Sightseeing, Travel

Marseille to Aix-en-Provence, France

You can’t go to Marseille without also visiting Aix-en-Provence! Contrary to the previous cities I mentioned, Le Havre in France and Vigo, Spain, I had definitely heard of Aix-en-Provence. Therefore, I had very high expectations! Did Aix-en-Provence meet my expectations? Let’s find out!

Aix-en-Provence France
A beautiful area in Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence was our second stop on my Grand European Cruise. Well, it was technically the third stop of the tour, starting with Milan, but this was the second stop after boarding the ship.

After Milan, and then Marseille, I think this tour could have been renamed “the most beautiful cities in Europe tour”. Every stop so far seemed like I jumped right into a fairy-tale village.

I love these signs telling more about the history of the city. I couldn’t read them, but I liked that they looked very detailed!

Aix-en-Provence France

Luckily I could read the dates, so the signs gave me some idea of just how historic Aix-en-Provence is.

Aix-en-Provence France

After wandering around we stumbled upon this very beautiful and charming area. The fountain seemed to dominate the whole area – it was definitely a focal point!

Aix-en-Provence France

I’ve seem many gorgeous fountains in Paris, but this one was just uniquely photogenic. It seemed to always be in motion (probably because it was pretty windy this day)! Continue reading “Marseille to Aix-en-Provence, France”

Sightseeing, Travel

Discovering Marseille, France

One of the first stops on our Grand European Cruise was the beautiful city of Marseille.

What do I think of when I hear the word Marseille? Well, this photo kind of encapsulates everything I imagined it would be! It also turned out to be much more!

Marseille France

Leaving the port, we’re greeted by the French flag almost immediately. We actually had to postpone docking here by a day since the weather was terrible and the waters were too rough to dock.

It’s hard to imagine that now when the sky is a clear, brilliant blue and the waters are so calm there are barely any waves.

Marseille France

Marseille France

The streets were pretty and clean, and of course there’s an opera house at the end of this random street!

Marseille France

Our main goal was seeing the basilica called Notre-Dame de la Garde at the city’s highest point. Continue reading “Discovering Marseille, France”

Le Havre France Park
Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Discovering Le Havre, France

When I went on my Grand European Cruise, I knew we would be stopping in some places that I wouldn’t have chosen to visit if I was planning a trip on my own, but only because I didn’t know they existed!

This ended up being a great aspect to joining a cruise since we got a chance to visit non-touristy cities in Europe and see how people live in their everyday lives (and they DO eat beautifully decorated pastries even if there aren’t many tourists to attract)! Plus, I discovered that I absolutely love one of the cities we visited, Óbidos, Portugal!

However, today is all about Le Havre, France.

Le Havre France Park

While we didn’t have to go through customs when arriving in France from Spain, we did have to exit this area once the ship docked.

I’m glad we did, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen this sign, which shows that Le Havre is a World Heritage Site. Very impressive!

Le Havre Customs

One of the first places I saw was this charming square with a museum and lovely cone-shaped trees. Not a bad start first impression of Le Havre!

Le Havre France

Since this is France, I should have expected to see many patisseries and shops selling macarons and exquisite pastries!

Le Havre France Patisserie

Le Havre France Patisserie

Continue reading “Discovering Le Havre, France”

Culture, Sightseeing, Travel

Essential Paris Day Trip: Giverny

Last year I wrote about the Top 5 Museums in Paris for fans of Monet, and I included Giverny as a bonus pick. I only briefly mentioned it, but I think it’s such a must-see day trip from Paris that I’m devoting a whole post about it!

I highly recommend visiting in the spring or summer so you can see the flowers in full bloom. It’s amazing to see what Monet’s house might have looked like when he lived there surrounded by different varieties of flowers. It’s like his works of art have come to life!

Even Monet’s charming pink house with its pastel colored accents is surrounded by flowers. I happened to take a photo when this visitor was on the stairs, and he kind of could be Monet just taking a break from painting a masterpiece. 😉

Paris in Boston Giverney

In front of his house is his beautiful gardens. One of my favorite Monet paintings is of a path in his garden that’s surrounded by flowers of all different colors. I feel (or wish) I could just step right into that painting. I wanted to try to recreate that painting in the next photo, but I’m not sure how successful I was. Continue reading “Essential Paris Day Trip: Giverny”

Paris in Boston Parc Monceau
France in Boston, Paris in Boston, Style

Best dresses for a French wedding

Summer wedding season is still going strong, and if you’re like me, the perfect dress to wear to a wedding eludes you. One way to help narrow down dresses is to only look for a specific type of dress, whether by length, color, or brand.

