Doesn’t matter how many times I’ve visited, or how long I’ve stayed, I still get a thrill from visiting Paris. When booking our grand adventure, I included the French capital only because my daughters wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. I figured I’d been there, done that. But the minute I emerged from the metro I was so excited it was like I’d never set foot in the city before.
One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to browse the little stalls along the Seine and peruse all the books and knickknacks. Then there’s Montmartre. Another hour or three can be whiled away in this classic neighborhood on the hill, observing theincredible artists do their thing. And, of course, sip an espresso (or other beverage of your choosing) in the square and people watch. Add in a stroll up (or down) the Champs Élysée and your Fitbit, like mine, will think it’s been kidnapped. Or, if you’re not feeling great, as was the case with my husband, just lean out the window of your accommodation and watch Parisian’s park their cars: instant, free entertainment.
The most iconic symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, is best viewed from the Palais de Chaillot where you have sweeping views of the Jardins du Trocadero, the tower, and the Champ de Mars beyond. But you still have to venture beneath the structure and take a million photos, it’s a Paris visit requirement. While walking in the Champ de Mars behind the tower with my four children, a street hawker (of which there are millions in Paris) approached and asked if I wanted to buy a bottle of champagne. Did I look like I was indulging in a romantic moment? Or maybe he just figured with four kids I needed a drink.
A rainy morning was the perfect opportunity to visit the Louvre, which I am pleased to say is free for children under eighteen so I only needed to pay for myself. Don’t expect to get close to the Mona Lisa, or La Joconde as the French call it. But the Napoleon III apartments are definitely worth a visit.
No trip to Paris is complete without visiting a boulangerie (bakery). Sorry I didn’t get a photo, too busy drooling over the pastries. Next time I’m back in a city I called home for almost ten years. And facing up to the end of my European Adventure. À bientôt!