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Re: Paris Master Thread
Love to hear more details about Friday night dinner.

Will report on this first and get back to the rest another point when I have more time.

We were initially inclined to go to the Chabad Champs Elysees based on the recommendations here, but given we were going to be there on Bastille Day, we were warned that being in that area at night was not advised due to the large crowds for fireworks.

Arrangements were simple as we just signed up and paid on their website, a few days in advance:

This provided us with tickets that were supposed to be printed. In the end, nobody asked us for these tickets and nobody was interested when we tried to present them.

I did not realize the history and beauty of the synagogue before arriving. There were armed security out front and the building was impressive.  Inside, even more so! This synagogue was built in the late 1800s and it is stunning. I would recommend doing a tour of the shul if you don't have the opportunity to come for services.  Stained glass, huge ceiling, mosaic floors, etc.

We were told services were at 7:45 and arrive around 7:40. In fact, they just tell the tourists this and services started well after 8! But that gave us some time to greet the rabbi and a few other shul goers.  It was a holiday weekend so I'm not sure how indicative it was, but there were about 30 or so locals in addition to about 20-30 tourists. Given the huge space that seats hundreds if not thousands, it felt a bit empty and for the most part the rabbi led services without others joining in. But it was a very pleasant service that moved quickly, and mostly stuck to tunes (e.g. Carlebach) that I knew, even if the local cadence was different. They used an Ashkenazi siddur.

After services, the rabbi left and went home but we were greeted in the courtyard by others and it seems the dinner we signed up for was a bit of a young professionals/singles dinner. There were about 30-40 of us and we were told where to sit, probably to maximize conversation given language barriers. We sat with two sisters from Lyon on one side, and two unrelated single gentlemen from Paris on the otherwise, and everyone was in their late 30s or early 40s, like us.

The meal was unlike a North American meal, in that it was (a) unrushed, and (b) delicious. There was a salatim course with leeks, followed by the main course of couscous, Yemeni stew, and cholent. It was getting a bit late and they were still singing, and we thought to leave before dessert, but stuck it out. Instead of some rugelach or dry cookies like you'd get in most American shuls, it was various tartes and cakes, as well as macaroons.  Delicious, and we were glad we stayed.

Our Airbnb was about 45 minutes away and I was a bit worried about navigating back without my phone, but (a) some shul members walked us part of the way, and (b) there were maps very few blocks for easy reference.

We did not go back for Saturday AM as we instead opted to sleep in after a busy week of traveling. ;)

Hope that helps, and happy to answer any questions.

July 24, 2017, 09:36:05 PM
Normandy France TR
i am interested. looking to go soon.

Ok, so Iíll recap a bit our 3 days in Normandy.
On Day 1 we left from Paris. We had a little breakfast picnic on a bench at L'Etoile where we could watch the cars circle and admire the Arc and Eiffel Tower simultaneously.
After hiring a car nearby, and navigating out of Paris, it was off to our first stop in Giverny to see Monet's House and Garden. Using a tip we avoided a huge line and went to the group entrance because we had pre-paid tickets. The gardens were gorgeous and we enjoyed Monet's home as well, but the true highlight was the lovely town. We spent some time walking the streets before finding a spot for coffee. Before our trip my wife found a lovely hotel/restaurant named La Musardiere which was only a few hundred meters from Monet's House but somehow completely skipped by the hordes of tourists. We had the whole place to ourselves.
After that, we drive to Dauville, and after a stroll along the beach, on to our charming B&B in Ver-sur-Mer.
The key to the whole day was turning on the "avoid tolls" setting in Waze. Not only did we save money (not the point), but it caused us to take a lovely scenic route closer to the coastline. We drove through one little town after another, each unique and charming in its own way, even from the main thoroughfare. It gave us the taste of small town France that we were hoping to see.
It was quite a challenge to keep up with all the speed limit changes, as it would veer from 30km/hr to 90, then 50, now 70, back to 30, quick go to 90, etc.! Still, it was worth it.
Here are some pictures from the journey, including our room for the evening. Our host did not speak English, but I surprised myself with enough French to make a good introduction and to coordinate checkout for the next day.
The grounds were very pretty, and there is no noise other than the chirps of nature.
That evening, we toured the Mulberry bridges at Arromanches, as well as the quaint town. Despite being high season, it was not too crowded and was easy to navigate and find parking.

Day 2 to come, Omaha Beach and Le Mont St. Michel.

UPDATED Here are some pictures from Day 1:

August 07, 2017, 05:18:33 PM
Re: Re: Paris Master Thread
I wanted to include pics but everytime I tried to attach them I had errors as they were "too big" even though they are not very large files. I guess the only workaround is to upload them to imgur or something and link to them?

I figured it out and updated the post. Thanks!

August 07, 2017, 07:33:18 PM
Re: Re: Paris Master Thread
great report/pics and thanks! Where did u stay in paris? and were there taleisim in the Victoire Synagogue or you brought before shabbos (and they were open)?

We stayed one night prior to Normandy at the Splendid Etoile near L'Arc de Triomphe. Fantastic hotel.

We spent shabbat at an Airbnb.

I only went to Victoire for Friday night so didn't notice or look for talesim, sorry.

August 08, 2017, 12:04:08 PM
Re: KSML (Kosher Airline Meals) Master Thread Airline: BA
Class: F
Route: LHR-JFK
Caterer: Hermolis
Flight date: July 10, 2019
Meal in pics: Canapes (olives, nuts, mushroom/onion quiche), salmon sashimi, rib eye with potatoes in red pepper sauce, chocolate brownie, finger sandwiches (corned beef, chicken salad, brisket).
Stogel-Hermolis Scale Score (1-10): 9. Steak was a little undercooked and not hot enough, sandwiches were a little soggy and meat not that fresh. Otherwise everything else delicious and excellent.

Pics here:

July 12, 2019, 02:15:48 PM