A Tourist Trip to Paris

In France, Photo, Travel 2011 on April 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm

With the arrival of Alex and Marcus, and the very short timeline we had to work with (only one day with them!), the five of us took off for Paris with the aim to take in a many of the iconic sights and, maybe more importantly tastes, as we could in one day.

So though I get the pleasure of spending weeks in and around Paris, I can give a few pretty good suggestions of where to head if you ever find yourself in Paris for just one day.

The first decision to make is what your main goal is. Are you a museum goer? Do you just want to tick off as many of the top ten as you can, or do you mostly just want to soak in the atmosphere?

As the only museum goer in the group, and one who is more than happy to put off all of my art interests for another day, we settled for a little itinerary somewhere between sightseeing and just soaking it all in.

Paris is very walkable. So it’s very easy to make a few tracks around the city while eating here and there and also seeing the main iconic sites.

We chose to start near Notre Dame, snapping a few photos and thanking Our Lady for not intriguing us so much as to go in (ages long line), before heading off in the direction of any cafe offering a delicious and affordable petit déjeuner, also known as breakfast.

From Notre Dame, it’s easy to cross the river and just head in the general direction of the Eiffel Tower. So we started our little stroll posing for pictures by the river Seine, then finding a little cafe for croissants, baguette, a bit of juice and some morning espresso – or tea for me.

To entertain ourselves between our cafe and the tower, we kept an eye out hoping to spot some seemingly delicious vendors to pick up food for a picnic at lunch. We managed to get a couple bottles of wine, some cheese, a bit of ham and, of course, a few baguettes, and some macaroons before reaching the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Now, if you haven’t been to Paris, first of all, you really need to go…. right now. The city is beautiful, especially in spring, and I simply don’t understand how anyone could not love it. It is so lovely in fact, that even the Parisians, who are occasionally notorious for being a bit angsty toward tourists, can’t resist finding a spot in front of the city’s most recognizable icon on such a sunny day.

So with our very French snacks, the perfect weather, and an iconic backdrop, we settled into a pretty fabulous lunch, with a group of French teenagers riding laughing and kissing on one side of us and a little family complete with French singing, guttering playing uncle on the other side.

It was pretty fabulous, but after a couple of hours, lots of pictures, and a few bottles of wine, we figured we better get going if Marcus and Alex were going to see anything.

Next stop, Arc de Triomphe.

You can walk from the lawn on one side of the Eiffel Tower, all the way to the other side, past the fountains, to get a great view of all sides and even underneath along the way. By the time you’ve snapped your 100th picture, you are only a few more blocks to the Arc, the famous Champs D’Elysees, and that dreaded roundabout, L’Etoile.

Paris traffic at it’s very best.

A few snapshots here, and we pretty much had our icons sorted.

Though the Arc is only about a 10 minute walk from the Louvre and Orsay, as mentioned, we decided art museums were not on the agenda. So Kelsey instead suggested that we check out Montmarte and Sacre Cœur. So we hopped on the Metro and headed to the 9th Arrondisement.

Sacre Cœur is a bit of a hike up a hill from the Anvers metro station, but well worth it with it’s beautiful view and free entry. We walked through the church and snapped a few pictures before heading around the corner to the plaza, crowded with cafe tables and artists. We found a little wine terrace and enjoyed the musings of a street violinist before heading back through and taking a better look at some of the art.

Finally, with a few tired feet, it was time to head back to Fontainebleau. Of course there are things we missed, but we did pretty well for less than one day in Paris.

Again, if you haven’t been, do go. It really may be the most beautiful city in the world.

Tripod in front of the Eiffel Tower


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