Stain Glass To Tear Gas, Paris over the years
Paris Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Paris is probably the best city for a first time visit, as it has at least three instanly recognisable attractions, the Eiffel Tower,Arc De Triomphe and Notre Dame, that people will have seen in books or on TV and it gives them the sense of doing a bit of history.
First made it to Paris on our return leg of doing the Interrail, arriving on an overnighter from Basle into the Gare De L'Est at about 7am. Only stayed for the day but managed the 'Big 4', the there listed previously and the Sacre Coer.
Getting around Paris is a breeze on the Metro, I don't walk anywhere :-) Even my kids now know not to bother running to catch a train at the platform as there will be another one along in a minute.
When it comes to eating I would live on Paninis :-) but other than that the best place,in general, I found to eat was the area around the Oberkampf and the street that runs from there down to Republique. Some good bars that do food and some nice reaturants. One of the best meals I've ever had was in a wee restaurant that my parents stumbled across when they were there. Run by a family from the Isles De Verte, I had Venison and Green Banana washed down by a kind of coconut firewater. Superb, and for the life of me I can't remember the name of it, but will add it in when I do.
Lost count of the times I've been up the Eiffel Tower now,but it is still an attraction. Done it at various times of day from morning to nightand I think early evening is best.
Arc De Triomphe - nice to look at, and woth going up,ONCE. Steep stairs and a ladder at the top that you have to squeeze a trap door to get out at the top. Not a problem for me ,but if you get stuck behind someone that is struggling on the way up it's a real pain.
Notre Dame - I just love the big rose stain glass window. I go there again and again just to see that. Another hard climd to go up to the top of it, and wouldn't have bothered except the time we took our son and he wanted to see the gargoyles( there was a cartoon series of the same name on at the time). I was duely delegated to climb up with him.
Sacre Coer- is more like a church should be. Got a sore head the first time I went, as I hadn't taken my hat off on the way in and my wife belted me across the back of the head :-)
Grand Arch De La Defense - Load of kiech, to use the Scottish phrase. Best seen from the top of the Arc De triomphe, that's close enough.
Bateaux Mouche - if overpriced crowded barges float your boat then you might like it. Plenty of paths and walkways along the Seine that you can take your time and actually see things.
Pere Lachaise - I like it, might not be everybodies cup of tea,but some great monuments and loads of famous dead dudes. Disappointed when I went to find Jim Morrisons grave all nice and tidy with two security guards watching over it, but really had gone to see Oscar Wildes grave.
Montparnasse Tower - Super fast elevator takes you up to 50th odd floor where there is a viewing gallery to look over the city and DOWN at the Eiffel Tower, and it's a lot cheaper and not as busy. time me and my daughter went we had almost as much fun playing on the express travelator in the metro station there :-)
The Louvre - brilliant and a whole days worth. Some real good stuff and of course everybody walks around the room with The Mona Lisa to see if the eyes follow you. A real must see.
Versaille - same as above. Another whole day,fantatic inside but I enjoyed the gardens just as much especially when the fountains are turned on,it's awesome. In the ealy 90's my best mate worked there refurbishing the sprinkler system and they had to replace old 18th century wooden valves .
Moulin Rouge - Wife booked ,I paid for it. Get a photo of it from the outside and say you've seen it. Show did nothing for me, or it may just have been the £250 bill blackened my mood.
Disneyland - YEHHHHHH !!!!! Great days out at the two parks. First time I went was with my mates on the World Cup trip. Took rucksacks of beer in with us and, looking at the map, the distances between rides were judged in how many beers you could drink. One guilty memory is of the Aerosmith Rock'N'Rollercoaster. My boy has never been into theme parks, not since we took him on a log flume when he was 18 months old ( don't think he has ever quite got over that), and we persuaded him onto Aerosmith.
France Minature - we usually try to find something different wherever we go and here was one. To lazy to go all round France,here you can see it all. Bit of a trek as we had to get to Montparnasse SNCF station to get out to Elancourt (past Versaille) and then a bus up to the park. Not really aimed at tourists, as we even had problems buying the tickets as my French is pretty poor and the girl was asking me questions I didn't quite understand.
As well as family trips, I've been twice for the football. First time in 1998 for the opening game of France '98, Scotland v Brazil. 15 of us drove from Glasgow to Paris, a real road trip experience. Based ourselves at The Bastille, but went into town the night before the game for the carnival procession. Day of the game when we went up to the Stade De France, I hadn't realised there would be so many TV cameras. I couldn't get the time off work, so I'd gone sick ( well I wasn't going to miss this) so I had my face painted with a Saltire to disguise my identity.
The other time was when Rangers played PSG and so to the reason for the title. We had got the Metro out to Port De Saint-Cloud and found a bar. Other fans were warning us not to head up to the ground on our own as folk were getting jumped. there is only one major team in Paris, but their support is split, there is a left wing group and a right wing group and they have different ends of the ground and fight amongst each other. We were at a crossroads and there were two bars on the corners when the one across from us came under attack as a group of the right wing PSG fans attacked it throwing chairs, bottles and anything that came to hand throught the windows.
Still it's not put me off Paris, I've been back since then and had a great time. Probably so many blogs for Paris, just some of my thoughts, and I'm bound to have missed stuff, but that's why they have an edit function ;-)