Paris: The best pre-cruise port

Three days in Paris – could there be a better way to gear up for a canal cruise?

A lovely Parisian breakfast

We stayed in a perfect hotel, the Hotel Duc De Saint Simon, (www.hotelducdesaintsimon.com) in St. Germain des Pres. It is a jewel, quiet, clean and elegant. It is small, just 35 rooms, and our room was tiny, but the large windows looked out on the garden, the sheets were high thread count, with the hotel’s emblem embroidered on the top, and the marble bathroom was immaculate.

We walked through Montmartre, toured all of the major sites, strolled the Tuilleries, shopped in the Bon Marche and Galleries Lafayette and did some major damage in the Maille store. We spent an afternoon in the Musee D’Orsay, looking with particular interest at the Sisley’s, since we will be visiting Moret on our cruise, where the artist did much of his work.

A favorite place to shop

We tasted macaroons in Laduree and dined in some nice bistros. Best of all was breakfast in Le Flores, a little local cafe. I had forgotten how delicious the croissants were and how good a half baguette slathered with fresh butter and Grand Mamman apricot jam tastes with a big cup of cafe au lait.

At the end of our Parisian idyll, we took the metro to Gare Bercy and caught the train to Sens and the beginning of our cruise.

I adored the days in Paris, and think it was a good way to recover from the jetlag and acquire a few essential words of French.

But then I think any excuse to visit Paris is legitimate.

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