An Overview of our Paris Honeymoon.

Posted: 15th June 2008 by Luc "Sandman" G. in Life

We decided to go to Paris for our honeymoon. Erin had been once before when she was a teenager, but I had never been. I did however always want to visit the City of Lights since I was a young boy, and Erin has always wanted to go back, so going there for our honeymoon was a nobrainer (assuming we could afford it, which we could).

We spent 8 days in Paris. Well really 7 days, as the 8th day we flew out in the morning. It was wonderful and amazing. Sadly we only got to see but a handful of sites that we wanted to see due to the shear amount of tourist attractions and long lines due to the great number of tourists. This just means that we’ll have to go back! The sites that we did manage to see are: Pere Lachaise cemetery (though we never found Jim Morrison‘s grave), The Louvre (saw about half of it), the Orsay museum, the Picasso museum, the Rodin museum, Versailles (both the castle and the gardens), the catacombs, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, a boat ride on the Seine, the Pantheon, Notre Dame cathedral, the Notre Dame crypt and a few other things.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Francais which was situated just north of the main island. The hotel is luckily just a couple of blocks away from a main metro station (Nation) , so it was easy for us to get to our destinations quickly. Our concierge Diede was extremely helpful and friendly. He definitely made our stay more enjoyable. The hotel room was fairly big for a European hotel room (about average size in comparison to North American hotel rooms), had a fully working air conditioner, an in room safe, a big stand up shower and a comfortable bed.

We visited many sites, and at the end of each day our feet were so sore that we could barely walk. Every tourist attraction required either a lot of walking, a lot of stair climbing or a combination of both. My feet have muscles where none existed before. We have to remember to bring some Dr. Scholls for the next time we go.

Its true what they say about food in France, It was absolutely delicious. We mostly ate in cafes and brasseries for lunch and dinner. For breakfast we picked up some fruit from the local grocer and some pastries from one of the many bakeries close to the hotel. There’s nothing like some freshly picked fruit and a freshly made croissant to get your day started. I did manage to try a few things that I’ve never had before, like a tartar and some duck. We also ate some Italian (much better than any Italian I’ve had in North America, and I even dared to have a Royal with cheese at McDonald’s 😛

The culture in Paris is very different from what we’re accustomed to in North America. The priority doesn’t seem to be on service but on the goods themselves. Its a much more laid back atmosphere than what we’re used to.

Here are some observations that we made:

  • Parisian drivers are insane!
  • Half the population gets around on scooters or motorbikes. I saw a total of 1 SUV my entire time there.
  • Coke is everywhere. Pepsi is nowhere to be seen. And you don’t order a Coke, you order a Coka.
  • Paris is fairly clean, its not that dirty.
  • Graffiti is rampant, but not on building facades.
  • The metro can take you anywhere quickly (that’s a hint, OC Transpo)
  • There’s a plague of spiral staircases everywhere.
  • People are very friendly.
  • There are public toilets (similar to Go Huts) on every street.
  • Paris is not very handicap friendly, or to those with strollers.
  • Beer is as cheap as pop in restaurants.
  • Chain stores are rare. Mostly mom & pop type stores, who open and close when they feel like it.
  • Pickpocketing is rampant. Luckily we didn’t get hit. I thankfully read up on their common tricks before we got there.
  • It is truly the City of Lights. Nighttime in Paris is gorgeous.

I managed to write a diary of our adventures. I’ll post them up as a small series sometime this week as time permits.

I totally fell in love with the city, its people, the food and its atmosphere. So much so that we plan on going back, hopefully for our 5 year anniversary. I now understand why Erin wanted to go back so much.

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