Paris, non, je ne regrette rien. Part DEUX.

Sam, my couch surfer host, told me he wouldn’t go to any touristic places with me. I didn’t find that rude at all, I totally understood.
But we did go to the Eiffel tower. Except, we biked there, and brought books. We didn’t stay in the huge line to go up to the top. And no, I don’t regret it. First because I will go back to Paris and I will have the opportunity to go to the top of the tower. And second, because Sam and I did something i seem to enjoy a lot more. We sat down on the grass in front of the tower and …we read. I was reading Franny & Zooey  by J.D. Salinger, and Sam…well, I have no idea. But it was the best feeling ever. Then we observed the people who were hanging out at the park. We talked. It was amazing.
In July/August (or, summertime…) there is this thing called Paris Plages.  Since there is no beach in Paris, they MADE one. It’s the cutest little thing, by the Seine River. It’s basically a artificial beach. There are beach chairs and beach umbrellas, and people hang out there, as if they really were at the beach. It’s actually quite fun.
Me and Sam spent some time there, too.

Paris Plages, at night.

On my last two days, I was on my own. Sam had to work and I wanted to go sightseeing and I definitely wanted to go to the museums because I love that kind of thing. I really do.
First, I went out to lunch with a friend I met ONLINE. Seriously, I did that. We had been talking for months and that was our opportunity to meet each other. François and I had lunch at this delicious little restaurant. Again, French food is …wow, I have no words to describe it, actually.

THEN, after fearing I’d get lost in the subway, I decided I knew how to get around, at least enough to get to the Louvre.

So I went to the Louvre and spent 4 and a half hours there. Did not see HALF of what’s in there. One more thing to put on my ”things to do when I go back to Paris” list.
But it was great. I took the little map of the Louvre and tried organizing myself to go in the right order of the little numbers, so I could keep track of the things I had seen and what I hadn’t. I did see a lot. And I was in awe, the whole entire time.
I have this….passion for art and ”old” things. All the paintings, the sculptures…the history behind it. It all fascinates me. I could spend a whole day at a museum like the Louvre anytime. I love it love it love it.

If you’re going to Paris, take some time to go to the Louvre. I mean, if that kind of thing interests you. Because if it does, it’s obviously a must-do.
But it’s important to remember that they aren’t open on Tuesdays. I have friends who made that mistake: they went to Paris and when they went to the Louvre, it was closed. And they didn’t have a lot of time in the city, so that was a bummer…
It’s open every day EXCEPT for Tuesdays, from 9 AM to 6PM.
You should also check the website because they have special exhibitions. And on the way out, check the shop. I bought a great book with a lot of the paintings.

When I was ”done” at the Louvre,  I wanted to walk a little. There’s a beautiful garden right on the way out, in the back of the museum, and little restaurants out in the open. I had the most amazing orange flavored Crème brûlée, took a few minutes to admire the scene around me….the whole time thinking ”am I really here???”.
THEN…It was shopping time. Walking a few minutes straight from the Louvre, it’s the famous Champs-Élysées.
I went crazy. I went in almost every store, tried a bunch of shoes, clothes, bought a lot of cute little dresses and makeup and books and CD’s (yes, they still exist) and a French book so i could practice a little everyday, etc etc etc.
It was really just too much, I know i exaggerated but…again…Je ne regrette rien (I don’t regret anything.)
I had to take a cab back to Sam’s house. He was quite impressed with all my shopping. The hard part was making it all fit in my suitcase. But I did it. haha

Tomorrow I will post about my last day in Paris and post a few pics, too. Here are a few tips if you’re planning on going there.

  • Try researching about the city, the city history, weather etc.
  • It won’t hurt you to try to learn at least a few words and expressions in French. It’s not that they won’t treat you well if you speak English, but put yourself in their place: a lot of them DON’T know English. And, they’ll probably appreciate the effort and treat you really well if you say a few words. Even if you try some mime with it. ”Bonjour – ”hello”, merci – ”thank you”, – ”S’il vous plait – thank you” etc etc etc

  • Shop. Really, do. Doesn’t need to be at Champs-Élysées, but do. There are a lot of nice shops around town. And don’t forget to be nice to the people who work in the shops. Say ”bonjour madame, monsieur, mademoiselle”, ”merci”, ”au revoir”….
  • Go to the cafés. There are a LOT of them around Paris. Bring a book, have some coffee, some macaroons, crepes…No hurry. Remember, you’re there to enjoy yourself, the city, the people, the food. Sit down. Relax, drink your cup of coffee in PEACE. Enjoy the moment. Don’t just grab a cup and leave.
  • Take the metro. There are a lot of weird people there haha, but it’s a good way to get around easily, besides de bikes. And don’t forget to KEEP your purple ticket. You might need it, in case the police wants to see it, etc.
  • Go to MUSEUMS. Not just the Louvre. Here is a LIST of all the Museums in the city. http://www.parisnotes.com/museums/parismuseums.html Unfortunately, I only went to two. But there are many options.
  • Ride the bikes.
  • Drink wine.
  • Wake up early to go to a boulangerie, to buy fresh out of the oven Baguettes. It’s like a party in your mouth and tummy.
  • Don’t be picky. Try new things.

And here is the most important tip:
Do not go to Paris with that cliché pre-formed opinion that they’re all going to be rude and treat you badly. I think that the way you should look at it is: Smile at people, they’ll smile back at you. Smile at the WORLD and it will smile back at you. It’s simple. And, yeah, of course, sometimes you’ll run into someone who’s not in a good day and they might not be the nicest to you, but overlook that and be nice to them ANYWAYS. Your politeness and education should NOT depend on theirs.

 

Très bien, I think that’s all for today!    

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