer Gruenke: I remember one and I let’s see, I think there was a, now I don’t remember which one it was.
[00:21:03] Jennifer Gruenke: I think probably the one that involved the most walking was Auvers.
[00:21:08] Annie Sargent: Okay. But it’s just a walk.
[00:21:11] Jennifer Gruenke: That would be pretty easy to look up.
[00:21:14] Annie Sargent: Yes.
[00:21:15] Jennifer Gruenke: If you look at a map, you can see where the trains go. I am an avid walker, so it doesn’t bother me to walk for an hour to get from the train station to where I’m going.
[00:21:25] Annie Sargent: Yeah,
[00:21:25] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, none these were quite an hour, but if there’s somebody out there that has limited mobility, you definitely want to put some effort into figuring out what your options are sort of to go the last mile. Most of these places have a bus, so you’ll take the train and then you’re supposed to get on a bus. But for some of them, I decided I would rather walk than take the bus.
[00:21:48] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:21:49] Jennifer Gruenke: Even though it was still covered by my pass.
[00:21:51] Annie Sargent: Sure. All right. So I interrupted you rudely, you were in the middle of telling about Fontainebleau
[00:21:58] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, it’s something that, I’m glad that I saw it. And it’s interesting to compare the architecture of Fontainebleau to the architecture of , Rambouillet that it was just much more elaborate and detailed. And the Chateau at Rambouillet is much more sort of simple and it has kind of a massive feel. It feels heavy, um, and more plain. And it’s interesting that sort of modern style is really more like the medieval style, than this Renaissance style.
[00:22:36] Annie Sargent: That’s true. Yeah. We like to keep it simpler in modern architecture.
[00:22:41] Domaine National de Saint Cloud
[00:22:41] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. Oh, let’s see. The next one Thursday
[00:22:47] Annie Sargent: You went to the Domaine National de Saint Cloud.
[00:22:51] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. Or if you are. And Anglophone St. Cloud.
[00:22:56] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes, but it’s not a cloud.
[00:23:00] Jennifer Gruenke: It’s not a cloud. Um, so this is one where I was starting to like get tired and I didn’t want to do a really elaborate day trip that would involve being on the train for an hour or two. And so this is very close to Paris and I thought it would just be kind of a, you know, throw away that it would be less interesting, but it turned out to be one of my favorites.
[00:23:29] Jennifer Gruenke: The idea here is that there used to be a Chateau here next to Paris. Um, it was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian war. And reports vary about whether it was destroyed by the Prussians or whether, it was sort of friendly fire from France itself because the Prussians had like camped out there. But whatever the reason the Chateaux was basically burned slash dynamited. Um, at that point, and for a long time as site fell into disrepair and there were just the, the walls, the stone walls with the ceiling kind of blown out. And then in the 1950s, they decided to renovate this. They removed what was left of the ruins and, renovated the films. And so there’s this famous landscape guy called Le Nôtre.
[00:24:28] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:24:29] Virtual Reality at Saint Cloud
[00:24:29] Jennifer Gruenke: And so he designed these fountains. They’re very elaborate fountains. Um, and the cool thing is they have this virtual reality machine, uh, Next to where the Chateau used to be, that it looks like one of those machines where it’s a binoculars, you know, where he would go to the fixed binoculars and look out over the view.
[00:24:53] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, but what, what you’re actually looking at is a screen and there’s some sort of sensor that knows which direction you’re turning. So you can look into this fake binoculars, and you know, whenever you’re facing Paris, you can see the Eiffel tower and Montparnasse tower, which are kind of the two landmarks that you can see from out there.
[00:25:15] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, and then whenever you turn around to where the Chateaux used to be, you can see the Chateaux as it would look, if it were still there today.
[00:25:24] Annie Sargent: Oh, wow. That sounds like fun.
[00:25:26] Jennifer Gruenke: it, it is fun and it’s a little disorienting to kind of be. This machine, this virtual reality machine. And it gives you a little video where you kind of zoom down and see, um, w what it would have looked like on the inside of the Chateau, which was very similar to Fontainebleau, where it was the Renaissance style.
[00:25:48] Jennifer Gruenke: There’s actually apparently a movement for people and from people around here to rebuild the Chateau, which I think would be really interesting they basically put it back to the way it was. Cause it was, you know, it was around long enough that they have photos. There’s also an app, an official app that basically shows you pictures of what the Chateaux would look like from different points, you know, standing around to where it was.
[00:26:18] Jennifer Gruenke: The other nice thing about visiting Saint Cloud is you get a fantastic view of the city. So there’s this place where you can climb up these stairs. There’s a nice little park at the top of the stairs and you get this gorgeous view of Paris.
[00:26:35] Annie Sargent: That’s interesting. So you go there, there’s no Chateau is not there anymore, but you see it in virtual reality,
[00:26:44] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. And the fountains.
[00:26:46] Annie Sargent: You go for the fountains. Cause the garden somehow was spared from all of this destruction.
