Go see Notre Damme. This...
Go see Notre Damme. This building is absolutely amazing and the detail of the work that has been put in to it is just beyond belief, I felt totally overwhelmed by the beauty of this building and you can feel the history when you are here. Sitting in a cafe drinking coffeE. This may sound typically French but you really feel like you are part of the culture when you are doing this, it is just so relaxing- you just soke up the atmosphere, it is great.
Visit the Eiffel Tower.
Cyn and I used to come here and people watch, it was great in Summer and we used to just enjoy ourselves walking around here and going to the top and looking down on the city.
This pic was taken many years ago from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Take-my-Breath-Away Moment in Paris!
I have to tell you about ONE MOMENT that just so took my breath away.
First of all, I was thrilled when the Eurostar pulled into Paris. I looked around at all the people with me and said, "Are we here, are we in Paris?" Everyone else seemed rather blasé about the prospect of arriving in one of the most romantic cities in the world (except for me - I was TOO excited!).
So I took the RER from the Gard du Nord to the St-Michel-Nôtre-Dame exit, except that I must have gotten off the next stop down or came out of the wrong exit because I was expecting to see the Seine when I got out. I'd planned to use that to orient myself to find my hotel. I started walking, getting further & further lost, crossed Bld. St-Germain and knew I was further than I should have been, pulled out my map, looked for the streets that would take me to my hotel. FINALLY, I figured out that what I thought were the street signs (no guidebook prepared me for this one) were actually signs pointing to where things were, such as the Sorbonne or the Panthéon or St-Germain-des-Prés church, and that the ACTUAL signs were those blue placards on the sides of the buildings. Aha!
By now, I'd walked for about 1/2 hour. I'd maneuvered my way north to the Seine, when all of the sudden, through a break in the buildings, I saw the most beautiful façade of a massive cathédrale! I didn't think it could possibly be Nôtre Dame as that church was supposed to be, hello, 1/2-way across a river (but I'm used to the Ohio River which is much wider than the Seine) but thought it so pretty that I quickly snapped a picture. It just so took my breath away. I thought, well if just one of the normal churches look like that just imagine how Nôtre Dame looks.
Suffice it to say that I'm glad I took the picture as I later realized (once I got to my hotel where I had a view of said cathêdrale) that it WAS Nôtre Dame.
HAPPY Happy Moment!!
Photo: March 2001
Many people will tell you that...
Many people will tell you that Parisians are rude. I have never experienced that. If you are polite, they are polite. It's that simple.
The French learn English in school and do know the language, but if you ask them if they speak English they will more than likely reply, 'yes, a little'. They are not trying to put you off. It's just that they don't feel they speak it as well as you do. So give them a break...if you speak some French, use it. They will be pleased that you tried. Otherwise, speak English but slow it down a bit. We Americans tend to speak like a 33 album on a 45 setting.
If you find yourself in the Monmartre one evening and you don't fancy mingling with the tourists and artists, then take a stroll down the Rue Caulaincourt where the locals hang out after-hours. There are some really nice bars and restaurants down this way that often get missed as it's outside the 'tourism zone'. After you've done whiling the evening away, get lost in the streets and admire the architecture and townhouses/apartments on your way back to the main drag.