23291
France

Great Global Get-Together in Paris

Experience the magic of Paris and learn about its local history, explore exquisite architecture and study famous artwork with an enthusiastic group of Road Scholars and instructors.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23291RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
3,199
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9 days
8 nights
16 meals
7 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Paris, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Paris
D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our early evening Orientation session. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. In the hotel meeting room, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program has a maximum of 80 participants. Lectures will generally be for everyone. For field trips and other activities including some meals, we will divide into smaller groups identified by color, each with a maximum of 24 Road Scholars and its own Group Leader. You will explore with the same color group and Road Scholar Group Leader throughout the program. The order of activities will vary by group but all participants will have an opportunity to attend all field trips. The program is staffed with an instructor — a licensed professional “Guide-Conférencier” in Human & Social Sciences — who will give lectures, accompany field trips, and provide expert commentary as well as a Group Leader who will deal primarily with logistics. There are several lengthy motorcoach transfers during this program. Due to ecological regulations in France, new motorcoaches do not have restrooms on board. Older models have restrooms, but they are not available for use. A rest stop will be made along the way for rides over 90 minutes. The Group Leader will announce when rest stops will be made; speak with the Group Leader if additional stops are needed. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. French restaurants take pride in creating a relaxed atmosphere where patrons expect to take their time, savor every bite, and set the pace of the meal, requesting “l’addition” — the check — only when they are ready. Meals are accompanied by complimentary “pain” (bread) and “eau” or “l’eau” (water), so you need not ask for them. When wine is offered, it is customary to fill your glass only half way so the wine can breathe and to be sure everyone has a share. Servers wait until everyone at the table has finished their dish before clearing and bringing the next course. To indicate that you have finished your meal, place your utensils together on the right hand side of your plate.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
3
Ile de la Cité, St. Chapelle, Notre Dame
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling about 11 miles, 1 hour. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; uneven terrain/cobblestones; standing up to an hour at a time; getting on/off a large river boat; expect crowds. Note: the embarkation time for the study cruise may change depending on weather/local circumstances.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers cold and hot choices including eggs, breads and pastries, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll begin the day with a lecture from our instructor on the origins of Paris from Roman development through the Middle Ages. Archaeologists estimate that the area has been inhabited for about 9,000 years. What eventually became Paris began in the 3rd century BCE when members of the Parisii tribe settled on an island in the Seine River. We will then board a motorcoach for a panoramic view of some of the most famous monuments and sites as our Instructor continues to present aspects of the city's history and architecture through the ages. We will also stop for photos in approved areas as permitted and end our field trip in the Latin Quarter.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will explore medieval art and architecture on the Île de la Cité, featuring Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle. Begun in 1239, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the glories of Gothic architecture. Construction on the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris began in 1163 and was not fully completed until 1345. Damaged and restored a number of times, it remains one of the largest and finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere. We will walk to and board a boat for a study cruise along the Seine to view the magnificent monuments lining the river.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for a plated meal with beverage choices of wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
The Louvre, Opera Garnier
Paris
B,L
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Use of Paris Métro; unavoidable stairs; standing on the train if no seats are available. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven and even terrain; cobblestone streets. Expect crowds

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: At the hotel, we will be joined by our Instructor who will give us a presentation on the interwoven history of Paris and French royalty. We’ll learn how the development of Paris and its growth as a major city is inseparable from the history of French royalty and the consolidation of power by the kings of France. We’ll then take the Paris Metro to one of the greatest museums with important collections of art from around the world, the Louvre. The Louvre has been the dominant architectural presence in Paris since 1190, when King Philippe II had it built as a fortress. It expanded as new fortifications developed and was transformed into a royal palace in 1364. King François I began turning the medieval Louvre into a Renaissance palace in 1546. Renovations continued through the reign of Louis XIV, who was born there, after the “Sun King” abandoned Paris for Versailles, the Louvre became a royal art gallery. During the French Revolution, the Louvre was turned into a public museum. The controversial glass Pyramide was inaugurated in 1989. With an expert, we will visit some of the masterpieces found here, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and the statue of a goddess known as “Vénus de Milo” for the island where it was discovered in 1820. Note: Crowds may make it difficult to get a good look at some of the most popular works.

Lunch: We will provide meal vouchers known as “tickets restaurant” that can be used at restaurants, bakeries, brasseries, and cafés displaying a TR sticker on the window with messages such as this: “Nous acceptons les Tickets Restaurant.” (Change is not given back if the meal cost is less than the value of the voucher.) The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: With our instructor, we will board the motorcoach and ride to the Opera Garnier. We’ll set out on a field trip to immerse ourselves in the talent of architect Charles Garnier as we explore his most famous creation. Ironically, some of its fame derives from a lurid work of fiction by detective writer Gaston Leroux, “The Phantom of the Opera”, that was allegedly based on real events. The reality is that Garnier’s palace is one of the grandest opera houses in the world and one of the city’s most iconic monuments. It was commissioned by Napoleon III as part of his radical reshaping of the capital during the Second Empire. We’ll learn about the architecture, history, and cultural significance of the Opera House.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Marché Aligre, The Marais, Montmartre, Guinguette Dinner
Paris
B,L,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; traveling about 8.5 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; even and uneven terrain; cobblestone streets; climbing steep steps; can be avoided by riding funicular. Elective dancing at Guinguette dinner. Expect crowds at market and Montmartre.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride to the Marché Aligre, one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhood markets; these markets display food from local farms and are an important part of French culture. During our field trip to the market, our Group Leader will explain how food is an important part of French identity and talk about regional specialties.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a family-style meal featuring charcuterie and cheese boards with paired wine.

