So, we went for a short walk around our area on Tuesday evening, had a nice pizza in a local restaurant and went into the city centre via Metro. All as planned.
Just a short walk and we were on the 6 train that goes north to ‘Charles de Gaulle-Étoile’, in fact the Arc de Triomphe, at the head of the Champs-Élysées. It is certainly a colourful experience, walking down this main thoroughfare, with all the shops lit up, along with the monuments and the red and bright lights of the traffic. What surprised me most was the amount of down market establishments present (McDonald’s, Starbucks etc.) alongside the more salubrious joints.
It was colder now than it had been all week, not as cold as it is here at home now, but chilly. That led to a brisk walk back down towards the river and us half way to our temporary home. The river was very busy and even prettier than the Champs Élysées. The Bateaux Mouches were lit up like Christmas and cruising up and down the river, under many of the lit-up bridges. A really pretty sight.
We continued home by walking along the bottom end of the Champs de Mars and then following the Metro line to our street. We had our last drink in Paris sat outside the bar on the corner: 1 pastis + 1 Perrier = €9.40!
So, what will I remember most about Paris, and perhaps recommend to others? [Flickr Album]
- Les Invalides
– Although occasionally free (out of season) it’s well worth paying the entry fee to take a look around this museum and mausoleum. The gardens surrounding it are free. Just look for the golden dome.
- Coulée Vert
– Starting just south east of Place Bastille, the walk along this old railway line takes you above various parts of the city – where you can see some of the art deco/nouveau architecture up close, through small housing estates and parks – almost as far as Chateau Vincennes – which is well worth the extra mile or so.
- Eiffel Tower
– Being just around the corner made it easy for us to be there quite early (10:30am ish) and to avoid the massive queues that build up. If you can purchase tickets online (book early) do so – otherwise come early. We had a short 20 minutes wait queuing to get tickets and then to enter the tower. Go to the very top for magnificent views. It’s a must.
- Sacré Coeur
– Various Metro routes and stops will place you at the bottom of the hill from Sacré Coeur. Take the funicular up the hill if you must, but the walk through the gardens is worth the effort. The views from the top are superb and the proximity to Montmartre make this visit worth planning a full day.
– We simply planned a Metro stop, got out and walked. There’s so much to see in and around Paris that you can do much of it on your own. If you need more information about the city – take a guided walk. This is how we found The Louvre, The Musee D’Orsay, Notre Dame, the river and so on. Simply walk – and look UP.
Back now :-)