Since this is Finding Paris in Boston, I tend to look for dresses with a hint of French style. Effortlessly elegant dresses that are breezy, unique, and whimsical. These are dresses that are memorable, so wear them to events where you won’t be running into the same people!

If your goal is to find your ideal dress when you go shopping, I think it will be difficult to pinpoint just what it is you’re looking for. You’ll recognize your perfect dress when you see it, and it might not match the image you had in your mind!

There are so many styles to choose from, so here are a few examples of my favorite dresses to wear to a wedding for inspiration:

*This post contains affiliate links

Getting a PhD, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Ideal places to write a thesis

One of my main motivations for starting this blog was to show how it’s possible to travel AND get a PhD – and combining the two definitely helps to keep away the stress of research and writing!

While traveling, there were many places I visited where I thought were perfect for doing some heavy-duty writing. Some because it provided inspiration and beauty, others because of its impressiveness and refinement. I hope these places help you find some inspiration for finding the perfect spot to write!

Boston Public Library Courtyard Continue reading “Ideal places to write a thesis”

Restaurants, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

The best patisserie (Stohrer) and ice cream (Berthillon) in Paris

When you’re visiting Paris, you expect to be surrounded by delicious food, especially pastries and other sweets. Since there’s so much to choose from and so little time to try it all, I’ve done the “difficult” work by testing out some of the most popular places to make your decision much easier! Let’s find the best patisserie and ice cream in Paris!

Berthillon Paris France best ice cream

Continue reading “The best patisserie (Stohrer) and ice cream (Berthillon) in Paris”

Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Parks of Paris: Jardin des Plantes

In our last Parks of Paris post, we visited the magical Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Let’s take the 45 minute Metro ride to the 5th arrondissement and the location of the Jardin des Plantes. This botanical garden not only has row after row of beautiful blooming flowers, but also a zoo and 4 museums! They include the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, the Mineralogy Museum, the Paleontology Museum and the Entomology Museum. Let’s take a tour!

Paris in Boston Jardin des Plantes
Helpful signage showing the different sections of the garden

Continue reading “Parks of Paris: Jardin des Plantes”

Culture, Sightseeing, Travel

A day at the Louvre in Paris (and unexpected details and sections to look out for)

The Louvre offers so many exhibits and works of art that it could take weeks to see every single item. However, not everyone can afford to spend months in Paris on a holiday, although I’m sure many of us would love that!

For someone planning a visit to the Louvre, it might be helpful to see some highlights and the different types of art on display so you know what to expect. Since the objects span prehistory to the 21st century, there’s no shortage of interesting information to learn and see.

Let’s begin our tour of the Louvre!

Paris Louvre interior courtyard

Continue reading “A day at the Louvre in Paris (and unexpected details and sections to look out for)”

Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Top 5 Paris museums for fans of Monet

I am a HUGE fan of museums, I mean, my PhD is even related to museums! Whether I’m at home or traveling, I love to visit local museums and get lost in art and history for a few hours. If I visit a museum often, I usually bring my Kindle, choose a beautiful room filled with artwork and a large, comfortable seat, and pretend I’m just relaxing in my own grand living room. It helps if the museum is free, as most London museums are!

But we’re not here to talk about museums in London, we’re here to learn more about the top 5 museums in Paris that showcase artwork by Claude Monet. He’s my absolute favorite artist, and my favorite genre is Impressionism. Most of these museums also highlight other major Impressionists, so if you’re not a huge Monet fan, you can certainly find something to enjoy at these museums.

Paris in Boston Musee d'Orsay

While many Paris museums aren’t free, they might offer concessions (or discounts) for students, those under 18 years of age, and seniors, so if you’re a student, make sure you bring your student ID! In fact, just always carry your student ID with you, even when you’re traveling, because so many places offer student discounts, not just museums, but restaurants, shops, and other tourist attractions.

Now, let’s count down the top 5 museums in Paris to view works by Monet.

Continue reading “Top 5 Paris museums for fans of Monet”