"Hmmmm Paris?" Paris by johngayton
Paris Travel Guide: 22,149 reviews and 53,809 photos
Update June 2009
Just back from my third visit - this time a 36 hour flying visit and this time managed to spend more time awake than sleeping!
November 2005 Intro
I must admit that this is only my second visit to Paris, (I am telling lies here: actually it is the third time - the second time being when navigating back from Nice to Calais; I fell asleep, having thought I had given clear instructions on going round the peripherie.........continue that story at later date!).
My first visit was about 1992 - ish when a bunch of us went on a combined "stag and hen" weekend. The weekend was great, lots of fun as a bunch, and I managed to escape the group in the afternoons to do my own thing, meeting up again in the evenings and doing "organised things"!
This visit I was there for quite literally 24 hours and slept 11 of those........and that's another story in itself.
No, I haven't got the feel of Paris yet, I really must spend a week (at least), find a little local bar and find Paris from the ground level - or gutter level in my case!
But I do love Montmartre, tourist trap though it may be - it does a have a buzz all of it's own and at least the "hustlers" are actually quite talented, both as hustlers and as artists.
So far this is just a quick intro - I intend to put a couple of travelogues up in near future - stay tuned to this channel!
When my good "fiend" Carlos mentioned that he was having a week or so in Paris, following the VT Euromeet in Portugal, I got straight onto the net and managed to get a freebie flight from my local airport, departing on the Sunday evening and returning on the Tuesday morning.
Although this was to be yet another short visit I was determined to get out and about and maximise my time there. I duly arrived in the city about 9 pm, checked into my hotel (which was OK and not too pricey) and by the time I checked out at 7 am, thirty-four hours later, I'd managed a total of three restaurants and seven bars! That's what I call maximising my time!
PS I did get a bit of sightseeing in as well - even though it rained for pretty much the whole day on the Monday!
This began almost immediately on arrival. The short walk to my hotel from Metro Pigalle took me down Avenue Frochot and it's little collection of Hostess Bars - the girls, in their short dresses, were certainly easy on the eye! Tempting though they were, I didn't reckon my budget would quite stretch to stopping for a drink ;p
After a quick check-in, an equally quick freshen-up, it was straight back out for a beer and a bite to eat and then continue my personal tour - back up Ave Frochot - the girls were still looking good!
Then down the Blvd de Clichy, with its Sex Shops and Peep Shows, as far as the Moulin Rouge - looking the biz dressed up at night and celebrating its 120th birthday. Even though it was getting on for midnight the boulevard was still busy and buzzy; tourists and touts doing their things and a scattering of inoffensively-drunk clochards to add to the mix.
So that was Sunday night's sightseeing; completed by a nightcap at the bar that I started with and a bon nuit to the Frochot girls!
Monday morning was an early start and up to Montmartre and the Sacre Couer for an overview. Too early for the artists to be touting and too early for most tourists and so I had the place almost to myself and the walk up the steps got the cardio-vascular system kick-started. Wandering randomly around the streets, just taking in the local atmosphere, I eventually ended up lost! Fortunately that's where the Metro comes in handy - all you have to do is find a station and from there get back to somewhere familiar. In this case the Metro station I found was Port St Ouen (which I've since discovered is out on the Peripherie). So yep, I was as lost as I'd thought - I'd thought I'd been heading back towards the centre!
I took the Metro to St Germain des Pres and then I knew where I was. Walked down the river, took a few pics, dropped in for a coffee here and there and then it started to rain. Oh well, that's enough sightseeing for this visit - where's the nearest bar?
- Pros:Certainly a Diverse and Lively City
- Cons:Some Extortionate Beer Prices!
- In a nutshell:Jury Still Out - but Paris is slowly growing on me!
With in excess of 190 million passengers passing through every year Paris's Gare du Nord is reportedly Europe's busiest... more travel advice
As cheap Paris (or any other major city) hotels go this one is as good as it gets in my opinion. My room was bijou (HA!)... more travel advice
Written Nov 24, 2005
Written Jun 14, 2009
Sartorial Elegance - Headware Anyway ;)
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