Where else would you see a metro station with a crown on top? And created by university students too. At Palais Royale. Only in Paris.
Impossible to do if you're on a 3-day junket, but if you're fortunate enough to have a week or more in Paris, take to the streets, using a combination of feet, metro and buses. This is what I like to do.
During my last visit to Paris, I allowed myself a total of 5 weeks to explore as much as I could. I'd always read that Paris was best experienced on foot, and this is so true. Just to wander from neighbourhood to neighbourhood is a feast. Watching Parisians go about their life can be a spectacle in itself.
I'd heard so much about the Marais, been through it, but never actually wandered there, but it is perfect for the walking tour. With its vintage shops, fellafel stores, cute cafes and bars, this old Jewish quarter attracts people from all walks of life. If you go on Saturday there is a wonderful food market where a lot of locals seem to go for lunch - and why wouldn't they? The produce is amazing. After a look through the market, I found myself a lovely cafe in the square and people watched.
Parisians certainly have a great passion for food. It's obvious in nearly every window you pass on your walks. The artfully-displayed chocolates, pastries, flowers, frogs legs - it's all there, a feast for the eyes. Even if you never have anything but the Plat du Jour, you will eat heartily and well.
Plat du Jour never looked so good!
One of the delights of Paris to me was that after a long day walking, being overwhelmed by the beautiful sites, sounds and aromas, is to return to my apartment. You don't have to eat our every night, even in Paris!
On the way back 'home' I might grab a sidewalk crepe of bananas and chocolate to snack on while I shop for ingredients for my own version of a Paris feast. A few bunches of grapes, a slab of duck pate, some rilettes, maybe rabbit and prune, and a fresh hunk of fabulous runny cheese to go with the bottle of Sancerre chilling in the mini bar. Some slices of charcouterie (cold meats) to go on the freshly-baked baguette where I'm met with 'Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!' and I'm set for my French diner in the little apartment, sadly not overlooking the Seine, but pretty cute all the same!
Just as well my preferred mode of transport is walking!
All photos by Geo Covey