Welcome to Paris and screw the stereotypes! I have never failed to be charmed by Paris and her people, who are justifiably proud of their truly authentic culture. I have been transformed me into a genuine Francophile.
Regarding all those French stereotypes: All I can say is that people see what they want to see. Perhaps, more accurately, they see what they are told to see. Everyone I engaged was good humored and delightful, generous with their English, and forgiving of my almost non-existent French.
Besides their deep enjoyment of the simple everyday pleasures, the French have and continue to make priceless contributions to civilization… in the worlds of music, cuisine, language, literature, science, philosophy, engineering, architecture, art, and political freedom.
Recommended to-do list:
- Buy a carnet (discounted ten pack of tickets) and take the Metro… an inexpensive and enjoyable way to get around town…
- Where seeing the iconic Eiffel tower with your own eyes is quite a thrill. It’s bigger than you think, by the way).
- Descend into the Catacombs for a miles of intimate contact with six million skulls.
- Say hello to Mona Lisa adn Rembrandt at The Louvre.
- Enjoy some Andy Warhol and some interesting installation art at Pompidou Center.
- Pay your respects to Jim Morrison, Gertrude Stein, Frederic Chopin, and Oscar Wilde at Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
- Be blown away by Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Toulouse Latrec, and more at D’Orsay. And don’t miss the iconic big clock upstairs!
- Try escargot. It’s more about the butter sauce than the meat.
- Every admirer of Jean Valjean must take the Paris sewer tour. Breakfast (petit dejeuner) A baguette is standard fare for lunch (dejeuner).
- Grab a savory or sweet crepe on Rue Cler.
- Stroll the Champs Elysesse from the Louvre to the Arche du Triophe
- Relax over a drink and people watch at one of thousands of sidewalk café.
- People watch on the steps of Sacre Coeur.
- If you have a hundred Euros to burn, have dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge (Red Windmill).
- Resonate with the national motto of France: Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite!