Pour le Dimanche: La Flanerie
Sunday morning in Paris (say 9-10 AM) is free of business and turists. It is even free of most Parisians (as these pictures attest). There is less traffic than in a modest sized town.(Most Parisians who use cars are out of town on Sunday) You can now see some uncluttered views. All of the exottic bouquinistes are closed, there are no street vendos and only a rare artist.Try it!
On Sunday you have other options: a few Hotels are open only on Saturday and Sunday (eg. Hotel Lauzun on the Ile. St. Louis), between April and October (2007) the Fountains at Versailles will be playing for VERY limited times (look it up), there is the bird market on the Ile de la Cite (see Tip), and there are flea markets. Some say the less popular museums are not crowded.
I include my third eye (a videocamera) as part of flanerie since my aged mind is weak and I may never get here again. These, as almost all of my pictures, are lifted from there.
View from the Panthéon
Coming from the Pantheon and walking in the direction of the the Jardin du Luxembourg, you can see the Tour Eiffel, though it's far from this place.
Most of the times I was in Paris I didn't visit the area around the Tour Eiffel. But it was almost impossible not to have at least a glimpse at this famous landmark of Paris from other parts of the city, when strolling around.
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur
Dominating the hill, its unmistakable features a dazzling white dome and a massive bell tower, which contains one of the heaviest bells in the world.
Its morning service and its plainsong are also impressive.
The basic 4
I doubt anyone would expect a tourist to be fluent in French.
I met virtually no difficulty with language in Paris, which was a surprise, given how often you hear people say the French refuse to speak English etc.
The key is to be polite and know the basic 4 phrases:
S'il vous plait
You'll get around just fine with these;)
Bring ZIPLOCK BAGS, KNIVE, MEASURING CUPS etc.
Here you pay when you check out in a food store for a sack.
Bring the free ones you have collected at home, or better yet, bring a shopping bag.
You will need it here just to carry your purchases.
Bring different sizes of ziplock bags which can be used to preserve your foods.
If you are coming during the hot season, bring an insulated sack to keep your frozen things frozen.
A serrated edged knive is very useful too, so bring that. You can buy a baguette for around 1 euro, and cut it
in two for the beginnings of a great sandwich. Take a look around Paul's or other shops for your luncheon
inspiration. Napkins are also a good idea if you are going to eat your picnic properly. Many of these items
can also be purchased at the market. The weather in Paris changes rapidly! Bring a small weightless umbrella that provides coverage from the sun as well
as the rain, and a lite weight jacket in the summer.
July was hot this year, but August is very cool, just like late fall! Do not rely on buying anything here that you really use and need.
Often, the store hours are short and the vacation periods long!
To adjust to their hours is stressful if you are used to a 24/7 city.
Vitamens, contact lense solution are very costly here. If you are going to stay here for some months or more, do bring your own measuring cups and
coookbooks. You can always translate the English/US system into the metric, but in the beginning, it is just too stressful with so much adaptation taking place. Bring essential ingredients for your favorite ethnic foods.
Jalapeno peppers in a can are not sold here.
They are essential to making guacamole, which I love to prepare for guests.
There are no sweet pickles or sweet pickle relish is France. There are also no dill pickles here. (La russe doux is not sweet pickles, but it is the only sweet pickle in France!
Lastly, bring your own organic regular oatmeal. They only have quick cooking oats in 500 gram packages!
Since the days of being a professional model and a lover of good nutrition, I eat the stuff everyday-not croissants.
I do not intend to change this habit to one of a quick expresso and pastry. I love myself too much for that!
The best price for the oatmeal (.85 cents) is at FranPrix, and the worst price (2.75 euros) is at Monoprix and
everywhere else that I have shopped. They have no regular cooking oats in France, just the quick cooking ones.
Why?Because they don't eat a hearty breakfast here.