[00:26:53] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah. I think the destruction was, they bombed out or they put dynamite in the Chateaux and blew it up.
[00:27:00] Annie Sargent: Huh? So, does it feel like countryside? Does it feel like you’re away from the city or are you so close that it still feels kind of like city
[00:27:10] Jennifer Gruenke: Well, I mean, it’s pretty rural in terms of like, lots of trees and it would be easy to get lost, wandering off into the woods. And I saw some red squirrels, which I don’t see in the city.
[00:27:24] Annie Sargent: They’re pretty!
[00:27:25] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, I had never seen them before. I’m used to gray squirrels and I’m used to squirrels, like not being afraid of people. But apparently the, the red ones are a little more skiddish and they don’t like to be where there’s lots of people. It does feel like you’re, I mean, you, if you wanted to, you could go out in the woods.
[00:27:43] Annie Sargent: Nice.
[00:27:44] Jennifer Gruenke: There are people jogging and that kind of thing. So it’s not totally deserted, but that’s worth the trip.
[00:27:50] Jennifer Gruenke: And especially since you can get there on the Metro lines, you don’t actually have to even get on the RER.
[00:27:59] Annie Sargent: Right, right. It’s very easy to get to.
[00:28:03] Jennifer Gruenke: So that would be, you know, a very easy thing for people to see just for a couple hours, even if they didn’t want to make it a full day trip.
[00:28:12] Annie Sargent: It’s interesting. So this virtual reality machine, is there just one or are there several.
[00:28:16] Jennifer Gruenke: I just saw one, but I was the only person there.
[00:28:20] Annie Sargent: Right. So it’s not like there’s a lot of buildings or like there’s no facilities. There’s no restaurants. There is just a,
[00:28:29] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, there is a, um, museum and there is one building or one point, I don’t know if it’s part of the Chateau or a building that was from the same era. Um, but it was closed the day that I went.
[00:28:43] Annie Sargent: Okay.
[00:28:44] Jennifer Gruenke: So at some point I’ll probably go back and go to the museum. I think he had to pay to go to the museum, but you don’t of course have to pay to walk around the outside.
[00:28:53] Annie Sargent: Right. Well, ir’a strange that is was you went you were there on a Thursday. You think that’d be open on a Thursday. So it probably has really limited opening hours.
[00:29:01] Jennifer Gruenke: It’s because it was still March.
[00:29:04] Annie Sargent: Oh, okay. That makes sense.
[00:29:06] Jennifer Gruenke: So starting like the first week of April usually is where things seem to be opening up.
[00:29:12] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
[00:29:14] Jennifer Gruenke: And that was a common theme around a lot of these places is that things were not fully open or just starting to reopen. Which makes sense. Cause it was kind of on very unusual. I think that it was this warm in March.
[00:29:27] Annie Sargent: See, this is one where I’ve never been, or I don’t think I’ve ever even seen pictures of it. So I look forward to your photos.
[00:29:34] Annie Sargent: There’s probably not much there on the photos, but it’ll be interesting to see anyway.
[00:29:39] Jennifer Gruenke: I mean this more than you would think there’s the fountains. And I have some pictures, uh, from the app that show what the castle would have looked like if it were still there.
[00:29:49] Saint Germain en Laye
[00:29:49] Annie Sargent: Fun. That’s great. Okay. Then you went to Saint Germain en Laye.
[00:29:54] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, this was one that was recommended in the Facebook group because I’ve been posting my pictures every day to show people what I’m doing. They have a traditional street market that I’ve visited. It’s on, it’s on Fridays. It’s not every day of the week. I think there’s one other day. and it’s, you know, it was a nice street market, but not really too much different than the ones that I’ve been to here in Paris. And I didn’t want to buy a lot of food because I’d have to carry it around with me for the rest of the day.
[00:30:23] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:30:23] Jennifer Gruenke: But I mean, it’s kind of fun to see, you know, traditional French markets. And I mean, if you go online, there are pictures of this market from a hundred years ago and they’ve been holding it in the same place.
[00:30:34] Annie Sargent: Wow.
[00:30:36] Annie Sargent: That’s
[00:30:36] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, so Germain, it feels a lot like Paris except cleaner. Where are they? they? are, you know, there’s a guy with this giant vacuum cleaner vacuuming the sidewalk,
[00:30:50] Annie Sargent: Hm.
[00:30:51] Jennifer Gruenke: Which I suppose is how they keep it so clean.
[00:30:54] Jennifer Gruenke: The main thing that I was there to see was this national archeology museum. And it is in a Chateau, which is, you know, very impressive from the outside inside.
[00:31:04] Jennifer Gruenke: Of course it’s all museum. But this is, you know, archeological finds mostly from within France, but some, you know, other places in Europe, and it was, you know, a very impressive museum at the level of the kind of museums you see in Paris, even though it’s outside of Paris, where, you know, they had, goodness going back to the S you know, cave paintings, they had some cave paintings that had been removed from the caves apparently and brought into this museum. And then you go forward to like the iron age and the bronze age. And they have, artifacts in terms of like jewelry or, tools, lots and lots of tools that were used at this time. They had a piece of, fabric, like somebody had made fabric linen fabric, they say linen is durable, but this was linen. That was like thousands of years old. That really impressed me.
