My Thanksgiving trip to Paris was nice, but it reaffirmed what I already knew; city living is not for me. I arrived around 5pm on Thursday in the middle of city traffic. Thankfully, city driving doesn’t bother me, I’m an assertive driver who doesn’t mind sharing the road with other assertive driver which Paris is full of. It’s impressive how organized and functional the chaos of rush hour traffic happens to be. Watching the evening traffic the following night from the top level of the Hop On and Off bus at the Arc the Triomphe reminded of Jazz music; there was no rhyme or reason to the flow but it somehow moved in harmony.
Thursday night, I went to see the carabet Moulin Rouge. As I walked in I received a warm welcomed by many well-dressed attendees ready to scan my ticket, take my coat and show me to my seat at the table. I didn’t realize they actually served dinner there, but I noticed those already at the table had enjoyed a meal. My ½ bottle of champagne was promptly served and I had some time to look around prior to the show kicking off as a band played entertaining the dinners and incoming show goers. The ambiance was festive. I didn’t really know what to expect from the show except for some can-can dancing. It was an interesting show and overall I enjoyed it. There’s no specific theme to the show from what I could tell, except from singing, dancing and very elaborate, colorful costumes. I was entertained and do recommend it as an evening event to your Paris gateway.
Friday, I awoke slightly distressed from having forgotten Little Man’s food, so I ventured out to find him something to eat. I followed Google Maps to a pet store almost 2 miles away, walking in the hustle and bustle of morning city madness to overpay for a bag of dog food and bowl. The weather was overcast but in the 50’s. I was hoping to stop at a café to grab breakfast for myself but was too guilt ridden. I returned to the hotel and feed LM. I headed back out and found a Brasserie where I had coffee, orange juice, and a delicious ham and cheese omelet.
Next stop was the Eiffel Tower. Up close, to me, the Eiffel Tower looked smaller than I expected it to be, but in the next two days, as I wondered around the city and it came into view, I could tell it is a “towering” feature of the Paris skyline. From the Eiffel Tower, I jumped on the Hop On and Off bus to get a lay of Paris and its main attractions while sparing my feet and getting some history and information.
The Bus passed and stopped at most major attractions to include: Hotel des Invalides, Musee Rodin, Grand and Petit Palais, Arc de Triomphe, Place de La Concorde, Opera, Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee d’Orsay and Avenue de Champs Elysees.
Paris is incredible. The architecture is incomparable to anywhere else I’ve visited…not even Rome can compare to Paris. I totally see how people fall in love with Paris. If I were a city girl, I would have fallen in love.
Upon returning from my bus tour, I went back to the hotel to relax a little before heading back put to further explore the Avenue des Champs Elysees and partake in the festivities of the Christmas Market being held there.
I spent the following day retracing much of the same route the bus took the day prior but all on foot. It was a gorgeous sunny day. Instead of traveling the main roads, I traveled by the river Sein and wondered around the little side streets. I found markets, nice cafes, and all kinds of shops and stores.
Perhaps some folks will find it a crime, but I never went inside any of the museums, and main tourists attractions. I don’t think seeing the Mona Lisa would have had much of an impact on my life. Enjoying the city on foot on a sunny beautiful day made more sense. I could visualize how even more spectacular it would all be in the Spring and Summer with everything in bloom.
Paris deserves its hype but like all traveling to major tourist cities, it’s critical to stray away from the main tourists attractions and wonder around.