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How to enjoy Paris (an eye witnessed city guide)
A glimpse at the French capital
Paris is a romantic place to visit. Probably the best place to visit for the honeymoon. But it is also good for any kind of vacation.
The city of parks, monuments, museums, old beautiful architecture, Paris is rose-blooming all year through. Even in December you will find roses blooming in the parks. But winter is rather cold and not very comfortable. Though there is little snow, you can feel the penetrating chill of the wet air and the cold wind.
It is better to visit Paris starting the end of March and till the beginning of November. Summertime is the best though.
City walks and talks
All the way along the Seine river starting l’Ile dela Cite and up to the Eiffel Tower is the joy of a walk! But you must be a good walker as it is a long way to go. Yet, what about renting a bicycle? There are special bicycle stations here and there along the streets so you can take one of those and enjoy the ride! Bike lanes are good to ride on. And Sunday is probably the best day for a bike ride as there are very few cars in the streets.
Another alternative – take a boat tour on any of “Vedettes de Paris” boats. You will see more than you want to see! They will guide you through the city in any language possible.
If you like challenge and thrill, there is an opportunity to see Paris from the height of an air balloon in the park of Henry Citroen. Prepare to have your breath taken!
You can also go up the Eiffel Tower to get the sky-view of the city, but please prefer the lift to the stairs unless you are a trained alpinist – 324 meters of stairs up, that hurts! Once on the last floor, you can be happy to know that you are now on a monument higher than Cheops pyramid.
Your other must-visits are Montmartre – another beautiful place to sky-view Paris, Georges Pompidou museum, the Louvre museum, the Opera of Paris, Notre Dame de Paris and the avenue of the Champs Elysees. If you are a lover of the modern architecture, then you must go to the Defense – the so-called city of the future. You will be startled by the bizarre monuments, strange high buildings and the futurist ambiance. I felt like in the story of Isaac Asimov every time I went there. If you are brave and open to brain-storming, visit Salvador Dali museum and Picasso museum. Yes, it takes courage to face the works of these artistes belonging to the so called “fin du siecle” period. Surrealism and cubism, the revealed collective subconscious of Dali and the avant-garde experimentation of Picasso. Genies are hard to understand!
The specialties of Paris
Back to a more normal life, there are plenty of restaurants in any tourist area so you do not need to worry about finding the good address. You will find Chinese, Japanese, French,Belgium, Italian and Russian cuisine. I would recommend “Lyon” restaurants – their cooks are masters of the seafood. Their specialty is sea muscles cooked in many various ways. And you must absolutely taste the genuine French pastry – the French are talented in appeasing the appetite of those who are kin on desert. You can find a boulangerie on the street corner and ask the courteous lady or gentleman to have a take away of a delicious baba au rome or tartelette aux framboises or eclair au chocolat or any of these tasty chef d’oeuvres. Or you can sit at the table in a tea saloon and enjoy the city views while having your tea with your pastry.
On the outskirts of Paris there is the Disneyland resort, with two thematic parks, hotels and a nice Disney village. A great way to shake the hand of Mickey Mouse and spend time with children!
Another place to visit outside Paris is Versailles – the former residence of the French kings and queens. If you watched “Marie Antoinette” directed by Sofia Coppola, you will find the place familiar :)
Other great movies about Paris
other useful links
What about French cheese?
Reblochon, Roquefort, Brie, Mimolette, Bleu, Camembert, there is a variety of French cheeses. Do you have your favorite French cheese?
If you could compare a movie to a jewel, then "Marie Antoinette" is the one! The life story of a famous French queen is presented in a beautiful decor of the Versailles Palace. The beauty and luxury of the lives of the kings and queens who face and fail the challenges of the political system. The story of a failing monarchy, detached from the life of France and the French, and yet, a beautiful story. Blessed be the ones who came to this world in its fatal periods...