[00:32:02] Jennifer Gruenke: They had some gold jewelry that had been found in a grave. They had, um, you know, armor from the bronze age or the iron age and
[00:32:16] Annie Sargent: So probably stuff that they took from all over France, because this is a national archeology museum. So they took the best pieces from all over the country. And.
[00:32:27] Jennifer Gruenke: exactly.
[00:32:28] Annie Sargent: Took them to Paris because that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time.
[00:32:33] Jennifer Gruenke: That’s true. That’s true.
[00:32:36] Annie Sargent: Probably all this stuff is from the Dordogne. And, uh, you can’t see it in the Dordogne and you got to go to Paris. Oh, well, yeah.
[00:32:43] Jennifer Gruenke: Oh, I’ve seen some of it. Cause I was in that area. And if they do have, um, caves there that you can go into and see these things like in the caves.
[00:32:53] Annie Sargent: Right, reproductions
[00:32:53] Jennifer Gruenke: So, but yeah, I think it was, it was worth the trip to just go to the museum itself.
[00:32:58] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Hmm. Okay. Interesting. Very good. So I’m kind of curious about the next one. Provins or maybe they say Provins.
[00:33:08] Jennifer Gruenke: This is my second UNESCO world heritage site. And so I was sort of primed for it to be sort of prim and proper because that’s, you know, Impressive, um, seal of approval. Um, and it turned out, um, that it had kind of a carnival feel. Um, so what this is is a medieval town that was important as a trading post in the middle ages that people would come from all over in Europe to trade their goods at this town in France. This was the furthest distance from Paris. It was two hours on the train each way.
[00:33:52] Annie Sargent: Hm.
[00:33:53] Jennifer Gruenke: They have something called the Passe Provins, which costs 15 euros. And it gets you into the five paid monuments. In addition to the paid ones, they have things like the medieval wall that you can of course see, cause it’s right there
[00:34:07] Annie Sargent: Yeah, it’s a wall.
[00:34:09] Jennifer Gruenke: They have several medieval churches there that you can go into without paying. Um, but. The five paid monuments were at first there’s a, the Caesar tower, our Tour César, um, which is a big tower that was built during the a hundred years war because they wanted to have like a lookout to see if there were invaders coming. And apparently it didn’t work very well because England occupied the town. But the tower is still there and it’s, you know, impressive at the end. You can walk up inside of it, even though it’s, you know, kind of narrow rickety stairs, you can go all the way up to the bell tower at the top
[00:34:57] Annie Sargent: Cool.
[00:34:59] Jennifer Gruenke: And actually climb around up in the bell tower.
[00:35:03] Annie Sargent: Wow. That’s gotta be nice. Did you like that?
[00:35:06] Jennifer Gruenke: It is. Yeah. Yeah. The second one was the museum of Provins. And this was very small. Really the best thing about it is it’s in one of these old medieval half timbered houses. And of course the whole town, I mean, this is a town that feels nothing like Paris. It really does look like. You would imagine a medieval town to look like where most of the houses have these exposed beams on the outside. In one of your tours, you take us to these two houses in Paris that are the oldest houses in Paris. And it’s a whole town that looks like that.
[00:35:50] Annie Sargent: Yeah. It’s in the Marais tour that there are a couple of houses side-by-side left in Paris, uh, that are pretty old. I’m not sure they’re the oldest, but one of the oldest, two of the oldest.
[00:36:05] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, contenders for the
[00:36:06] Jennifer Gruenke: oldest. So the museum was inside of one of those old houses and it was interesting to go inside and look at the architecture from the inside in terms of like the stuff they had. There was not a huge amount. The third one was the undergrounds or souterrain, souterrain..
[00:36:26] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, apparently this is something like the catacombs where they had originally dug it out to mine stuff. Uh, in one section they were mining a limestone in another section, they were mining clay, which they used to decrease sheep’s wool. this area apparently was known for making fine wool goods. So then later on they would store wine and such underneath in these tunnels. Um, there, as far as I know, are no bodies under there at what the, where there are with the catacombs, but
[00:36:59] Annie Sargent: As far as, you know, Yeah.
[00:37:03] Jennifer Gruenke: I think the lady said there were 10 kilometers of these tunnels under Provins. Um, and there actually, there was an English speaking guide.
[00:37:13] Jennifer Gruenke: I went in the morning and they said, if you come back at 2:30, you can get an English tour. And the lady kind of apologized at the beginning that her English was rusty. Cause this is the first time they’d been open in two years.
[00:37:25] Annie Sargent: Wow.
[00:37:26] Jennifer Gruenke: So I managed to go on their first day of being open.
