- Monday 23 July 2018
Shandon Travel's Susan, Lorraine and Lisa recently took advantage of Air France's new Cork to Paris flights and spent a few days in the City Of Lights. Read on for Susan's account of their getaway:
"With the introduction of the new Air France route, we had the opportunity to take a couple of days to explore Paris. On our first night we were hosted at the Lido, the iconic Parisian cabaret. This did not disappoint- the singer was outstanding and the show was superb! You'll be blown away by the performances of the revue's dancers, circus artists, skaters and acrobats, combined with fantastic technological wizardry.
First opened in 1946, this stunning show moved to its current location on the Champs-Élysées in 1977. Famous names to have performed there include Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Elton John, Eartha Kitt and Josephine Baker.
Lido offers a variety of ticket packages to see the show, with a range of menu choices and prices. There are three shows per evening- at 7pm, 9pm and 11pm. We opted for Champage & Show tickets to the 11pm performance, which finishes up in the wee hours. If you want to splash out, I'd recommend choosing the Dinner Show which is seated earlier in the evening.
The next day we took the Hop On/ Hop Off bus tour through Paris. In the morning we took the route which included sights such as the Champs-Élysées, Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe to name just a few. In the afternoon we joined the route which brought us to the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre-Sacré-Cœur.
These bus tours are well worth the money to see the sights of Paris. The audio commentary was very informative. I would suggest sitting on the top deck if the weather is good as you do see so much more than when sitting inside the bus. And a word of warning- if you want to see the Louvre, remember that it's closed on Tuesdays!
In the late afternoon we did a river cruise with Bateaux Parisiens River Cruises. This is a definite 'to do' which allows you to see all the city sights which run along the waters edge. This gives you a different perspective of the beautiful architecture of Paris.
At the end of the cruise we decided to have dinner on one of the floating restaurants on the Seine and capture the ambience of the river. It was well worth sitting and watching the boats going by and the sun going down with a glass of champagne in hand. The vibe on the riverside was great, and it was lovely to watch everyone sitting on the waters edge with their friends/ partners and enjoying the good weather.
That evening we went to the Moulin Rouge. We went for the 11pm show yet again and it was fantastic. The theatre is in the Montmartre area of Paris, located in a historic building. The famous Moulin Rouge was first founded in 1889, but was destroyed by fire in 1915 before being re-opened six years later. Nevertheless, the age of the building does not deflect from the quality of the show- it was as good as the one we had seen at the Lido. Due to its worldwide fame, the Moulin Rouge is very popular- the show we went to was packed. Visitors to Paris who wish to experience this should definitely book tickets before they travel.
The following morning we travelled to Charles de Gaulle to do an orientation of the airport with Air France, prior to travelling back to Cork. Though the airport is large, it is so easy to get from terminal to terminal with quick rail services operating between them.
In some of the terminals at Charles de Gaulle there are self-boarding gates with no queues. You scan your boarding pass and passport for the gate to open and allow you board the plane. The business class lounge for international flights is large and accessible to those travelling onwards. This lounge offers lots of amenities, from showers to complimentary meals and beverages.
Charles de Gaulle airport has a free lounge area- Instant Paris Lounge in Gate L- available for those who have a long layover prior to connecting onward. The lounge has zones for sleeping, eating, working and kids' play. The Instant Paris Lounge also has an extensive library and a self service restaurant.
For those who require a shower or bed, there is a Yotel attached to the lounge area too. This is a great facility for those who plan to use the new Cork to Paris route as a jumping-off point for long haul worldwide flights departing from/ coming back through Charles de Gaulle. Guests can book by the hour, for a minimum of four hours. Guests can also enjoy super-fast broadband, a private en-suite with shower, adjustable beds with memory foam matresses and 40" televisions with device connectability.
We had a great few days exploring the best this city has to offer. Getting there from Cork was quick and hassle-free. Paris is a place I would go to over and over again. There is something for everyone- from culture and history to culinary delights and romance."
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