An 8-day tour exploring the lives & artistic achievements of
the women & men who flocked to Paris during the 1920s & ’30s
WITH MARJORIE ST. CLAIR
No period of time continues to capture the imagination as the belle époque of Paris in the early 20th century. In 2011, for example, there were major exhibitions in San Francisco, featuring the art of Picasso, the art collection of the Stein family who were instrumental in purchasing and nurturing the avant-garde artists in Paris pre-WWI, and an exhibition of Gertrude Stein, her writing and memorabilia.
We often view the self-indulgent hedonism and intellectual fervor of the expatriate artists & writers of this period through a romantic lens in which they seem larger than life. We know well the resounding effect on culture of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and of Ezra Pound’s hand in molding Modernism, but what of the many women such as Gertrude Stein, Janet Flanner, Djuna Barnes, and Sylvia Beach, who fled America to the Left Bank, where they became part of the vibrant and artistic community of expatriates whose literary contributions included major works of poetry, drama, prose, fiction and memoirs.
What was it like to be a woman in this literary Paris? We know that women set up bookshops, little magazines, publishing houses and artistic salons in which they marketed the products of literary Paris; and while some are better known to us than others, each woman who migrated to Paris had a particular influence on the cultural scene. It was Sylvia Beach, for example, who paid for and published the first issues of Joyce’s Ulysses and whose bookstore Shakespeare & Co. became a meeting place for American writers to connect with one another. Other women, like Natalie Barney who held regular salons, made enormous contributions in helping to create a community of women who were committed to producing serious art and writing.
The expatriate men of literary Paris held various careers in addition to their writing: Hemingway was a journalist; others were bankers, teachers, & physicians. F. Scott Fitzgerald alone had made enough money from his writing to support himself and Zelda when they arrived in Paris. But why did the Americans come to Paris in the first place? What all of the ex-pats valued, especially the women, was the cultural freedom to explore their own creativity and personal lifestyles.
Hosted by Marjorie St. Clair
Marjorie is especially suited to serve as facilitator-guide for this trip having lived in Paris for a number of years. It was during her time as an ex-pat herself that she became interested in the American writers and artists who had made Paris their home earlier in the twentieth century. Later, during PhD studies in Women’s History, her interest was re-ignited in the women writers & artists of this period and she began to share her knowledge through teaching classes on the amazing expatriate women of the left bank. For many years it has been her dream to share her love of Paris and the compelling literary & artistic history belonging to the unique group of American Expatriates who converged there during the belle époque. From these diverse threads, Marjorie has designed a trip that offers a delectable array of experiences, a true moveable feast of the senses, intellect and the spirit!
If you’ve been captivated by the magic of this historical time in Paris, please consider joining me for A Writer’s Adventure to Paris
October 27 – November 3, 2018. Our tour will include: visits to literary cafes frequented by the artists and writers of that period; a visit to the famous Shakespeare & Co Bookstore with time to peruse this unique treasure & learn more of its history; visits to the world-famous Louvre & Musee de l’Orangerie- home to Monet’s magnificent Water Lilies paintings; a visit to the outdoor book stalls along the Seine; a sightseeing tour of the city, taking in such sites as the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triumphe, Eiffel Tower, the Sorbonne, Pantheon, Sacre-Coeur Basilica, the Paris Opera House and a visit to the famed Notre Dame Cathedral, an evening at the Theatre des Nouveautes and a special farewell dinner cruise on the Seine. There will also be time on your own to reflect and write about your experiences. Throughout our journey, we will pause to discuss the life and times of the artists and writers who made the 1920s Paris the century’s greatest decade and seek to understand why Gertrude Stein dubbed the ex-pat writers “the Lost Generation.”
FRENCH CAFÉ LIFE ON THE LEFT BANK
An important part of the expatriate experience was the time they spent in local cafes, talking, laughing, sharing and creating the work that would bring fame to some and enjoyment to many. We will take a walking tour to visit a few of the more familiar cafe haunts of these literary giants: Cafe des Deus-Magots, Cafe La Mere Catherine and the Le Grand Colbert. We’ll visit the famous Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore; have a look at Gertrude Stein’s apartment on rue de Fleurus and Colette’s residence nearby, and take a morning stroll along the river Seine to peruse the fascinating Paris outdoor book stalls run by the Les Bouquinistes. Most evenings are open, giving you time for some independent dining and exploration.