[00:37:30] Annie Sargent: Wow.
[00:37:31] Jennifer Gruenke: The fourth one is the, what they call an English, the type barn in French.
[00:37:39] Jennifer Gruenke: It’s the grange dîmes. And it is a, it’s unusual because it’s a medieval stone building. That’s not a church on, apparently that’s not something that was very common, but it’s set up, It was the location where the, uh, the vendors that came from all over Europe would rent space there and they could sleep there, but also, um, sell and make their goods.
[00:38:13] Bring ID in exchange for audio guide
[00:38:13] Jennifer Gruenke: So they have like all these little booths set up where there’s like, Oh, like a wax dummy, almost dressed as a Flemish merchant, you know, showing you, and they have, um, a little, basically a little wand that you swipe on the display and it speaks to you in English telling you about it. Um, So that at that place, they gave me the audio guide, even though I didn’t have any ID with me, but, um, if people are going to go do this, bring some ID cause they want you to leave your ID in exchange for the audio guide.
[00:38:52] Annie Sargent: They’re annoying.
[00:38:55] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah. Um, and then the last one, where’s this priory Saint Ayoul. I don’t know if that’s how you pronounce that,
[00:39:02] Jennifer Gruenke: but, uh, This is one where they did not give me the audio guide because I didn’t have ID. And so I was just kind of walked around. It looked like a place where monks in the middle ages would have lived.
[00:39:15] Bring cash and toilet paper to Provins
[00:39:15] Jennifer Gruenke: And they had some signs in French and English talking about like the restoration of the place. At that point, I was kinda tired anyway, and getting ready to go home. Um, a tip if you’re going to go to this place, is that. Like a lot of places in more rural France, they do have public bathrooms, toilets, but they expect you to bring your own toilet paper.
[00:39:40] Annie Sargent: Oh,
[00:39:41] Jennifer Gruenke: And I had totally forgotten about that. I remember that from my first visit to France years ago, but, um, I did end up like getting a sandwich at a cafe specifically so that I could use their toilet, which is, you know, how you do it. Um, that was okay. Um, oh, the other tip was when I bought the pass, it costs 15 euros, but they don’t take credit cards.
[00:40:05] Jennifer Gruenke: Or bank cards. So I happen to have cash, but if you’re going to Provins bring some cash,
[00:40:12] Annie Sargent: Okay.
[00:40:13] Jennifer Gruenke: And the fun thing about Provins I think was that they they’ve really had a fun atmosphere where they were having fun with their medieval village. There are people dressed up in medieval garb, not just the people that worked there, but also a lot of the tourists. Which, you know, it’s just not what I was expecting, that I would be, you know, touring this tower and there’s a guy there and he looks like he stepped off the set of a TV show.
[00:40:47] Annie Sargent: Oh, that’s fun. It’s not like that every day. Is it?
[00:40:52] Jennifer Gruenke: I think that they do it every Saturday.
[00:40:54] Annie Sargent: Oh, wow, cool.
[00:40:56] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, I think they might’ve been more excited cause this was the first time back in two years. Um, but yeah, they had, you know, guys walking around playing bagpipes, which I didn’t know, bagpipes were like a medieval French thing.
[00:41:09] Annie Sargent: We didn’t have the big bagpipes, uh, that you see today, but they had much smaller bagpipes. Yes.
[00:41:15] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, so there’s a guy playing bagpipes. There’s another guy who had this flock of geese that were trained to honk on command
[00:41:25] Annie Sargent: Fun.
[00:41:25] Jennifer Gruenke: He would give the audience. Members little bits of food, and then the geese would honk all suddenly altogether on command and go out and get the food from the people. So it’s a very fun environment. I think a lot of people go for the weekend because if you pay, they actually have entertainment in the evening. Um, they had a, an Eagle show that I didn’t see because. You know, like at 5:00 PM and it would’ve taken me a long time to get back. Cause it was a two hour train ride back home.
[00:41:57] Jennifer Gruenke: So I didn’t stay for that, but I could imagine somebody making a good weekend out of
[00:42:04] Annie Sargent: Yeah.
[00:42:06] Jennifer Gruenke: little town.
[00:42:07] Annie Sargent: And I bet there were lots of people with kids too.
[00:42:11] Jennifer Gruenke: Oh yes. Little kids dressed as Knights or princesses. With the plastic swords. of bat.
[00:42:23] Annie Sargent: well, that’s fun. You know, if you’re visiting Paris with kids, maybe on a Saturday, you could go do that and
[00:42:29] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah.
[00:42:30] Annie Sargent: bring their yeah. Bring their plastic swords or get some there. I’m sure you can buy some there. The princess outfit or whatever, and, uh, and have fun. Yeah. It sounds like wonderful, memorable stuff to do with kids.
[00:42:44] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes.
