Girlfriends Get Rotic Visiting France
Oo là là! Who’s ready for a My Girlfriendships® trip? Last month we ventured to England, this month we’re jumping ‘cross the pond again to the country with the #2 most visited city in the world: France.
The #2 most visited city is first for us this week. The City of Lights, so named for all the lit-up attractions (but specifically the Eiffel Tower) is our next girlfriendships® trip. Yes, it’s also known as The City of Love. Well, a girlfriend once told me her favorite word is “Rotic—romantic without the man.” So, let’s get “rotic” and find all the fun, My Girlfriendships things to do in Paris. With so many options, it’s hard to narrow it down. How do we choose between these iconic sites?
- The Eiffel Tower. Built as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair, it was hated by many. The original plan was to tear it down after the fair, however, due to its phenomenal success, that plan was abandoned.
- Arc de Triomphe. Who can forget Meg Ryan in French Kiss in a phone booth with the Arc de Triomphe in the background claiming, “I will triumph!”?
- The Louvre. What can be said of the Louvre and the magnificent collection of art, other than it takes several days to take in all its wonders?
- Luxembourg Gardens. Where else could you watch the 90-year old tradition of children pushing their rented toy sailboats across the Grand Basin?
- The Sewers. Wait—the Sewers? Of course. The most famous and well-read book about Paris is Les Miserables. In that story, the main character escapes through the sewer system, and makes it into a museum. The thought of what that entails is alarming. However, the museum is not only clean, but has no offensive smell.
Can’t decide where to go first? Let’s help:
What to Do
- Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour | The best way to get an overview of Paris (or any big city for that matter), is to take the Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour. The bus travels the city and the tour guide details the areas, sites, and history as you travel along. See something you want to explore? You can hop off. Ready to get back on? Hop onto the next arriving bus.
- La Cuisine Paris | We’ve all heard about amazing French cooking. The wonderful Julia Child mastered French cuisine while living with her husband in Paris. So, how many of our girlfriends on this trip are down for some cooking lessons? We see those raised hands. We’re down, too! Look for them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Where to Stay
- Hôtel Esmeralda | Opened over 100 years ago in a 17th-century building, the hotel is named after the gypsy girl the hunchback was in love with in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Just as artists of centuries past, you can discuss Paris, art, and literature as most of the receptionists are writers and poets with a doctorate from the Sorbonne. Merely walking distance away, do not miss the bohemian character of the Latin Quarter. As the nearest hotel to the site, the stay is made even better due to the fantastic view of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Seine River, and the park of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre where there is the church of the same name and the oldest tree in Paris, planted in 1601. Fun fact: Notre Dame sits on Isle de la Cité which was the original site of Paris. However, as the city grew, so did the boundaries, which now extend out 41 square miles.
- Hôtel Bourdonnais | Our next choice for staying in Paris is a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower. Ready to indulge in Parisienne luxury? This is the place! Hôtel Bourdonnais is a 4-star boutique hotel noted for elegant furnishings and tailor-made services. A traveller’s experience designed worthy of Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, a famous French naval officer and administrator, in the service of the French East India Company.
Traveling from land-locked Paris, My Girlfriendships heads south to the Mediterranean Sea. Marseille is the second largest city in France, and has 300 days of sunshine every year. That’s what we’re looking for—sun, sand, and beach.
While enjoying the glorious weather, here are a couple of ideas for things to do:
What to Do
- Chateau D'If | Immortalized by Alexandre Dumas in The Count of Monte Cristo, Chateau D’If is another French landmark with an interesting history. Built between 1524 and 1531 as a military fort that was ultimately never needed, it was determined to be an ideal prison for thousands of political prisoners over the years. The tour is fascinating.
- Panier Neighborhood 1-Hour Segway Tour | For a fun and easy way to explore, enjoy a one hour Segway tour through the Panier district in Marseille, one of its oldest neighborhoods. The tour begins with a short training session on how to safely operate your personal Segway. Once the fun-filled training is complete (and since not all of us are as coordinated as we’d like, there is sure to be laughter), the tour takes you through some of Marseille's most iconic monuments. Check out their Instagram.
Where to Stay
Staying in Marseille? Here are two suggestions:
- Hôtel Carré Vieux Port | You must click that link and check out the view from their live webcam. You’ll want to make your reservations right away! This family-owned hotel is in the very center of Marseille and right on the Mediterranean. It’s affordable and perfectly located for exploring the city. You and your group can either walk to the Old Port of Marseille or use public transportation to get to other locations.
- Château Beaupin | The Chateau Beaupin is a historical, 19th century building in one of the most beautiful districts of Marseille, close to beaches and famous creeks. The chateau has 14 rooms, and is surrounded by a private garden where your girlfriendships crew can enjoy meals, cocktails, or just relaxing in a tranquil haven. You can’t go wrong staying here.
We say oui!