Ahh, Paris… There is nothing like it in the whole wide world. Not for us, at least. I don’t know what it is, honestly, but we always feel entirely at home in this most romantic of cities.
This time around, we benefited from exceptionally bright skies and warm weather, which was a great and welcome change to the customarily rainy and drab London week prior. We could not exactly take it entirely slow, given that we were trying to play guides to my parents on their first ever visit to the city, but we worked a leisurely afternoon at the Luxembourg Gardens and several unhurried strolls into the proceedings.
We did a few of our traditional touristy things, such as taking a boat ride on the Seine, watching the strobe lights on the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero, or climbing up the Monmartre hill to browse the painters market on Place des Tertres. We went to a couple of our favorite restaurants and discovered others. We checked off two of heretofore perpetual “next time” sights – Opéra Garnier and the Panthéon – both of which turned out to be remarkable and impressive, each in its own way. We spent a day in Versaille and finally saw the fountains and the sparkle that they add to the gardens, which left us even more puzzled than before as to why they are only turned on for a couple of hours on weekends.
It was a bit tiring, but entirely worthwhile.
We managed to shun the central part of the town for the most part, spending most of the time in the St-Germain and Latin Quarter area. We stayed in a vibrant but homely part of the Latin Quarter, and while the location is far from central for sightseeing purposes, we found it quite possibly the best of all of our previous stays.
We went by Eurostar to and from Paris, which is rather quick and convenient. The trip still took around five hour door-to-door, considering how far we live in London relative to the new St Pancras International terminal and the fact that our Parisian hotel was not on a direct Metro line from Gare du Nord. Which is about the same time we spent in transit when travelling by car the last time around. It was also considerably more expensive and lugging suitcases on Metro and the Underground is not a picnic. I knew there was a good reason why I am not a very “green” person…
Our well-travelled elder daughter has indicated that she would rather go to places that she has not been to before, as opposed to coming again and again to Paris, but for Natasha and me, it was the most pleasant of trips, especially for my better half, who has always been head over heels in love with the City of Lights. Our departure made us a bit sad. Will we be able to come back again any time soon?