[00:42:45] Versailles gardens only: enter at Allée des Matelots
[00:42:45] Annie Sargent: Alright, and last one is Versailles, but you just went to the park. You didn’t go to
[00:42:51] Annie Sargent: the, into the Chateau, which is great because the park has a lot to it. So tell us about
[00:42:57] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. Yes. So I, you know, I visited Paris in 2007 as a tourist, and I went to Versailles and saw, you know, the fountain day musical fountains and all that kind of thing up close to the Chateau. Um, and I was able to sort of, when you’re standing at the back of the Chateaux, you can look way down this big alley and you can see.
[00:43:20] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, a, a pond that’s like shaped like a cross, um, that is the park of Versailles. And it’s separate, like you, you go into a separate entrance, so you go to the side of the Chateaux and enter on the side.
[00:43:42] Annie Sargent: Right. So that’s the, the entrance by the Orangerie, right?
[00:43:48] Jennifer Gruenke: No, let’s let me look at a map.
[00:43:52] Annie Sargent: If you’re facing the front, the main entrance of the Chateau, you hook to the left
[00:44:00] Annie Sargent: And enter that way.
[00:44:02] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, but I had to go back pretty far.
[00:44:04] Annie Sargent: Okay.
[00:44:06] Jennifer Gruenke: Let me go look at the map. And I think I can find for you that the gate that I went into, Allée des Matelots M a T E L O T S is where I went in and they do have a gate with somebody like guarding it. So they’re not going to let just anybody in, but they don’t charge you.
[00:44:24] Jennifer Gruenke: They want to make sure that you’re not. Carrying a weapon, I guess.
[00:44:28] Annie Sargent: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:44:29] Jennifer Gruenke: Um, so I went in there with my bike and really my goal was to do the experiment of traveling with my bike on the train, which you’re allowed to do on weekends.
[00:44:41] Annie Sargent: Uh, huh.
[00:44:43] Jennifer Gruenke: And to see how that goes. And you can not bring your bike up to the gardens by the Chateau with the fountains, but you can have your bike in the park.
[00:44:54] The RER to Versailles is often really crowded!
[00:44:54] Jennifer Gruenke: And this was a Sunday afternoon and lots and lots of other people had the idea to bring their bikes to the parks. So it was, this was a very crowded day at the park. Um, but it was nice. I rode all the way around that big cross. There’s a paved path for pedestrians and bikes, which is nice. And there’s some like side paths that are a little less crowded that you can go off into the woods. Um, but it’s on a paved path, you know, you’re not going to get lost. And yeah, carrying the bike on the way there was not too much of a problem. On the way back. It was really difficult because it was extremely crowded on the RER.
[00:45:39] Jennifer Gruenke: And I had a hard time getting off cause I was wedged into the back standing room only, but I eventually did manage to get off with my bike.
[00:45:49] Annie Sargent: You clubbed everybody with your purse and got out.
[00:45:54] Jennifer Gruenke: You have to do the aggressive puddle.
[00:45:57] Annie Sargent: You have to be assertive.
[00:45:59] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. Um, But I think if I were to do it again, I would probably try to either plan to go when it’s not crowded like Sunday afternoon. Um, or if you do want to have the trains where you book, um, I have to book a seat, you can buy a ticket for your bike. And so you’ll be guaranteed a spot for your bike. And it’s only an extra five, five euros for a ticket for your bike.
[00:46:28] Annie Sargent: Okay. But that’s not an RER. That’s a regional train.
[00:46:32] Jennifer Gruenke: Right. So, I mean, I brought my bike here with the idea that I would be doing. Like I could carry my bike on the train, take it off the train and then go explore from there. So I don’t think I would go on the RER again when it’s just a free for all in terms of anybody can get on no matter how crowded it is and they just push more people on.
[00:46:56] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, well, you’ll have a nice folding bike, but still it’s it’s. You know, it’s bulky,
[00:47:04] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah, it doesn’t take up that much space, but. If you are standing for the entire trip and yeah, it was just that the trip back was unpleasant. Yeah. So I don’t think I would do that again, but the park itself was really nice and I enjoyed riding around and because it’s paved, it’s an easy, an easy path and you can rent bikes there. So if you don’t have your own bike and you’re just in the mood for a nice bike ride, that could be a fun thing to do.
[00:47:33] Annie Sargent: So is the bike rental near the Allée des Matelots?
[00:47:38] Jennifer Gruenke: Uh, no, I think it’s up closer. That’s a good question. I just saw it on the webpage. I didn’t see it in person, so I’m not
[00:47:46] Annie Sargent: Right, right. Okay. But I mean, there is, um, there is on the website, uh, the Versailles website, they show you where all this stuff is. So it’s. Yeah. And you can also rent bikes in Versailles in the city Versailles. Uh, and, and I bet this was full of French people with their kids and stuff. Right? Riding around Versailles.
