not so easy to consult internet in paris
here are a few addresses of "X Arena" cyber cafes : 43 bd Sebastopol 75001 Paris
17 r Soufflot 75005 Paris
22 r Houdon 75018 Paris
la baguenaude : 30 r Grande Truanderie 75001 Paris
cyber cube : 12 r Daval 75011 Paris
5 r Mignon 75006 Paris
9 r d'Odessa 75014 Paris
Cybersquare 1 pl République 75003 Paris (in passage Vendome, between La taverne and Indiana Café)
View of Eiffel at night.
I think the best view of Eiffel tower at night to see the brightly and beautifully lit Eiffel is from Trocadero. There are many tourists there and quite crowded too. It might not be a romantic place to be due to the crowd. But the view of the Eiffel is fantastic. There are also many touters selling souvenirs such as, key chain with a small eiffel tower, eiffel tower as paper weight, etc. Do remember to bargain. I did tried to bargain at 50% at the quoted price. :-)
Nice place to people watch too.
"Rude" French waiters
People have asked me how is it that I get such a good response from the waiters & others & I think that must be the secret is the carrying of the journal, being seen writing in it. I've wondered if maybe they think I'm a writer, possibly a travel writer who is doing research? In any case, writers are highly respected in Paris and if you're seen writing even in a journal? Who knows?
Perhaps that's also part of how I was perceived. I wasn't impatient, I didn't press for the servers' attention. But would write & relax & enjoy my surroundings. Every once in a while I'd catch the eye & request something. My moments there were very laid-back. However, there was no place I HAD to be (like at home) so I could afford to be like that.
French servers are not rude, they're just very efficient and very focused on their job; they just don’t have time to be chit-chatty which is what many Americans expect when they think of great service.
Now as for my favorite restaurant, Le Vieux Bistro, I’ve heard mixed reviews on service. I think it may depend on the server that you get. My server was Philippe and he helped to make mine a memorable experience. Even the other servers said he was trés gentil (very nice).
Patricia Wells had complained about service in Bofinger but whatever problems they were having in the past with service issues seems to be resolved now - they treated me wonderfully there
Plus, I found French servers to be very accommodating. At the Café Tabac Jean Bart (on the corner of rue Caron & rue St-Antoine in the Marais - rue Caron is the street the runs from the middle of Place St-Catherine) – they fixed me up with some frites & cidre at midnight when other restos in the area were closed. They also make a great cup of cafe crème in the morning. I was sitting at L'Été en Pente Douce in Montmartre with 2 Britishers, Poppy & Sue, who were complaining about "these rude French". It's true the server never cracked a smile but she was very efficient in serving them. At one point, I looked up, caught the lady’s eye, smiled and she then broke into a smile for my benefit alone.
Photo: April 2003
Try to speak the language as...
Try to speak the language as much as possible or at least ask the people if they speak english first. The French people can be very rude to you. We were not even seated at a restaurant because we were Americans and did not speak english and this was a restaurant located in one of the travel books.
In any travel situation, it is good to take only what you can carry. Smaller suitcases with less belongings is best because accomodation in Europe (all over) is smaller than some American hotels. I found it difficult in some places to open up my suitcase because it was full-size, thick, and wide (not to mention heavy!). Other places, however, are large enough for full-size baggage. It was rather warm when I was in Paris, and the sun was shining. The weather is quite unpredictable, so I would prepare for the best and the worst. Bring a sweater in case of cool weather, but also bring lighter clothing for a sunny day. Nice, comfortable shoes (probably ones that don't come untied every two seconds) would be best for travel in Paris. If you visit Versailles or the Louvre, not to mention scouting for a nice restaurant near your hotel/accomodation, you'll probably be doing a lot of walking. What else would you need? Sunglasses or a cap. Formal wear for evening shows, dinner, or the cabaret. Clothing and gear should not stress you while packing to visit Paris. If you have prescription medication, prepare it from home. There are several pharmacies in Paris, but it would probably be easier to just have the medicine on hand. Bring video and still. Both will be very handy, as Paris is beautiful and sometimes video is better, sometimes still shots are better. It is dark in Notre Dame and other cathedrals, but they do not always allow flash (Notre Dame doesn't). Photos of the stained glass from the inside turn out very nicely. Zoom, if you have it, is a nice option, but I would not go out and buy a new camera just because you're going to Paris and you are just dying to use zoom (well, if you absolutely must, then you can, I'm not stopping you). Bring lots and lots of film, because though you can buy it in Paris, you'll save time by bringing it from home. Time you can use for sightseeing or other enjoyable things. My mind is muddled at the moment so I will have to come back to this. I have some tips, but I'll put them up with the photos, later.