By: CJ Giveans, Travel Consultant
My Paris Explorer with Trafalgar vacation this year concentrated on Paris – the City of Light and Love. I chose this particular tour because although I had previously visited Paris in the past, it was always too short, and was only a part of an expanded itinerary. Like being offered only a small bite of a Chocolate Eclair; or a sip of fine French Wine – I knew it had not been enough, and I wanted more.
I chose Trafalgar because friends of mine had expressed how satisfied they were using Trafalgar on other tours, and specifically when visiting France in general and Paris in particular.
From the time we arrived at the Paris Airport, a Trafalgar representative was available to meet us and transfer us to our centrally located Hotel. And as we were near our Hotel, the site of the Eiffel Tower created an excitement within us, confirming one of the reasons we chose Paris. The hotel included hot breakfast buffet at the hotel, with the always busy Omelet Station was a great way to start the day.
Our Tour Director, Jonathan was terrific. He planned everything to the minute. And through his connections and planning, we were able to avoid long lines that others were painfully enduring. Jonathan’s comprehensive knowledge of history and local customs, together with his great sense of humor kept us constantly waiting for his every word.
Later in the week, it was wonderful to visit the Eiffel Tower monument with a Skip The Line entry arranged by Jonathan. Our visit to the Eiffel Tower was so smooth, including the group elevator, that we saved hours of valuable time.
Versailles was the same, and we were able to hear our Tour Director with the provided headphones; while other groups were shouted to by their guide. It was amazing to see how the Aristocracy of Louis XIV, King of France lived in such opulence before the French Revolution. We even made a side trip to Marie Antoinette’s separate Villa nearby.
Our tour of The Louvre Museum was planned for the end of the day, when most other visitors had already left – what a smart idea. The sheer number of beautiful paintings and sculptures was mind-boggling.
A walking tour of Montmartre that included the studio and living quarters of Picasso was an unexpected treat.
Being near the beautiful hill top Sacre-Coeure Cathedral with its vantage point to view the City of Paris was also a plus.
Optional Excursions included a full day emotional excursion to visit The Normandy Beaches and WWII Museums. It wasn’t difficult to envision our brave troops storming the beaches, where so many died for our freedom. Monet’s House in Giverny was included along the way, and the famous gardens were in full bloom. It was easy to see where Monet received his inspiration for his beautiful paintings.
When we entered the Moulin Rouge, I was surprised to see that Trafalgar had reserved Dinner tables for us at front and center stage.
Other dinners provided were at excellent restaurants among interesting architecture and all included endless glasses of wine. French Cuisine is a vacation unto itself.
The excellent overall performance by Trafalgar kept all travelers in a festive mood. There were many shared travel stories on the motorcoach, or during meals.
I have traveled independently in the past; but quickly realized how much that I had missed previously. Both experienced and novice travelers would thoroughly enjoy this Paris Explorer with Trafalgar vacation. Escorted tours, and particularly with Trafalgar, are the only way to go.
By: CJ Giveans
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