On our trip, we visited three cities — Amsterdam, Paris, and Barcelona.
Of the three, Paris is the best known, the most lauded as a “world-class” city.
Visiting there, I couldn’t help but have the impression that people “love” Paris because it’s “Paris”. Of the cities we went to, it resonated least with me. It’s the least beautiful, charming, engaging. It’s crowded, and filled with people, mostly tourists. I mean, it’s not a bad place, but, really, it’s not “all that.”
We spent a few days there. Some photos:
10 years ago, a I took a picture of myself eating a baguette in front of Sacre Coeur. So, I thought I’d do it again on this trip.
Our first night, we ate at Un Zebre a Montmartre, a hip little restaurant just down the street from our hotel. Reasonable prices (appetizers were 6 Euros, main courses 11 Euros), and good food.
We stayed at Hotel Bouquet de Montmartre, in the 18th arrondisement, right at the foot of Montmartre. It’s crazy inexpensive (60 Euros a night for a double), well-situated (one block from the Abbesses metro station, a short climb up the hill to Sacre Coeur), and really teeny. The only drawback was that the bars in the neighborhood stayed active until late in the night, which was shameful, since there are a lot of just normal folks trying to lead their lives here, too.
peterme, excited, on Pont Neuf.
The European Parliament elections (which had the lowest turnout, and was overwhelmingly Euroskeptic) took place during our trip. This poster, on a wall in Paris, has a potent illustration. I really dug it, until I read the smaller type below “MONSTRES.” Still, cool drawing.
Of interest to maybe no one I know other than Courtney and Sharon, on a walk through the 18e, we stumbled through the textile district, which included this store offering 4 floors of product. And it was just one of like three right in this neighborhood, and that doesn’t include the innumerable smaller sellers.
Seen here are THE GATES OF HELL. Like the Van Gogh Museum, the Musee Rodin allows visitors to witness the evolution of a great artist in a beautiful setting. It and the Musee d’Orsay are my only two “must-see” museums in Paris.
Only one other note (this time without photos) — for dinner one night, my friend Frederic introduced us to Chez Janou, a delightful restaurant near his house. I can recommend the magret du (de?) canard without reservation. They also serve crazy big bowls of chocolate mousse.