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Paris is the capital and largest city of France. Last September 21 of this year 2012, we finally made it there. The weather wasn’t so friendly as we landed to the Paris airport (Terminal 3). It started to rain, with horrible wind. It was so bad! We waited for taxi to take us to the Hotel. Well I must say, Taxi driver doesn’t know much how to speak English. So we decided to just have nearly an hour of silence in the car. The driver says, bad weather just started by the time we landed. Such a luck!
The traffic was kind of huge that time. It was Friday, so people are either going out of the city or coming to the city. Both ways, they are causing traffic.
Our first day, wasn’t so good, because of the weather. We tried to just walk around while raining and cold. We wanted to at least be familiarized to the city, so as soon as the weather got better, then we know exactly where to go. Until night, the rain didn’t stop; not until 9:00 in the evening. By that time, we decided to head to hotel, and get some rest. Our way was on the Eiffel tower;there was this guy selling roses, and my husband got me three red roses. (Sweet) When we arrived to hotel, I noticed my husband got a fever. (Sigh)
On the next day, the weather turns to be fine. It was sunny but wind is colder, so jacket is really needed specially when my husband was still sick that moment. We head to one restaurant, few minutes away from hotel, and Eiffel Tower. As we sat on the chair; we really thought that waitress who approached us; can at least speak English, unfortunately not. The menu was in French, and there are also English behind the French names; so we thought it will really not be a problem, but as the waitress took our order; we speak English, because we don’t know how to pronounce it in French. We thought she understood, but she doesn’t. We had to point out the French translation for the food we wanted, or at least try to read it, because even if it’s in English; she still cannot understand. Even the word “Fries”, are not so familiar for them. I thought it was universal name. (Giggles)
After the Lunch we decided to start exploring the big city of love. I haven’t brought my Tripod for our camera so we asked for favor to some tourist to take us photo so that we will have remembrance where we both together in the photo. Some tourist are doing it voluntarily too, which is really nice of them.
One good thing here is that; wherever you go, wherever you turn; you most likely to see the Eiffel Tower. This time, we also tried their transportation. They have two different transportation; first is Metro and other one is this called RER. RER, is the first one we tried. I thought for first that it was their Metro,and looks so different so I got so curious. Before end of the day, we finally knew that RER is different form Metro. Paris RER, is 5 express train lines connecting Paris city centre to surrounding suburbs. Within Paris the RER acts as an express underground or subway train. Beyond the centre, the Paris RER is a ground level commuter train connecting outlying suburbs and popular destinations such as CDR Airport and Euro Disney to the heart of Paris. ( from what I read.. here is the info.) If you are to enter the Metro station; they usually have ticketing machine; but I think in that machine you cannot avail ticket for more days; so what you have to do is to approach the information counter located at the station, and ask for tickets for your entire stay. (We got tickets for 3 days)
From walking around the entire stay in Paris we discovered many thing; like Boutiques everywhere. Really expensive brands are all over the city center. People who love fashion must love it there, since Paris is great city of Fashion I know that everyone knows that. Here are huge Boutique exclusively for Louis Vuitton products; that usually people even create a huge line just to enter the building. Never tried to get in, because of a very long lines of people. There are also Chanel, Prada, Dior, and huge couture Boutiques. You’ll love it there!
Parks, garden, and Palace are also huge. Everything is huge except, the hotel rooms and restaurant. In a place like restaurant, you’ll notice a very tight space, and yeah even the hotel room is so tight. (Not because it was cheap. No! )
One thing you can easily notice was Police are everywhere; they are either riding on bicycles, or on the horses. (Which is cool!)
If you are a good follower of traffic rules, and pedestrian light rules,then I guess here are the things you might actually pay attention while you are staying in Paris.
* Traffic light is on red (for vehicles) but they usually hit the red light; As we observed, that sometimes scares both of us.
* Green light on (For pedestrian users) but most vehicles are passing through. Scares me most, when I am used to go to Pedestrian lane because I thought its safer since cars supposed to stop at the moment; in Paris, it’s not that big deal I guess.
*Red light on (For pedestrian users) people usually pass through, they don’t mind the cars coming.. Mostly locals. It was kind of weird for my husband and I,because we kept waiting for green light (pedestrian user) so we can pass, but other people just passed through.
*Cars are most likely stopping in the middle of Pedestrian lane. Yes, they are. I mean, here in Czech Republic, cars usually 2 and half feet far from the Pedestrian lane, so people can pass through freely, but not there.
These are just some you can easily observed while you are staying there. Just pay more attention, and be safe always!
In general, I liked it there. Huge city to explore. I can describe the city as the “City of Love”, “Romantic City”, “One of the most expensive city”, “Huge City” and of course“The City of fashion”, these are just some best way to describe the city itself.
If you are planning to visit Paris, France; you may also like to start learning a few phrases and words in French, since it’s quite hard to speak with locals in English. Do not forget to bring, or write down you address of Hotel, so that you can show to taxi whenever you feel you are lost. That is the wiser thing you can do if you don’t know how to pronounce or read words in French. Good luck!
Just a few reminder from a traveler,