[00:48:10] Jennifer Gruenke: Yes. Yeah. Most of these places I went, actually I saw more French people. Or at least people speaking French than people speaking English, um, with the exception of Fontainebleau, which, because I think it’s this famous world heritage site, a lot of tourists go to and it’s easy to get to
[00:48:31] Ranking these 7 day trips from Paris
[00:48:31] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. All right. So if, um, if you only had time for one thing you would go, it sounds like, uh, Auvers, because it’s because it’s, artsy and you like that. And your second choice would be?
[00:48:49] Jennifer Gruenke: Oh goodness. That’s hard. I think my second choice would be Saint Cloud.
[00:48:55] Annie Sargent: Wow.
[00:48:57] Jennifer Gruenke: I want to go when the fountains are open because they were not turned on yet.
[00:49:02] Annie Sargent: Is that cause you saw some squirrels cause you like animals.
[00:49:06] Jennifer Gruenke: I do like animals, but I mean, um, I’d liked the history. So I think for me, the key to enjoying these places that I enjoy the most is, with Auvers, I had that podcast telling you the history as I was traveling, there was some clue I had this app and I was, you know, on the train reading about the history of the place that I was going to. So I think I was more primed to be interested in it because I’m interested in the story of a place. Um,
[00:49:42] Annie Sargent: Yeah. When I saw your list, I thought Provins would be a favorite of yours as well, but.
[00:49:47] Jennifer Gruenke: I liked Provins, but it’s, it is kind of geared more towards kids. It’s one of those things where I’m glad that I went, but I don’t think I will ever go back.
[00:49:57] Annie Sargent: Okay. Okay. Well, it’s wonderful that you got to do all of these things and all in a row too, because it’s, it’s really good to kind of weigh them, you know, and give them, uh, your, you know, give them a rating, I guess.
[00:50:11] Jennifer Gruenke: Yeah. And it was interesting to sort of compare the architecture of the different Chateaux because, um, how to Chateau Fontainebleau had a Chateau. Um, Saint Cloud had a deceased Chateaux. Um, Saint Germain had a Chateau with the museum in it, so it’s a bunch of different buildings castles that you can see that they’re similar in some ways in different than other.
[00:50:41] Seeing French Chateaux without going to the Loire Valley
[00:50:41] Annie Sargent: Yeah. Yeah. So you don’t, I mean, do see chateaus around Paris, you don’t have to go to the large chateaus. You can stay much closer and see them, right.
[00:50:50] Jennifer Gruenke: Oh, yeah. Yes.
[00:50:52] Annie Sargent: They’re not as lavish as Chennonceau or Amboise or whatever, but some of them might, no, not quite, but they are, but they are lovely anyway, and there’s plenty to do around Paris without, you know, spending a fortune or a lot of time.
[00:51:10] Annie Sargent: When you have friends visiting, which one will you take them to?
[00:51:14] Jennifer Gruenke: I think that would depend on the person and what they were interested in. Like I’m really interested in van Gogh, so I’ve really enjoyed Auvers. But if somebody is visiting me and they’re not interested in Van Gogh, I’m not going to take them there because. It would be probably boring for them.
[00:51:29] Lyon and other cities are not far from Paris on the TGV
[00:51:29] Jennifer Gruenke: I have a friend who’s planning to visit me and she really wants to go to Lyon. So we have planted day trip to Lyon, which is a totally different thing where you have to buy a ticket. But, there’s a museum there that she just really wants to see that has miniatures.
[00:51:46] Annie Sargent: You can do that on a day trip as well because of the TGV that’s so fast.
[00:51:51] Jennifer Gruenke: Exactly. So you can go it’s the same time as going to Provins, but a much larger distance because you’re going so fast.
[00:52:01] Annie Sargent: And you could do that to go to Dijon or to, you know, I suppose you could go to Avignon would be, you could, you could, because it’s two hours, two and a half hours on the TGV. So I suppose you could,
[00:52:15] Jennifer Gruenke: I think Bordeaux is about the same.
[00:52:17] Annie Sargent: Bordeaux is two hours on the TGV. Strasburg was probably an hour and a half or so. On the TGV. Anyway, you, yeah, on the TGV, you can get a lot of places and back to Paris in a day, but that’s kind of a shame to do it that fast. But why not? If your friend has this idea that she wants to see that one museum. It can be done. And if you buy tickets a long time in advance, so she knows her dates. If you buy your TGV tickets in advance, you’re not going to pay very much for them.
[00:52:49] Annie Sargent: So it’s very, yeah, it’s very cost-effective. Yeah, exactly. Okay. Wow. Lots of wonderful stuff. Any last words of wisdom about these day trips from you or have we covered it?.
[00:53:07] Jennifer Gruenke: I suppose my last words of wisdom would be that I really enjoyed stretching myself because I’m kind of a planner in terms of personality. Um, and so my challenge to find a new place every single day, man, I didn’t really have time to plan.
[00:53:26] Annie Sargent: Yes. Yes. You had to kind of jump.
