Thursday's Child: Sightseeing in Paris

Thursday, September 9, 2010


When I was a kid, a popular way to entertain other families was to invite them over to watch slides of your most recent trip.  I realize I’ve just lost everyone under the age of thirty five.  But for those of you still reading, do you remember being invited to Aunt Betty’s house to see 600 slides from her trip to Florida?  Me too.

I promise my travel posts won’t be like that.  A couple of photographs, a short description, and on to the next photo.  With the added benefit that you can switch to another blog at any point without hurting my feelings.

With no further delay, I present: “What we did this summer in Paris”.  Cue up the slide projector.



The Eiffel tower probably gives Paris the most recognizable skyline in the world.  Whether you have a view from the top or the bottom, it’s spectacular, and you’ll soon understand why Paris is called “The City of Lights”.  A word of warning: I am the queen of avoiding line-ups, and I couldn’t figure out how to spend less than two hours (and four separate lines) getting up and down the tower.  It’s worth it anyhow.



Who started the rumour that Parisiens are rude?  I met some of the most wonderful people while we were in Paris.  And they had every excuse to be rude to me because I was speaking French extremely poorly.  My accent is what you would expect from someone who grew up in southwestern Ontario, with a tin ear.  My vocabulary is acceptable, but my grammar is atrocious.  And I can only speak in the present tense.

If Parisiens really were rude, they would have laughed me out of town.  But most of them, like our desk clerk Akeem at the wonderful Hotel Le Sainte-Beuve, actually encouraged me to keep using my French.  This, despite the eloquent English I heard him speak to the customer ahead of me.  Akeem spent over ten minutes patiently listening to my hesitant questions (all posed in the present tense) and answering them in a way that even I could understand. 




Our hotel was just a block and a half from Jardin du Luxembourg.  But it wasn’t until day four that we had the chance to spend some time in the gardens.  We stopped at Amorino en route, for what is possibly the best ice cream in the world, and spent the next two hours walking, relaxing and reading in the gardens.  Surrounded by French-speaking families and couples, for a short time we were on the path less traveled.



After spending a week in the countryside, we returned to Paris for one last night.  This allowed us to visit the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe in the pouring rain.  It also permitted us to sample Laduree’s famous macaroons.  We stood in line for twenty minutes to buy them, and it was raining so hard on the way back to the hotel that I had to protect the box under my windbreaker.  And the macaroons were totally worth it.

Next  Thursday:  the best shopping in Paris!


12 comments:

natalia said...

Wonderful trip ! I love the Luxembourg Gardens !! Ciao !!

Pat Butler said...

I love living vicariously....

Katrina said...

How fun. I love hearing about people's trips all over the world (especially since I've never left the US, unless Ensenada, Mexico counts.)

Heather said...

What a wonderful trip! I have heard that the French are very encouraging once you speak French to them.

Valerie said...

It's always exciting to hear about experiences in France(especially Paris!) I'm so glad that you enjoyed your visit. It truly is a magical city and you take a piece of it with you when you leave. :)

Shandy said...

I love your photo tour of France. Julia Child used to say the same thing; the people of France are wonderful! I am happy you concur =). Loved taking your French tour!

Jencrafted said...

You've certainly captured the majestic beauty of Eiffel Tower - never fails to take my breath away each time I see it. I enjoyed your post on your trip to Paris and looking forward to reading more!

Raelynn said...

I LOVE your picture of the Eiffel Tower....GORGEOUS!! And those macaroons look so good, I really need to make them at some point....soon!

jillbert said...

I remember slides! Thanks for the mini tour of Paris!

Audrey said...

Your pictures are beautiful...I need to go to Paris again. (Oh, and thanks for visiting!)

Anne said...

Oh what an amazing trip! I agree that Paris is a beautiful city with wonderful people! Can't wait to see more pictures!

Grapefruit said...

I love the photo you took of the Eiffel Tower.

the thought of Amorino has me drooling already - what I love about them is that they'll let you try 6 different flavors even though you ask for 2 scoops of ice cream. My absolute favorite was their 'yogurt' gelato and then the speculoos. . oh my! (swooning!)

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