“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Upon arrival we began our Parisian adventure with some frustration. We could only use Euro coin to purchase our Metro ticket and of course none of us had coin yet. The vendors would not break our bills EVEN after we attempted to buy something. What?! Bad opening experience in the City of Lights; lugging around our heavy backpacks, tired, and trying to learn the rail system.
After finally getting on and arriving at our hotel we dropped the bags, freshened up and ventured out to explore our new temporary neighborhood. Adorable! The buildings all have these cute black iron balconies with flowerpots. The streets are so clean and we have tons of cafes, stores, and a convenient internet cafe next door. (keyboards are of course French so my typing is slow).
I enjoyed my first French meal of jambon with edam and an egg on top. Oh and it came with french fries. How appropriate. Next we were finally ready to explore!
Ryan was still exhausted, so we left him behind and Arlene and I took a recommended highlight self-guided walking tour we found in our guidebook. After a couple attempts, we quickly mastered the Metro system (what a fabulous public transportation system it is!) We start at Notre Damé and continue with a stroll along the Seine, over the Pont Neuf and into the giant plaza of the Louvre. Resting at the edge of the Champs Elyseès, I reflect how much I am loving Paris. The city is so diverse and adorable. While walking along the river and through the park I capture the magic of Paris people describe in movies. The weather is beautiful and the whole city seems to be out enjoying it. There is a cluster of people in the garden lounging in the provided chairs around a fountain. This is so far my favorite place; Les Tuileries. The Louvre is also amazing, of course and it is hard to describe how giant and sprawling it is….we haven’t even gone inside yet!
We continue the 8km stroll, by walking through the Place de la Concorde; down the Champs Elyseès to the Arc de Triomphe. We stop to eat at an adorable café and just people watch. I feel safe in this city.
More to come… my time is up and we are heading to Versailles today!