Paris on My Mind – Photo Retrospective

In light of the recent attacks, Paris is on my mind.

Paris 1998
Paris 1998

My first trip to Paris was in October 1998. My pathetic high school French immediately gave me away as American, but everyone that I encountered was warm and friendly.  My friend and I flew into Charles de Gaulle for a long weekend.  Our hotel was near the airport which required a train trip each day into the city for sightseeing. The currency was the French franc (pre-Euro), no one had mobile phones, and paper maps provided directions to each of our destinations. 1998_tickets I spent a full day at the Louve and finished the day with an evening view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.  I was hooked on Paris and crammed as many other attractions into the next day as possible before leaving.

Place de la Concorde 2001
Place de la Concorde 2001

In the years since, I have gone back to Paris several more times, usually by myself (sans selfie stick resulting in few photos). In May 2001, during our European vacation, my Mother and I spent a week in Paris.

The Louvre 2001

The Louvre 2001

2001_Paris Bridge
Pont Neuf bridge 2001
Jardin des Tuileries 2001
Jardin des Tuileries 2001
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe 2001

2001_ConcordeMomJenAlong with the top tourist destinations, we toured the Paris Opera house (Palais Garnier) and explored the famous fountains and gardens (Jardin des Tuilleries) around the city.  By this time, the currency was Euro, I knew to take the train in from London, and our hotel was in the city near the train station.  We still relied on paper maps, and we selected restaurants by delicious smells as we walked by.

2001 Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris 2001

More recent visits have included internet booked hotels & train, mobile phone with international texting, and the same warm and friendly people of Paris.

Many years have passed since my last visit, and I find that today, Paris is on my mind.

Are you ready to visit Paris?  First timers, or ready for an awesome trip, here are Practical Tips for Visiting Paris from Anna Everywhere.  She guides you through using the metro public transportation, tips for museum tickets, and the real story on the Paris Catacombs!

Mayans in Cancun, Mexico

The most well-known Mayan ruins and archaeological sites are in the interior of Mexico and Central America which can be difficult to visit, often requiring long car or bus rides.  The nearest airport to Chichen Itza is Cancun and then it is still several hours travel by car.  There are two noteworthy Mayan sites located within Cancun.

El Rey
El Rey
El Rey
El Rey

El Rey is located along the Hotel Zone of Cancun, tucked away behind large trees and a small sign.  For 43 pesos (per person) this hidden gem is an old Mayan village for exploration.  The area surrounding the structures is cut back leaving very little shade.  The site opens at 8 AM for the coolest temperatures.  There are plenty of signs in both Spanish and English translation.

View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site
View of modern hotel in the distance at the El Rey site

The entire site takes less than an hour to walk and take a few photos.

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The Mayan Museum, Museo Maya de Cancun, is just down the street from the El Rey site.  The museum opens at 9 am, one hour later than El Rey, allowing for a full morning of Mayan history. At a mere 57 pesos, the entrance fee is one of the best bargains in Cancun!

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