WRITE, REFLECT, SHOP
There will also be free time to walk, shop and discover special places on your own as our hotel is conveniently located on the Left Bank where so many of the expatriates lived. Throughout the trip, Marjorie will lead discussions on the expatriates and time will be given to reflect and write about your experiences. Altogether, this will be a memory-making, unforgettable, exquisite experience. Don’t miss it!
Your Tour Includes:
-Transfer on your arrival from the Airport to our hotel
-7 Night’s First-Class hotel accommodations with private bath
-Hotel taxes and service charges
-Breakfast every day
-Lunches and dinners as per itinerary
-Sightseeing as per itinerary including entrance fees
-Discussions on the expatriates, led by Marjorie
-Welcome dinner at the Le Train Blue
-Lunches at La Mere Catherine in Montmartre, Le Procope, Cafe des Deus-Magots and La Closerie des Lilas
-A glass of wine with lunches
-Time to visit Shakespeare & Co Bookstore & Walking tour to see where many expatriates lived
-Sightseeing Tour of Paris
-Visits to the Louvre & Musee de l’Orangerie
-Visit to the Bookstalls on the River Seine
-Farewell Seine River dinner cruise
-Wine with your Welcome and Farewell dinners
-Evening at the one-man show at the Theatre des Nouveautes with Oliver Giraud
Our Hotel -The Hotel “9” Opera
The 9 Hotel Opera is a charming hotel in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Designed by Barcelona’s Castel Veciana architects, its 48 highly elegant rooms will immerse you in a relaxed and stylish atmosphere. 9 Hotel Opéra is a boutique hotel for travelers of all kinds looking for a place with warm ambiance and comfort. The hotel is located only minutes away from a number of top Paris destinations, to traditional bistros, shopping centers, the Paris Opéra National, theatres, Montmartre, and the the Sacré-Cœur basilica.
Day 1, Saturday, October 27: In Paris (D)
Arrive in Paris at Charles DeGaulle Airport no later than 10:30am, the Group transfer will take place by noon, so be sure to arrive prior to this time. Time to relax a bit in your Left Bank accommodations at the 9 Hotel Opera before we have dinner at Le Train Bleu which is located in the Gare de Lyon – the train station! This opulent train station restaurant is unlike any other in the world—and dining there is an unforgettable experience.To enter this restaurant is like stepping back in time: the extravagant décor is breathtaking, the welcome respectful and dignified. After dinner, you can make your way back to the hotel on your own.
Day 2, Sunday – October 28: In Paris (B/L)
Our first day will begin with our daily petite-dejuner or breakfast, after which we will embark on a full day of touring Paris. Tour highlights include the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, the Sorbonne, the Pantheon, Place de la Concorde, the Paris Opera House and in the heart of Montmartre, the towering image of the breathtaking Sacre-Coeur. Our “Lunch Table” will be in a traditional Parisian “bistro” environment at La Mere Catherine, just next to the Sacré Coeur Basilica, and in the heart of the charming Montmartre. After lunch, we will stop for a visit at the famed Notre Dame Cathedral. Late afternoon back to the hotel. Dinner and evening on your own.
Day 3, Monday, October 29: In Paris (B/L)
Today finds us visiting the fascinating book stalls along the River Seine belonging to the les bouquinistes, who sell old & collectable books, drawings, & exquisite engravings & prints. Lunch will be at Le Procope, the oldest café in Paris located in the the 6th arrondissement since 1686. Its prestigious and historic setting is complemented by its traditional French cuisine such as Coq au vin. Balance of the day and evening free.
Day 4, Tuesday, October 30: In Paris (B/L)
From our hotel situated in the heart of the Left Bank, we’ll head out for a full day walking tour. First stop is the famed Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore started by Sylvia Beach. We’ll have time to linger & learn some of the history of this important establishment for the expatriates. Then onto a few of the literary cafes frequented by the writers and artists of the belle époque: Our lunch will be at the Cafe des Deus-Magots which was founded in 1812 and played an important role in Parisian cultural life. Frequented by numerous famed artists including André Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Picasso, Fernand Léger, and Hemingway, the café also played host to Surrealists such as André Breton, and Existentialists Sartre and de Beauvoir. Afterwards, we’ll take a quick jaunt to the Café Flore around the corner and then onto the Brasserie Lipp where we’ll sample its famous beer or the ever popular, café au lait. Dinner this evening on your own.
