Paris- My City
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust~
Traveling is a way to evoke thought, create adventures and crystallize memories. From a guy in Minneapolis, the passion of travel begins with a dream and ends in a reality. What a better way to begin than in Paris- the City of Light.
From her bridges spanning the Seine, to the monuments of architects long past and rows of bistros and brasseries- shops and markets, the narrow winding streets and alleys becon to any romantic. Wander and lose yourself in her mystery. Feel her windy touch, smell the city both above and below ground, hear her whispers. Let this city touch you and she will own you.
Paris- My memory- My second home.
"Begin the Journey"
Anticipation looms as I board the US Airways flight to Paris via Philadelphia. Passport, travellers checks, cash, approriate reservations and tickets in hand, venturing into the french capitol is another momory about to be made.Taking a european vacation is something I do each spring, and i look forward to the planning and the eventual trip is all part of the vacation process.
After a long flight, some sleep on the plane and a wide-eyed enthusiasm, there is tourchown at Charles deGaulle Airport north of the city. the airport is a labrynth of concrete and people movingdevices. It is not like the airports I am used to for its creature comforts but serves its purpose. One of the largest in europe, the facility is grey and unwelcoming, but after the customs check and baggage loading on the carts, I am off to find my shuttle to the hotel in the city.
I use the shuttle as opposed to RoissyBus or Metro line, as it is less time consuming and a better way to see parts of the city usually not seen. Bluvan shuttles to hotels within Paris and is 37.50 Euro for two. Easily arranged online, the shuttle awaits and I am off to the city itself ( in about 45 minutes dependent upon traffic at the arrival time).
"The Key- Location!"
Hotel Victoria Chatelet is a wonderful small and family run hotel in Arrondissment 1, merely a block from the Seine and 4 blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral. It is a central location which gives you a downtown, first class view of the city and yet, it is a budget price of 106.00 euros for 2 and 7.50 euros for breakfast served either in the breakfast room or delivered to your room
The hotel is welcoming, most rooms have a small balcony and offers terrific views of the city, architecture of the city streets and the charm of a location which cannot be beat. It is where I stay each time, and from the stained glass iris mural in the entryway to the welcoming staff and owner, it has become a home away from home for any traveller. The rooms are well equipped but not overdone. It is the place and area of both day and night activities as it is central to the city and filled with restaurants, bistros, fountains, people and shopping.
Rest is important to me, but the first day in the city will find me at the Center of Paris in a few short minutes walk form the hotel, Notre Dame Cathedral and the vespers evening chant, and the Latin Quarter for jazz and nightlife.