1-2 star hotels are just fine
if you are staying within a budget don't be fooled into thinking that 1-2 star hotels aren't that great , granted you may have to share the shower with other hotel guests, but you do have your own toilete and sink in your room. As well breakfst is usually included int price of the room so all in all its a good deal and usually the lower star motels are in much older buildings so they are very " authentic french" with a lot more charm
Paris Champs Elysees Avenue...
Paris Champs Elysees Avenue song?:
'Aux Champs-Elysees, a midi ou a minuit,au soleil ou sous la pluie on trouve tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysees'(Joe Dassin)
Everyone knows this famous song because its words are the truth: C'EST LA PLUS BELLE AVENUE DU MONDE I was lucky to see the finish of Tour de France on Champs-Elysees. It was so crowdy so people even climbed on a roof!
The mayor's office
The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, has been in office since 2001, when he was elected on a clear platform of breaking the stranglehold that automobile traffic has long held on this otherwise beautiful city. In his campaign, he repeatedly pointed out that “private motorists, who make up a quarter of road users, take up 94 per cent of Paris’s road surfaces”.
After six years the results of his policies are visible all over Paris. Numerous bus, taxi and bicycle lanes have been established on major streets, with space for private motor vehicles typically reduced to one or two lanes.
Until recently conservative politicians would have howled in protest over this sort of progress, but lately they have only been doing some perfunctory grumbling because it hasn't escaped their attention that these improvements are immensely popular.
I've read somewhere that Paris is the least motorized city in France, which may seem like a ridiculous statement if you've ever been caught in city traffic, but what it means is that Paris has the lowest percentage of residents who actually own cars, so there are lots of people who suffer from the noise and pollution of motor traffic without getting any benefit from it.
These people are of course in favor of Mayor Delanoë's policies, just as diehard motorists tend to oppose them. The mayor is also controversial for other reasons, for instance because of his programs to provide subsidized housing for the poor in all twenty arrondissements of Paris. Also he is openly homosexual, like the mayors of Hamburg and Berlin (perhaps this is the beginning of a new trend?), but according to recent polls he is now one of the most popular of all French politicians, with an approval rate of over 60 percent.
Update: In March 2008 Bertrand Delanoë was reelected for a second six-year term as mayor of Paris.
Second photo: Hôtel de Ville from the side.
Third, fourth and fifth photos: Bicycle use in Paris has increased considerably in recent years -- even before Velib! Here you can see some people on bicycles at the Hôtel de Ville.
Proper way to eat a salad
I dont remember being taught to eat the salad ( for example lettuce leaves ) as a whole, if they are big, we could cut into pieces . This is what I was taught in Australia. But yesterday when I asked someone why they devoured the lettuce leaf or other parts of the salad as a whole rather than cut it into small pieces, I was told thus:
it is impolite to cut the salad yourself, it is the chef's duty to cut the salad to small portions. so I have to eat it whole.
ah.. well. staying in France for longer periods of time, I have come to realize how different they are in many many aspects, to people who grew up in Australia or even England.
Shouldnt we pay the same attention when we are visiting other countries, or do we neglect it, because of our western arrogance over the poorer countries?
Dont see too many tourists here in Paris, may be not because it is not full of culture, but I think it is beyond the price range of most travellers, especially those who would go to discover culture in India or Vietnam or Laos ( dirt cheap compared to France )
There are many attractions and superb sights in Paris, so I strongly recommend the sport shoes. If you have a video camera, you need a long-time battery (4-6 hours/day estimated time for 1 1/2 hour of effective recording time), especially if frequently using the zoom options or the display recording mode.