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Louvre in A Nutshell

Though the Eiffel Tower represents the very spirit of Paris, the Louvre Museum is all about the story of France.  After all, it began as a fortress (by Philip the II in the 12th century ), was converted to a palace (by Francis the I), and became  a storage place for the crown’s treasures when Louis XIV moved the Royal household to Versailles after Paris got too built-up and, as European cities were in those days, disease-ridden.   Versailles became a symbol of all that had to change during the French Revolution in 1789.  It was liberated by the people,  the Royals were guillotined, and the Louvre opened just 4 years later as a museum to display what the French...

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From Switzerland to Burgundy: A Travelogue

By Laura Glendinning Recently, we found ourselves in Montreaux, Switzerland  for a travel convention. In Montreaux you are on the shores of pristine Lake Geneva, on the Swiss side  Friendly note: Switzerland is on the Swiss franc, not the euro.  But it's 2019 and we did not trade any money in the age of plastic and chipped cards.   You do get to choose which currency you want to be billed in when they run the card.  I have no idea whether you can save a few centimes doing that.   We literally just alternated the currency choice.  A weird temperature blip/micro-climate allows palm trees to grow along the shore of the lake. That means there is no winter freeze, but you can...

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Museum d'Orsay

Hotel "Stayability" Index  (Five is the highest rating possible) 1, rue de Bellechasse, 62, rue de Lille, Paris, 75007 33 1 40 49 48 14 - Groups: adults 33 1 45 49 16 15  Solférino /   Musée d'Orsay  /   24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94 Museum d'Orsay History It's hard to believe that this light-filled building with a collection of amazing art was once a train station, but it was.   After the Louvre, it is the most famous museum in Paris. The station was built by Victor Laloux and inaugurated in 1900 for that year's Universal Exhibition. After having received the first electric trains in France, the station was closed in 1939, a victim of progress as newer bigger stations...

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Visiting Impressionism at its Roots

While visiting Normandy, you just may feel as if you are walking through a painting. The vibrant colors, sweeping landscapes, and charming villages are so picturesque, you may start to wonder if, in fact, they are real. You can rest assured that everything in this region is real and authentic. Perhaps that is the reason why so many painters came to Normandy to stir up their creative juices. Come and see for yourself how art and life harmoniously coexist in this gorgeous region. In the 19th century, Impressionism was born in Le Havre, Normandy close to the lovely fishing town of Honfleur. This style of art was seen as a revolution due to the fact that it focused on everyday...

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Custom World War One Tours

Though the living memory of World War I has faded, touring the famous sites of the ‘War to End All Wars” is easily done in a day trip from Paris. Major battle sites are surprisingly close to Paris, for the most part little more than a two hour drive. We can organize your itinerary any way you like. Below are three sample itineraries. (Image: trenches at Verdun today) Option 1 - America in World War I – battle of Belleau Wood When the Russians surrendered to the Germans on the Eastern Front, freeing Axis troops to focus exclusively on capturing Paris, France was surely doomed . Four years of trench warfare had decimated the Allied armies. But early in 1918...

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