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Travel Story by Tyron Woolfe

  A flavour of the French capital
Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower

Bonjour, bienvenue à Paris!

One cannot disagree that this is a beautiful city with a lot to see and take in. One will forever associate Paris and its French culture with its food, art and scenery.

It is very easy to get around Paris, and yet very difficult to decide how to set about one’s itinerary. It is best to simply go with the flow and to remember that Paris is a city that never sleeps! There is a tendency to eat late at night although many cafés and restaurants are open all the time.

It is worth making an effort to meet French Deaf people. Their cultural heritage is enormous – the first Deaf school in the world was founded in Paris by the Abbé de l'Épée. For those who are interested, simply google Abbé de l'Épée and you will find several resources that will confirm this as well as giving an insight into the history of Deaf Education. The address is INJS, Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris, 254, rue Saint-Jacques 75005 PARIS and the link for their website can be found further below.

Paris has some wonderful places to see from the Eiffel Tower to St Pierre de Montmartre – the Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville, Monument, the Louvre museum and many more attractions. Notably famous for its art, you are bound to meet many artists on the street who are trying to get discovered for their artistic talent. Try and barter with them when it comes to negotiating a price for their artwork.

With regard to its food, one cannot fail to be amazed at the variety of bread, croissants, cakes and other gastronomic delights in the many cafés and brasseries. One can also enjoy snails (escargots) baked in garlic butter and eat outside in the open air. If its wintertime you will not get cold as these cafés have heaters outside that allow diners to enjoy their meals. One cannot leave Paris without sampling a nutella crêpe! Delicious!

It is impossible for me to visit Paris without enjoying a good bottle of red wine. One can easily buy a bottle at a café or shop near your hotel and ask the receptionist for a bottle opener. Hotels will often provide you with glasses. French red wine, especially Merlot, will bring many happy memories for the individual.

It is a good idea to buy a Paris Visitor ticket from any metro station, which allows 3 days of unlimited travel on the metro as well as reductions for many tourist attractions and shops too. Changing lines on the metro can sometimes involve quite a long walk. Also be prepared for the fact that almost all stations have poor access for people with mobility problems; more escalators are definitely needed.

Shopping is something some visitors come to Paris solely for. There are many fashion shops and really beautiful gift shops to explore. You are guaranteed a top class service in gift-wrapping at no extra charge. On the small ‘island’ near Hotel de Ville and where Notre Dame sits, there are a few long rows of horticultural market-style shops, which are a treat during winter as well as other seasons.

The Eiffel tower is a wonderful place to sit on a bench and watch numerous visitors walk up or take the lift up. Although pricey for some, it is an unforgettable experience. There is a restaurant at the top of the tower although I have never been. If money is an issue then don’t worry, you can visit the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre near Abbesses/Blanche (metro stations) where the view from the Basilica is almost the same as the one from the Eiffel Tower and is free.

Montmartre also has a red light district (Pigalle) like Soho and is home to the famous Moulin Rouge! Take the metro to Blanche for the best place to see the many illuminations – do try and visit at night.

A recommended walk is to go from Place de la Concorde (near Parliament) all the way to the famous Louvre museum, especially with your loved one(s). En route you can enjoy the East lake and views of the Eiffel tower in the distance as well as several art features. Paris is definitely a romantic city and is ideal for a 3-day visit although it is possible to enjoy a week there.

For more information visit:

Click on photo to enlarge

Snails, anyone?  The Basilica of Sacré Coeur

Date Submitted: 27 Nov 2006

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