Afternoon: With our Instructor, we will set out on a walking field trip to explore the neighborhoods of the Marais district, including Place des Vosges. One of the oldest squares in Paris, it used to be considered the most fashionable place to live for Parian royalty in the 17th and 18th centuries. We’ll learn how this neighborhood has changed throughout the years, from its royal history to present day. We’ll then ride via motorcaoch to Monmartre. On arrival, we’ll set out on a 'behind the scenes' exploration of Montmartre led by our Instructor. As we explore the area, we’ll learn about the artists who once lived there. The main square has been a gathering place for artists for generations and is still a focal point for the local artistic scene. We’ll stop to explore the famous Basilique du Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart Basilica) built on the summit of Butte de Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. If you prefer not to climb the steep steps to the entrance, you can ride in the funicular.

Dinner: In Montmartre, we’ll enjoy a traditional “guinguette” plated dinner with a beverage choice of wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase. Immortalized in paintings by Renoir and Van Gogh, guinguettes were open-air restaurants popular with the working classes of 19th-century Paris and surrounding areas. Often featuring dancing, accordion music, and free-flowing wine, these were places to unwind on weekends and festival days.

Evening: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure.

DAY
6
Rodin Museum, Musée d'Orsay
Paris
B,L,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; traveling about 7 miles, approximately 1 hour. Walking up to 4 miles throughout the day; Cobblestone stone streets, even and uneven terrain. Standing up to 1 hour at a time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll gather in the hotel for a presentation by our Instructor on life and art in 19th century Paris. Next, we will travel by motorcoach to the Rodin Museum. On arrival, we will set out on a walking field trip with a local expert to explore the museum and sculpture gardens. We’ll observe some masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries. We’ll then travel to the Musée d'Orsay.

Lunch: At the Musée d'Orsay restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal and a beverage choice of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. As we eat, we’ll observe the restored decorations, frescos, and chandeliers and get a sense of what it was like to dine in the original Hôtel d'Orsay.

Afternoon: With our Instructor, we will set out on a walking field trip to explore and learn about the exhibits at the Musée d'Orsay. The former Gare d’Orsay railway station, built in Beaux-Arts style for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, was refurbished, repurposed, and reopened as the Musée d’Orsay in 1986. The collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects show the tremendous diversity of artistic creation in the Western world from 1848-1914, showcasing remarkable works of the early modern era including the Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and Art Nouveau movements. We’ll return to the hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel, we’ll have a family-style dinner with a beverage choice of wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Musée de l'Orangerie, Free Time, Vaux-le-Vicomte
Paris
B,D
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; traveling about 79 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestones, uneven terrain. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: At the hotel, our Instructor will give us a presentation on Paris in the Colonial era. We’ll learn how France's global empire in the 19th and 20th centuries impacted the development of the city, and how this colonial legacy continues to affect France today. We will ride to the Musée de l'Orangerie and view Monet's magnificent “Les Nymphéas” (water lilies). After an introduction to the site by our Instructor, we’ll set out on a self-directed field trip to explore the exhibits. Situated in the heart of Paris at the corner of the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was constructed in 1852 as an actual orangery (shelter for orange trees), with a variety of uses in subsequent eras. When it was repurposed and refurbished after 1921, the great Impressionist artist Claude Monet began work on eight huge panels that are regarded as the ultimate expression of his artistic ideas. They were installed here after his death. The museum also contains works by Cézanne, Matisse, Modigliani, Picasso, Renoir, and other great artists of Impressionism and Modern Classicism. Next, we'll and set out on a walking field trip with our Group Leader to experience Paris like a true Parisian. We will stroll through the Tuileries Gardens to Concorde Square and learn about the importance of these places. We will also have a chance to sample macaroons at the famous pastry shop on the Rue Royale.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Paris.

Afternoon: We’ll have independent time to experience Paris at our own pace. You might like to explore the Centre Pompdou or walk around the Madeliene area. We’ll meet at a time and place designated by our Group Leader to travel to Vaux-Le-Vicomte. Vaux-le-Vicomte was a relatively modest manor in 1641 when Nicholas Fouquet, an ambitious member of the local parliament, bought it and began its transformation into the grandest estate in France until Versailles. Fouquet rose to become the Superintendent of France and commissioned the leading architect, painter-decorator, and landscaper of the day to achieve a unified vision of exceptional splendor that set a precedent for French architecture and design. Unfortunately for Fouquet, the magnificence of Vaux-le-Vicomte was his undoing. He fell victim to a plot by his rivals and King Louis XIV ordered his arrest — but not before attending an extravagant fête in his honor at the chateau in 1661.

Dinner: At Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte we'll enjoy a plated meal with beverage choices of wine or soft drink; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will return to the hotel in the late evening by motorcoach.

DAY
8
Free Time, Palais-Royal
Paris
B,L
Les Jardins du Marais

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; even and uneven terrain; cobblestone streets. Standing up to 1 hour at the Palais Royal. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Free time. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will take the Metro to the Palais-Royal area. On arrival, we’ll set out on a walking field trip to explore the area with our Group Leader and Instructor. We’ll walk through covered passageways and explore hidden courtyards as we learn more about Paris through the centuries. The Palais-Royal itself was originally the Palais-Cardinal, built for Cardinal Richelieu in 1633. After his death, it became a royal residence and a center of political power. It was redesigned over the years and beautiful gardens were added, eventually hosting a commercial complex with many bookstores, boutiques, cafés, museums, and theatres. The Palais-Royal also became a gathering place for debate and revolutionary thinking. Today it is one of the city’s most charming areas and the location of the oldest restaurant in Paris.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: We will reconvene at the hotel for a farewell drink, raise a glass to our time in Paris, and share favorite memories. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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