15 FULL DAYS HERE
What an adventure to be in Paris in September….
There really IS but 1 Paris. People spend a life time (I have read) yearning to come to this amazing city. One part of me understands it and the other thinks “really?”. It’s a city that has finally grown on me. I did not have an instant feeling of love like so many others. Instead, it had to work its way into my person.
People in Paris smoke a lot – I mean A LOT! Sitting enjoying the gardens of Versailles tried my patience sharing a bench with two very beautiful young women. They ate lunch, we sat in the sun enjoying the garden, then they light up. In the span of 20 minutes they each had smoked 3 cigarettes and were lighting a 4th when I couldn’t control myself and looked at them and said “really?? If I wanted to smoke, I would have lit one up myself!” In the way that ONLY Parisian woman can be – they each looked over at me, clicked their tongues and smoked away. Dave and I did take a moment out with no smokers to enjoy the sunshine on a bench at Versailles with no smokers:
Transportation is a charm! Bus # 68 runs right past all the major sites like the Opera, The Louvre, Museum D’Orsay, and Notre Dame. Plus you only pay 1.85 for the pleasure of riding with locals who see these amazing monuments all the time. (NOTE the Big Bus Company lets you hop on and off sure but your day ticket is just shy of 30 Euros. You can ride multitude of buses here for that for an entire week.) All that is required is a sense of adventure and to sit back and enjoy the ride.
It’s a huge city! Which of course means that people die there. Which means a huge cemetery. I mean we love cemeteries. Which is perhaps odd for some people and no, it’s not because I also like to read crime novels. Rather they are often big open green spaces and have open art displays. Have you ever seen such luxurious family crypts such as this:
Epernay! Well yum yum! That means a train direct from Gare de l’Est to this wonderful town. That means CHAMPAGNE! Oh the delicate little bubbles floating their way to the top of a delicate fluted glass. The smell of fresh fruit in one glass. How wonderful it is to drink and even better when you are riding an electric bike through the hills! One wee push of a button and in kicks the electric assist and you are off flying up the hill or down a bike path running along a canal. Most people know I’m not a ‘biker’ chick in any sense of the idea. However, an e-bike – that I could get into. Dave and I took a tour with http://www.bikeabouttours.com/_2015/biketour_champagne.htm We were met at the train station by a knowledgeable about Champagne man, Paul. He was from Vancouver Canada and his English was impecable of course and 25 years of living in Paris ensured his French was on point also! I highly recommend this trip to anyone – it’s a splurge at 150 Euro per person but an entire day in the French countryside with Champagne as the drink of the day….
Shoes! Yes everyone knows I love them – boots also! However, in the city of Paris, you need a really good pair on your feet because you walk and walk and walk. We learned the art of doing nothing and something all at the same time. You can walk to see the Arc de Triomphe, past the Louvre, through the Luxembourg gardens and the Eiffel Tower. What we loved most was the lesser known and more intimate Le Promenade plantée. The Promenade Plantée is built on the former tracks of the Vincennes railway line. Paris’ 4.7 kilometres (2.9 mi) parkway was the only elevated park in the world for quite a few years but other cities like New York, Chicago and now Vancouver are following suit. I think it’s a wonderful way to transform an old rail line in a city:
Paris… they say the city of lights… but for us… we tried to live and see the city from the ground in ways of not always being a ‘tourist’. AND we got our Long Stay Tourist Visa completed which means – hello EUROPE!