Teacher Jane visiting Paris
Visiting Paris was an amazing adventure. The proposal was to make the city on foot. And it actually happened this way. In the 18, 19 km walked daily, I was able to discover historical places off the beaten track, like the Saint Paul, Saint Louis Church a few meters from the hotel where I stayed. I have to admit to being one of my favorites. This church was constructed from 1627 to 1641 by the Jesuit architects Étienne Martellange and François Derand, on the orders of Louis XIII of France.
One of the delights of Paris is the public transport. Clean, safe, punctual, with its electronic signs indicating the time of arrival, polite drivers who speak English or otherwise, always find a way to understand the tourist . It surprised me how French people are (in general) kind (contrary to the comments I’d heard), the way they take care of their dogs (who bear ID number), as well as their use and care for their public places. I fell in love with Place des Vosges where it is possible to visit the house of Vitor Hugo, its medieval arches and its lawn, where one can sit and even lie down on the sunny days, feeling the Parisian energy. This Parisian characteristic of using its innumerable nooks, sitting on the grass, on the benches while having lunch, is charming and even with many people enjoying the same place, one realizes an order and speak low - very different from our culture.
Another Parisian feature is the use of the benches of the river Seine. It is the point to meet friends, watch street shows, dance, eat ice cream, have a beer or drink wine (which are delicious and inexpensive) while observing the comings and goings of the bateaus full of tourists. Gradually the city gets dusky, at this time of the year (May to July) always at 10pm, and then you can see the iron lady, the Eifel Tower, turn on its lights every closed hour and twinkle for 5 minutes as if to say, ‘look how powerful I am.
The museums are a sight to behold. Imagine leaving for your daily run throughout the Louvre's outer spaces or on the edge of the Seine passing along the D’Orsay (a museum with a permanent collection of Impressionist art) , crossing the Pont des Arts and going back down the river until you reach Pont Neuf...
All these sites I made on foot, a few times taking the bus and I was fortunate enough not to have rainy days, only two days of drizzle. Visiting Montmartre, a bohemian neighborhood, with its pubs, sex shops, alleys full of shops selling souvenirs, pictures, baguettes, all kinds of imaginable sweets and wrapping up the day in front of Sacre Coeur Basilic, watching the sunset over a beautiful city as Paris is breathtaking. And you? What was the last fascinating place(s) you visited?