PARIS IN SPRING

Paris in Spring.
The City of Light, the City of Love is lovely in any season. One can walk along for hours, exploring, discovering something new. One can also climb on top of many structures, snap lots of original pictures, enjoy the views, then walk some more. This time, we went on top of Arc de Triomphe. First, we had to plod through a long underground passage, and then we stood in line for tickets in a tiny low-ceilinged space. Tickets cost circa 10 euros for adults. When we emerged outside and saw the long line of tourists disappearing into a very narrow winding space for the stairs on the left, we inquired if there were other options. Yes, one could go into the right-hand pillar and take the lift, Ascenseur to the top. From there, we saw Les Champs Elyssee, Le Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. Once back on the groud, we strolled along Les Champs, and discovered a great restaurant called Vesuvio. It has a large high-ceilinged hall, a big menu for all tastes, and the prices are surprisingly decent. While eating your meal, you can watch the never-ending stream of tourists leisurely walking in all directions. Sufficiently fortified by an excellent meal, you should be up for another long stroll. It is really easy to get around. You can walk all along Les Champs straight into the Tuilleries Gardens with their fascinating sculptures and chestnuts in bloom. From there, it is either to Le Louvre, or just along Rue Rivoli with its numerous souvenir shops and cafes. Looking at my map, I tried to find Rue Pierre Lescot and “Doc Marten’s Shoes” shop. I found plenty of little pretty streets and amazing places like an Australian bar, complete with a (fake) crocodile hanging upside down on its outer wall. I saw lots of familiar attractions, including Chatelet. And I asked policemen, but I did not find the street. Next day, I asked a specialist, who glanced at my map, took me to Les Halles by metro, and we emerged outside by the simple trick of following the signs which clearly said “Rue Pierre Lescot”. Yes, the shop is there.
On Rue LaFayette, we saw some beautiful shrubs bearing the loveliest lilac and white flowers. No idea what their names are, but they are a welcome sight indeed.
“Art Hotel LaFayette” is a good place to stay. The staff speak English well, the visitors are buzzed in, which is a good safety measure. The rooms are clean, and breakfast is quite sufficient. A large supermarket with a wide selection of foods is right around the corner; there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from close by. It is nice and quiet. It is also close to both Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est, as well as to many attractions, such as Galleries LaFayette, and Basilica Sacre Coeur on Monmartre. We had to get to the airport early, and the hotel booked the airport shuttle for us.
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