Day 5, Wednesday, October 31: In Paris (B/D)
After breakfast, we start the morning with a guided tour of the world-famous Louvre Museum, the largest art museum in the world and home to some of the world’s finest art collections, including two of the most famous creations, the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Lunch today is “Haute Cuisine” served in the large dining room under a large veranda of the La Closerie des Lilas restaurant. Like other Left Bank eating establishments, the Closerie des Lilas was frequented by the intelligentsia beginning in the early 20th century. A bronze plaque engraved with Hemingway’s name (in the piano bar) commemorates the author’s patronage.
Lunch will be followed by a visit to the Musee l’Orangerie where many of the most famous impressionist drawings & paintings are displayed, especially Claude Monet’s Water Lilies paintings. One unique aspect of the gallery is that the paintings are lit by natural sunlight exactly as Claude Monet designed them to be displayed. After a long day, you have the evening on your own to relax, reflect and record your musings in your journal.
Day 6, Thursday, November 1: In Paris (B/L)
Full free day to explore, shop, & relax on your own. Some suggestions: First, don’t be shy to use the subway, or metro, to get around. It’s incredibly easy to navigate & free maps are available at any ticket window. There’s also the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, which you can get on and off as often as you’d like, plus the bus has recorded commentary in English. For Fun: why not try a private sightseeing tour in an old model Citroen through the heart of Paris with its convertible rooftop and a chauffeur who speaks English? There are museums, large & small, such as the Picasso Museum, the Rodin museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Cluny Museum or the Opera’s Museum There’s also grand shopping at the grand magasins, or department stores such as Printemps or Bon Marche. For a special treat, why not visit Sephora on the Champs Elysees, one of the world’s premier shopping spots for fine French perfumes? Then, always one of my favourites is the Marche aux Puces, or flea market, located near the Porte de Clingancourt Metro station. Or, sign up to take a cooking lesson at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. The things to do are almost endless. In the late afternoon we’ll meet at our hotel and depart for the One Man Show with Olivier Giraud called “How to become a Parisian in one hour.” Here is a review of the show. You love Paris but you think that Parisians are … different? You are completely right! Olivier Giraud will teach you everything you need to know in order to enjoy Paris! After the show, you’ll act like a real Parisian in every situation encountered during your trip: Taxi, metro, restaurant, shop, night club… Even your intimacy with your partner will never be the same! You’ll learn the typical Parisian language, practice our facial expressions and how to use properly the famous “Ohlala” You‘ll enjoy a night out in the heart of Paris, surrounded by Parisians and a multicultural audience! This is the ultimate guide to enjoy Paris! After the show, we will have a light dinner at a local Bistro.
Day 7, Friday, November 2: In Paris (B/D)
Note: After your stay, you will have to make your way back on your own to Paris or the Airport. The best way is via rail and BMSJ will be happy to assist you with this transfer
Please Read the Terms and Conditions for this Tour
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Land Only Costs Per Person, double occupancy:
$3,299 payments via check or money order
$3,569 payments via credit card
Land Only Costs Per Person, single room occupancy:
$4,279 payments via check or money order
$4,499 payments via credit card
$70 ($75 by credit card)
NOTE: The Single Room Supplement applies for those who would like to secure a private room throughout the tour.
ROOMMATES: We will be happy to try to find a suitable roommate for those who are traveling alone and would like to share a room. Per our Terms and Conditions, registration for the tour will be held open until four weeks before the departure date in order to try to match everyone with a roommate. If, by that date, we have not been able to match you with a suitable roommate, you will be responsible to pay for the single supplement. An early registration will facilitate this process.
Non-Refundable Initial Deposit, due on or before April 27, 2018 in order to ensure a place on the tour: $500 by check or money order, $525 by credit card.
2nd Payment, due on or before June 17, 2018: $500 by check or money order, $525 by credit card.
Final Payment (amount as per invoice) due on or before August 17, 2018
Marjorie will send you an extensive reading list after you register.
After you register you will automatically be re-directed
for secure payment online by credit or debit card, or mail-in check.
If you have already registered and would like access to the Payment Page, please CLICK HERE.
RMC Travel highly recommends the purchase of Trip Cancellation/Interruption Travel Insurance, and we therefore provide you with an easy way to contact BMSJ’s preferred insurance provider, Allianz Global Assistance. If you need additional information or have questions, please call Allianz directly at 1-800-284-8300, and refer to code F025323.
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