The last few days of our trip to Europe were spent in Paris. My only regret is that there just weren’t enough days.
But like any great city, you could stay for months and still not see all there is to see.
So, we hit the high spots, and a couple off-the-beaten-path spots, and left wanting to return.
We started by making a rookie mistake – waiting to book a hotel or flat and it almost cost us – either with a bad location or outrageous price. We ended up a little out of the main area of Paris but close to a metro station, in the Port Royal area, and quite liked it. We found out it was Paris Fashion Week, but in reality, Paris is always bustling with tourists.
We also had a funny experience that made us look like rookie travelers. After getting off the speed train from Strasbourg, we tried to buy tickets for the regional train that took us within blocks of our flat. We got our change all ready, then stood at the machine trying to figure out where to put the coins. We ended up shoving them into the credit card slot before stepping back and seeing a sign that said “No cash.” We had a good laugh, but I’m sure the next person in line, and the maintenance worker, did not. Of course it was the machine’s fault….the very next machine had a coin slot.
After getting settled and enjoying the Port Royal area the first evening, we embarked on a full day of touring the high spots of Paris. To do this, we did a “hop on, hop off” bus, something I would highly recommend in any city it is offered. We have done it in Ottawa and New York, and in Paris it got us around to the best spots.
We had lunch on the Champs-Elysees (bring your money), walked at the base of the Arc de Triomphe, and of course stopped and walked around the Eiffel Tower. We then did a one-hour boat ride along the Seine. We saw many of the same sights, but from a different perspective, and on a sunny fall day, who can beat a boat ride?
We saw the thousands of padlocks that are a recent phenomenon, attached to several bridges with the names of lovers printed on them. We passed under the “make a wish” bridge.
Paris is the most visited city in the world, and it’s no wonder. It offers amazing architecture, history, wonderful cafes and markets and street vendors selling art, old books, record albums, and trinkets. And a new phenomenon for sale at the base of the Eiffel Tower – selfie sticks! When did selfie sticks become the hot selling item? Take a look around, everyone is taking selfies!
We ended this action-packed day with a stroll down Rue Daguerre and supper on this little street away from the main Paris attractions. More to come on Paris…