[00:53:31] Jennifer Gruenke: And so I discovered some things that I probably would not have discovered if I’d had more time to plan. Like I think if I had had a little more time, I would never have gone to Saint Cloud because online, it doesn’t really look like there’s anything there, but I really enjoyed the visit because I learned about the history was able to use their little volt virtual reality machine, which I don’t think anywhere on the website, it doesn’t say that that’s there, but.
[00:53:59] Jennifer Gruenke: Really added to my enjoyment. So you can’t plan for everything is my take home message.
[00:54:06] Annie Sargent: Sometimes just, just go go and try it. Wonderful. Yeah. And it sounds like most of these places, you brought some lunch with you anyway, so, you know, you can’t go wrong like you, yeah. Just bring some toilet paper.
[00:54:20] Jennifer Gruenke: exactly.
[00:54:23] Jennifer Gruenke: Exactly.
[00:54:24] Annie Sargent: All right. Thank you so much, Jennifer. That’s wonderful. Merci beaucoup Jennifer,
[00:54:29] Jennifer Gruenke: Au revoir
[00:54:31] Annie Sargent: Au revoir.
[00:54:31] Thank you patrons and donors
[00:54:31] Annie Sargent: Again, I want to thank my patrons for supporting the show and giving back. Patrons, get several exclusive rewards for doing that. And you can see them @ https://patreon.com/joinus. Join Us no spaces. Dashes. Thank you all for supporting the show. Some of you have been doing it for a long time, and I love you.
[00:54:57] Annie Sargent: And a shout out this week two new patrons Eve Collard and Elizabeth Brawley, thank you so much for becoming patrons and making this podcast possible. This week, I started a conversation with my patrons about dogs in France, and they had a lot to say, so next week I’ll set up my Facebook portal, I’ll turn on the video and I will react to their comments on video. I think it’ll be fun. I want to try this. See if patrons enjoy it. I think I will.
[00:55:29] Annie Sargent: My thanks also to Mike Skaff, Jeannine Heidenreich, and Eileen Sotomora for sending in a one-time donation by using the green button on any page on Join Us in France dot com that says, tip your guide.
[00:55:47] Annie Sargent: And I have to say, Eileen that you did an itinerary with me a year ago. The bought the four tours that I had out at the time. And now you made a lovely donation. I sometimes, you know, podcasters, I’m sitting here facing the wall, talk into a microphone, and sometimes we get worried about, uh, uh, what’s happening, you know, and.
[00:56:12] Annie Sargent: I worry that there’s a constant churn of people coming into the, Join Us in France community and leaving once they’ve had their, a vacation. And I’m sure that happens some of the time, but there’s definitely also a lot of people who stick around because they enjoy hearing about France, even if they’re not getting ready for a trip right now, and that sort of realization puts gas in my tank, you know? Uh, so thank you so much for your donation and kind words. It feels great.
[00:56:45] Annie Sargent: And a shout out also to Diane who wrote a wonderful review of my Paris tours on the Facebook page every time someone does this. So write to nice saying, oh, I was just in Paris and I used Annie’s tours and it was, you know, it was great or whatever they say it’s usually positive or they wouldn’t be posting stuff like that. Uh, well I guess, I don’t know. Maybe they could say they stink, but the, they that’s never happened before.
[00:57:13] Annie Sargent: So, um, every time somebody does this, someone pipes up and says what tours I don’t know about the tours and, uh, how do you get the tours? Like, you know, that sort of question. So I really appreciate those of you who are sharing about the tours because it helps everyone have a better experience in Paris. So thank you so much, Diane Cheever’s Wagner, I think is how you say your name. Very kind words. And thank you for sharing your experiences with the tour.
[00:57:44] Annie Sargent: Another way to support this podcast is to hire me to be your itinerary consultant. You know how it works by now, you purchase the service on, Join Us in France dot com slash boutique.
[00:57:55] Annie Sargent: Then you tell me about your dream trip to France. I write a detailed write up and then we talk about it for an hour on the phone. And this week I did my very first one in French, all in French with Nan, because even though Nan lives in California in his American sh her French is really good.
[00:58:16] Annie Sargent: And she means it when she says she wants to practice her French. So it was very pleasant to do that. But if you want to book this, do it ahead of time, so I’m recording this on April 22nd and I’m booked up until pretty much June 22nd. So I’m at eight weeks ahead.
[00:58:37] Annie Sargent: Uh, so you know, uh, I’ve had to refund a couple of people this week because they were going to travel way too fast and I just couldn’t fit them in. Um, so do take that into consideration. There’s just one of me and there’s only so much I can do.
[00:58:53] Travel Tip: Can you ask for a doggy bag in France?
[00:58:53] Annie Sargent: An interesting travel tidbit on the Facebook group this week, someone asked me, can you ask for a doggy bag in France? And the answer is, yes, you can ask for a doggy bag in 2022. Uh, but it’s kind of a complicated question. Of course, we know that food waste is bad and French people are aware of that as much as anybody else.
