PARIS

“At the next roundabout take the third exit”, and as you eventually come over a crest, there’s Paris spread before you. Is there any greater thrill? We didn’t plan it this way, but we’re arriving on Saturday morning and the traffic is fine all the way to Gare du Nord.

I had chosen to pay the extra for a VW Golf and very glad I did. The drive from Cannes to drop off was comfortable and easy. Not so on other occasions when I had the budget car and the drop off was the highlight of the road trip!

As we all know, there is Paris and there’s the rest of France,- nothing much like each other except for the language and French people.

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I choose to stay in the 9th Arr. From where I can easily walk to Montmartre or the Seine. The Cite Bergere is a Mews (thus quiet) with a number of hotels and 100 metres from the Grands Boulevards Metro. Not necessarily a recommendation, usual tiny lifts and ok rooms is http://www.paris-hotel-corona-opera.com/en/home/

The area buzzes with the activities around Drouot auction houses which is home to galleries, specialist fine art restoration services and the good food that the members of the fine arts community would demand.

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I like being in Paris on weekends when the street markets are happening and the locals are out and about, the bustle around the Pompidou centre and the general relaxed atmosphere you don’t get during the week.

There’s too much information on what to do in Paris so I’ll do my some favourites in point form.

Do buy packs of 10 Metro tickets at the vending machines. Great deal!

The Pantheon. Never crowded and loaded with history stuff

Pantheon, Foucaults pendulum in background.jpg

Pre book (online) dinner at first level of Eiffel Tower. Great deal. I can’t say what the top restaurant is like at Euros 300 pp. I’m sure it’s fantastic, but I couldn’t be happier after 1st floor dinner experience.

Paris at her feet. EiffelT.jpg

Pompidou Centre – did that.

The airport bus from Opera. Brilliant. – 10 minute walk to Cite Bergere. Easy.

Walk, walk walk. And, talk the talk,- French that is. Having a crack at it is better that assuming the world revolves around English.

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