9/6 Update: planned one extra day in London, so Paris got moved one day to the right on the timeline.
In 1988 when I went with my family to Paris, we spent 4 nights and 5 days. We stayed at the Prince de Galles right off the Champs Elysées (my dad used some frequent flier miles to book the room, at €400 per night now I don't think I'll be staying there this trip!). We did a bus tour (probably the Cityrama tour) and then the Arc de Triomphe, Montemarte, and Notre Dame. Day 2 we drove out to Rhiems and Epernay, saw the Dom Perignon winery and the American cemetery. Day 3 was the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, Day 4 was Napoleon's Tomb and the Louvre again, and Day 5 was Versailles and a Bateaux-Mouches tour of the Seine before flying home. I have some photos I can't readily identify that most likely include some of the places below, too.
I'd also like to dig a bit into my family history. Around 1898, my great-great grandfather Beryl left the city of Kishinev (in what's now Moldova) with his wife and kids, and his two brothers and their families. They left behind a sister. The three brothers intended to go to the US, but stopped in Paris for what turned out to be 8 years. Beryl died in Paris before he could leave, and his wife and children (including my great-grandfather) came to the US via Ellis Island in New York in 1905-06. A brother went to Philadelphia with his family. The other brother stayed behind, and the US families lost contact with the Paris family. Fast forward about 100 years, and a descendant of the Paris brother found me on the internet. His family history had the same story about 3 brothers and a sister, with the families of 2 brothers going to the US, never to be heard from again. So somewhere in Paris is a Jewish cemetery dating back to the early 1900s, and I hope my cousins over there can help me find it.
Frommer's suggests the following for a 3-day tour:
- Day 1: The Louvre, a walk along the Seine, Notre Dame, Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysées walk, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower
- Day 2: Ile St Louis, Musée d'Orsay, Napoleon's Tomb, Bateaux-Mouches ride, Montemarte, Sacré-Coeur
- Day 3: Versailles, Centre Pompidou, Place des Vosges (Marais), the Jewish section at Rue des Rosiers, Montparnasse, Closerie des Lilas
Nightlife, shopping, lodging, and eating places TBD.
If I leave London by on the 8:02am train, I can get to Paris by lunchtime (11:17am). Since half the day is gone, I may take an extra half-day in Paris if I still have stuff that I want to do.
Paris is days 6-10 of my trip. This includes one day off, in which I will force myself to relax by taking a day trip out of the city or just hanging out and people watching.
Depending on when I'm in Luxembourg, there are a couple of festivals in September: the Fête du Raisin et du Vin ("A splendid folklore procession celebrates the local grape harvest and the new Moselle wine season") in la ville de Grevenmacher the second week in September and the Wine and Grape Festival ("A folkloric procession, wine tastings, and election of the “Wine Queen” greet the new Moselle grape harvest") in Greiveldange the third weekend. Wednesdays and Saturdays are Market Days in the city. Apparently most of the major attractions are less than a half-mile from the city center so no real need for even a bus.
A few miles outside of the city there's a US military cemetery, home to 5000 fallen soldiers from the Battle of the Bulge, as well as the final resting place of General George S. Patton. Also: the Casino 2000 with a 4-star hotel and multiple restaurants, but which requires coat and tie to get in. I could conceivably bring a button-down shirt to wear for contingencies like this, and a tie doesn't take much room, but I wouldn't have a jacket.
Trains to Brussels, my next stop, run hourly and take about 3 hours. The train passes through the Ardennes Forest, sight of the Battle of the Bulge.