Paris in the summertime is for romance and lovers. At least that has always been my impression.
My first impression of Paris when we arrived was of a big, crowded city. Martha kept insisting that we drive down one-way streets the wrong way. Our hotel was interesting, with an elevator (at least it had an elevator) that fit two people…just and a bathroom (at least it had a bathroom) for people with very short legs.
We were right beside the Place de Republique. It reminded me of parts of Vancouver. The statue was covered with graffiti. A man was raising awareness at a local homelessness rally. The side streets smelled of urine.
The next day we hit the tourist sites on my list: Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triumph and Champs Elysee. Walking down to the cathedral seemed easy enough. We were fresh. Although we didn’t go inside (another church), the building itself was an imposing and impressive structure. Check!
We walked along until we hit the Louvre. Even from the outside, I didn’t realize that the U-shaped building was about 2 blocks long on beautifully landscaped grounds. It would take a month to see everything inside.
Once we started walking down the Sienne, I understood the attraction of Paris. The bridges and walkways along the Sienne are very peaceful and beautiful. It’s wide and the buildings are ornate and historic.
This was a place for lovers. There were lovers’ locks all along the bridges. We stopped for lunch at one of the many waterside patios. It was very romantic.
By this time, it was early afternoon and we still hadn’t hit the Eiffel Tower (more on that later).
By the time we were walking up to the Arc de Triumph and Champs Elysee (check!), we were getting worn out.
Luckily the weather was not too hot. The walk was longer than we anticipated from the hotel map so we decided to take the metro back. Good choice! Paris is a big, crowded city. It has wonders and romance and all of the complex issues that any big city faces. It requires a lot more time than we had to explore it fully.