[00:59:18] Annie Sargent: But styrofoam boxes are worse, I think, and most restaurants don’t buy them. I’m not even sure if you can buy the standard American styrofoam anymore in France. Probably not because we, they really are doing away with styrofoam everything. So they might wrap your leftovers in aluminum. Perhaps they have cardboard pizza kind of boxes, but most restaurants don’t have any of that sort of thing.
[00:59:47] Annie Sargent: So, um, that’s one thing to consider is that it’s not part of the, you know, part of the normal routine of restaurants in France and typically French restaurants do not give you so much that you can’t finish what they give you. Giving the right amount, solves two problems, the food waste problem and the styrofoam problem. So I think that most French restaurants, that’s what they’re trying to do. But if you need a doggy bag, you can ask for one.
[01:00:19] This week in French news
[01:00:19] Annie Sargent: This weekend, French news. Well, by the time you listen to this episode, we should all know who won the French presidential election for 2022. Emmanuel Macron is still ahead in the polls, but that doesn’t mean much. That this is a rematch of the previous elections for us. Last time, Macron won by a ridiculous margin.
[01:00:44] Annie Sargent: Uh, it was 63% to 37%. Okay. I think this time it’s going to be much closer. If he gets 55% he’ll be doing great because things have changed a lot in France and the pandemic has really soured people on his sort of, uh, yeah, well, you’re going to have to stay at home first and then, uh, you’re gonna have to have masks and you’re going to have to, uh, get vaccinated and you’re going to have to have a, you know, a health pass, whatever lots of people really didn’t take kindly to that. So, you know, if he gets 55%, I’m going to be very happy for him. So I’m on pins and needles as I record this, but hopefully he’ll get in again.
[01:01:35] Annie’s personal update
[01:01:35] Annie Sargent: For my quick personal updates this week. My husband and I are going to concert on Sunday, this hasn’t happened since like 2019. So we’re going to see Zaz, she’s a French singer. did it, you know, she’s that sort of a jazzy kind of singer she’s. She’s great. And so it’ll be very fun. She’s playing La Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, which is a. Uh, concert hall. That’s it’s about 2000 people. It’s not very large.
[01:02:07] Annie Sargent: And, uh, uh, the tickets we have are right up front, so it’s going to be wonderful. So I look forward to that, but it’s going to be fun because her concert is supposed to start at 8:00 PM on Sunday, which is when they always announced the results of the election. So I don’t know what she’s going to do. She’s probably, I mean, everybody’s going to be looking at their phone, right?
[01:02:26] Annie Sargent: There’s no way that people are not going to be looking at their phone at that point. So I I’m assuming that she’s probably going to not come on until, you know, 10 minutes after or something to give us a chance, but, oh, I’ll let you know if she says anything at all about the election.
[01:02:42] Use the search button on Join Us because there are a lot of episodes!
[01:02:42] Annie Sargent: Show notes for this episode, our own, Join Us in France dot com for slash 386. And that’s where you can see a recap of what we talked about and see all the links that Jennifer shared and also you’ll get a link to the transcript, which is great, you know, use the search button on the site because we’ve talked about all of these places. Uh, we have a lot of episodes by now. And so really search is your best friend.
[01:03:12] Share the podcast with a fellow Francophile
[01:03:12] Annie Sargent: If you enjoy the show, introduce a friend to the podcast and tell them that they can listen on any audio app that they have already on their phone. Apple music, Spotify, YouTube, audible, Pandora, like we’re everywhere. Like I try to make it easy for people to listen if they want to. And it’s free. So why not?
[01:03:34] Annie Sargent: I get messages every week from people saying how the show has helped them have a better time in France. I just got one just a few minutes ago from somebody who just had his honeymoon in France. And he said they had a wonderful time and that he’s a new Francophile and well, you know, it makes me so happy and I think the podcast, and it’s not just me, obviously. In this case, it’s Jennifer telling you, you know, helpful stuff. So, the podcast really helps people. So don’t be shy share an episode that you think will help your friends. And I think there’ll be grateful.
[01:04:11] Next week on the podcast an episode about the Cathars and their strange theology
[01:04:11] Annie Sargent: Next week on the podcast and episode with Elyse where she and I take a deep dive into the Cathars. If you visited the Southwest of France, you might have heard the word. Well, even if you haven’t visited the Southwest of France, the Cathars are, were kind of a big deal in the Middle Ages. Well, of course, um, there’s a big section of Occitania, where we live. It’s like between Béziers and Toulouse and Foix and Perpignan that big triangle where it’s not a triangle, it’s like a parallélépipède. I don’t know how to say that in English. It was full of Cathars. Okay. And, uh, in the middle ages and it’s a fascinating story. And they had some really strange beliefs and you’ll learn all about them next week on the podcast.
[01:05:03] Annie Sargent: Send questions or feedback to Annie at Join Us in France dot com. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you join me next time so we can look around France together au revoir !.
[01:05:25] Annie Sargent: The Join Us in France travel podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2022. By addicted to France. It is released under a creative commons attribution. Non-commercial. No derivatives license. .