Paris came and gone in a brilliant blur of art, culture, and fine food. I recorded my highest ever number of steps (36000+) and floors (27!) I think my feet were starting to get used to it, but after a tromp through Versaille and the gardens, they’ve returned to hating me once again.
Once again, let’s go through the daily summary of what transpired during each day’s sojourn:
- Monday Apr 9th: Arrived in Paris on the Eurostar. There currently is a general strike going on in the transport sector in France, so luckily my train pretty much departed and arrived “on time” (30 minutes delay). Unlucky however for the people in the two trains after mine which were cancelled due to the rolling strikes. Picked up a 48 hour Paris Museum Pass at Gare du Nord (the train station I arrived in). That evening after settling into my AirBnB, I took a stroll through the neighbourhood and found a nice little restaurant called Hugo. Had a fantastic meal of duck and steak with foie gras.
- Tuesday Apr 10th: Before getting to Notre Dame Cathedral to get into the tower climb (used the jefile app to book your spot in line – this isn’t payment, just placement), I headed to check out Saint-Chappelle. After that, got to Notre Dame and check out the main church (that’s free to enter) and then finally climbed it. Next up was the Musee D’Orsay, then the Pantheon, and finally a trip up the Arc de Triomphe just in time for sunset.
- Wednesday Apr 11th: The second day for my Paris Museum Pass. Spent the morning and early afternoon in Versaille and it’s extensive gardens before heading to the Louvre for late afternoon and evening (they are open late on Wednesdays and Fridays). I managed to stumble to Chez Michel where I gorged myself on seafood.
- Thursday Apr 12th: This was a lighter day as my Museum Pass was no longer valid. I ended up doing laundry first before going to the Catacombs (book ahead to skip the 3+ hour line!) and finally checking out one of the top cabarets in Paris – Crazy Horse!
- Friday Apr 13th: Woke up really damned early and caught a flight to Lisbon.
So let’s talk about the Paris Museum Pass. Don’t get it confused with the Paris Pass which is equivalent to the London Pass but it’s cost effectiveness is not very effective at all compared to the London one. A much better alternative is what I did – get the Paris Museum Pass (2 days – 48 Euros) and a 3 day travel ticket. If I had paid for each individual place I went to, I would’ve spent 84.50 Euros and would have not been able to skip lines. The 2 day Paris Pass on the other hand would have cost 131 Euros. You can definitely see the difference in savings versus being more expensive than individual entry (only benefit being at that point would be to skip lines).
Of course, I can’t pass up reviewing the small little bachelor apartment (or as some folk like to call it “studio suite”) that I had used AirBnB to get. Great little room and tiny ensuite bathroom – I had a few logistical challenges but managed to navigate myself adequately in there. The other thing that was great about it was location, location, location! It was close to two major train stations (Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est), a variety of bistros and markets, and was relatively central already. There was a convenience store nearby as well as a laundromat. The only thing is the room is a bit dated and badly needs to be repainted (some peeling of paint) but for myself, it wasn’t a bother. If you’re interested in staying there, I’ll give you the name/location or you can search AirBnBs around Gare du Nord in Paris and you’ll find an image of the bed same as the photo below.
Challenges faced: Like London’s, Paris Metro has many many stairs and quite often not many alternatives. I quite often found elderly people struggling to climb and I never saw anyone in a wheel chair (they may have a separate service such as Wheel Trans in Toronto?)
My next post will include both Lisbon and Madrid as I will be in each for only a couple of nights.
And to finish off, like every post will be, here are some select photos from the trip in no particular order.