Our visit got off to a rocky start when our accommodations were changed at the last minute and we arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport without a place to stay. But we got that sorted out (more or less – it’s a long, long story that is continuing) in a couple of hours and then we had a place to drop our bags so we could start to explore.
And explore we did.
When we travel we like to walk the cities we visit, and Paris is a great walking city. Over the next 6 days we left a lot of shoe rubber on the cobblestones as we toured all the traditional venues like the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Champs-Elysees, Left Bank, Right Bank, Versailles, the Louvre – it’s a long, long list. We also visited some not so common places like the Catacombs where the bones of millions of Parisians are stacked like so much cordwood.
But the best entertainment, by far, was to simply sit in a sidewalk cafe at an intersection and watch the traffic flow. At every stop light motorcycles, scooters and bicycles would all work their way to the front of the line. As the light was about to change there would be a great revving of engines. Then a green light would trigger a Formula 1 type start with trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, and the odd pedestrian caught off the sidewalk in the mix. Pure madness but fascinating to watch. And most amazingly, in the entire week we never saw an accident.
So what do I think of Paris having been there? Fantastic! I loved it and would happily return if the opportunity presents itself.
Here are but a few of the pictures from Paris, some of which you may not see in the tourist brochures.
Futuristic vehicle in the Toyota showroom on Champs-Elysees. You have never seen car dealerships like these!