Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Weekend in Paris

After finishing at the Chateau we had a weekend to fill in before flying down to Nice and on to Italy. We have both been to Paris before, but not for many decades! The two times I have been before were both in mid-winter so it was a change to see it in a much more pleasant season. We choose an apartment on Airbnb which was conveniently close (i.e. walkable) to Gare Montpanasse (the station we would arrive in), various Metro stops, and the Orlybus (the airport bus). The apartment turned out to be a real success, not particularly clean nor tidy but up a grand staircase, wide hallway and very high ceilings and a little balcony overlooking the street.  Very convenient with lots of transport nearby and supermarkets.

As so many people have been to Paris (it is, after all, the most visited tourist destination in the world) there is no point describing it other than a few general observations …

Plenty of Parisian dogs still ...
The central part of Paris isn’t that large so it is easy enough to walk around with the help of a few Metro rides. We certainly ended up with very sore legs after hours of wandering on the hard asphalt. And it appeared cleaner than in the past – not nearly as much of the famous doggy-poo in evidence!

Due to the major redevelopment in the 19th Century, the overwhelming image is lots (and I mean LOTS) of beautiful buildings in a similar style, lining wide roads. No individual houses, just 5-storey apartments and offices and glorious public buildings. . One of my all-time favourite buildings would be Le Petit Palais – a free-entry art gallery. It is lucky that there are so many wide boulevards and public squares or there would be nowhere to walk without tripping over other tourists.

The Eiffel Tower is still spectacular, especially at night when it is well lit up.

One of our highlights was watching couples tangoing in the rain on the steps of the Trocadero as it neared midnight.

One of the lowlights was having to pay 4 euros or more for a coffee. Paris is expensive!

Cafes galore!

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