When you plan a trip to Paris, France, even if it’s a business trip, you can’t help but opening a travel guide book or a map and let your mind wander a little. I haven’t been to Paris for several years, and I was very excited about the trip especially once I know that I’d have one full day off.
Since I were to spend a few days in London after an event in Paris, I booked a round trip flight from JFK to London, and took Eurostar train from London to Paris. The journey took less than 2 and a half hours, and it was a very pleasant ride. Eurostar runs one in every hour, and the fare is depending on the departure time, seating class, and when you book the ticket. When you take Eurostar, you don’t need to deal with airports, which is usually outside the city center, and you won’t have to be there hours early like you do when you fly. It’s a better choice for me.
On “off” day, I went from a hotel near Grand Opera to Sacre Coeur (got some great photos with blue sky in background), Moulin Rouge and Pompidou Center. Then, I walked to Notre Dame, crossed a bridge to Latin district, Musee d’Orsay, Musee du Louvre, Place de Concorde, and back to the hotel. Not sure how many miles I walked, but even with some shower in the evening, it was a nice walk around the city. What I found was that January was a huge clearance sale season in Paris, and every where I went, shops had big red sale signs.
Now the food. Yes, you must have crapes, baguettes, French wine, cheeses and truffle chocolates when you are in Paris, but for me, it was all about chocolate drink at local cafe and escargot. (Not at the same time, of course.) And, I was lucky to have some good ones on the first day in Paris. When I ordered a cup of chocolate, a cup of thick melted chocolate and a cup of hot milk on a tray were delivered to my table. I mixed both in an empty cup to drink. It was sooooo goooooood. The escargot I had as an appetizer at Madeline was good, too. I pretty much achieved everything I was looking forward to do in Paris in one day!
Next time I visit Paris, it will be a multi day vacation, which will include a day trip to Versailles. Oh, by the way, people in Paris were very nice and kind. Many of them didn’t have any problems with communicating to me in English. Of course, a little French such as “Bonjour” and “Merci” goes a long way, as it does in any countries when you use even a little of local language.
For planning a trip to Paris: www.francetourism.com