Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Part Two of Three

Navigate Paris by the monuments. That’s what our new friend Philippe told us (more on him later). 

It is really not difficult to find your way around Paris. It cost you enough to get there so TAKE THE TIME to make your must-see wish list in advance and mark the monuments and cathedrals on your map(s) with a highlighter.

Seek out Ile de la Cité and Ile St Louis and use them as your frame of reference. Why? Because they are central on the Seine, and that is key for Paris - today, and a millennium ago. 

Also get to know some of the bridges - they are all different,  they are really cool, and they help you locate yourself. 

And, if you are with your spouse or significant other, the bridges of Paris are inarguably, indisputably,   compass-neutral landmarks (says me).

Now, be prepared to walk your buns off. We did: averaged almost 10 km a day until it hurt!

Henri lV at Square du Vert Galant 

Place Vendome

Place de l'Opéra

Place des Victoires

Not only did we see most of what we wanted to see, but we also had encounters with and the joy of experiencing what we just stumbled upon along the way. We were on an unplanned  bonus fitness program that included copious amounts of wine and lots of French things to eat ... didn’t gain an ounce (ou, un gramme - bien!)

Place de la Bastille

Place République

NOTE: there are a few things we would recommend missing, if not, avoiding:

Avoid the upper streets of Montmartre adjacent to the cathedral during peak tourist times. That was like flies to shit.

Scratch Canal St Martin, from the southern end from Place République to Gare de l'Est. We found it way better days!
Maybe  we should have tried the other end of the Canal?

Never get on or off the metro at Chatelet metro station. It’s the busiest in Paris and the crisscrossing tunnels and caverns and stairs and occasional unserviceable escalators are enough to make a grown man cry, especially if he was already miserable from the stresses of hunger, thirst, neurothlipsis and predilection to agorophobia.

  • DO learn how to hyperventilate and squint so you can hold your breath long enough, and see without your eyes watering while walking under certain bridges along the Seine; when you turn a corner into an alley off the beaten track; when you premeditate that some ass has urinated the night before after consuming litres of cheap fluids.


For more travel photography with local information visit Gary Karlsen's website.

No comments:

Post a Comment