Cheese glorious Cheese
Staying at a hotel surronded by cheese shops is dangerous. There are few better things than a fresh baguette and a nice hunk of cheese. Make sure you know how much you are buying. it can get very expensive. Always ask for a sample before plunking down 10e for a block of cheese. Don't be afraid of the smelly soft ones either.
And- what could go better with a block of cheese then a nice bottle of wine. We found many good wines for around 5e. It helps if you know what type of grape you like before you go. But, don't stress. Any wine shop will have their bargin bins with really tasty 3-5e wines. Grab one for lunch and one for the room!
Sleeping in Louvre
Sorry sir , i cant resist butto take a picture of ya !
Well going to Louvre is about enjoying the work of art , but if you dont plan properly ..this will probably happen to you - sleeping inside Louvre or you will leave with the Stendhal syndrome - a term used for confused or rather bewildered tourist because of too much artistic stuff occupying their brain .
So do like keny does and you will leave Louvre with a smile on your face !
So plan what you wanna see before hand , the museum has a very informative website, you can hunt down the paintings you wanna see , even if you are not overstuffed with paintings and sculpture , you will probably be dragging your feet coz bthis place is so HUGE and dwarf the Uffizi in Florence hands down !!!
Meeting People / Being Single in a Foreign City
The French have been so nice & good to me - I've never felt so welcomed in all my life - received several compliments on either my French or my attempts at speaking French - they were very kind. Paris, despite the language barriers, feels like home to me. Whenever I go into a café or shop I try out my language skills (or lack thereof); I feel like I'm at a favorite aunt or uncle's house who let me know it's okay even though I fumble in my attempts.
Perhaps it's because I appreciate the culture, try to drink things in, make an effort to speak the language & just utterly enjoying myself that things turn out well. Who knows? But to my credit, I am obsessed with Paris and have spent many years reading up on the place before ever stepping foot there. I am in love with the culture, the architecture, the history, the art, the food, the language, American literature written over there, the general expat history. Perhaps if I'd been less well-prepared it would've turned out differently? Badly? It has been said that it is all in the attitude. Le Vieux Bistro
Suzanne & I carried on a conversation, she in her limited English, and I in my equally limited French. We talked about Paris, I showed her my itinerary; she issued approval over certain restaurants.
Ballet at the Opéra Garnier
I met an Italian pianiste at the ballet. She spoke no English, no French; I spoke no Italian & have lost almost all my Spanish. I tried to tell her it was my very 1st time ever at the ballet & that I was happy it was in Paris but she couldn't even understand my attempts at saying 1st (premiere? primo?). But still we managed to carry on several conversations before the ballet, during intermission & after. I gave her some postacards from the Marmottan & she recently mailed them back to me.
Irishman on Quai de la Megisserie
As Iwalked along the right bank I met an Irishman walking around Paris his last night getting photos taken of himself with landmarks in the background. We ended up talking about Paris, Shakespeare & Co., James Joyce, Sylvia Beach (who’d published Ulysses), Dublin (where he’d attended university) and the Irish folk-punk band, The Pogues, one of my favorites. I asked him if he might be up for a visit to Sylvia’s original Shakespeare & Co. on rue de l’Odeon. He agreed but first we stopped for a pint of Guinness at Irish bar on rue St-Andre-des-Arts, Corcoran.
It’s always nice meeting new friends in Paris and Seamus (can you get more of an Irish name than Seamus?) was a true gentleman and a great conversationalist. He made me promise that when Mr. Connolly and I visited Ireland that we’d come to visit his family because his father is a genealogy enthusiast and would love to help us with our Connolly roots.
Roommate at Le Village
One of my roommates staying in the dorm room at the youth hostel was Nori from Japan. We hit it off due to our mutual interest in art. When he returned home he e-mailed me to let me know I was one of his nicest roommates on his entire trip. How nice!
Photos: Feb 2006
Don't Pass Up the Museum Pass
Like other European cities, Paris offers a museum pass good for a certain period of time. Though this generally covers most museums and other cites, when special exhibitions are involved, the pass is normally not accepted. If you intend to visit many museums in Paris, you might consider a 3-day or other extended pass.
Do not forget to take your family :-)
Paris is a very romantic place with many attractions for kids as well. Never try not to get your lovely wife/husband lover/fiance and your kids to Paris.
OK, sometimes you may try it - look at my picture :-)).