One day in Paris – so much to see in so little time. The best idea (which I took on board) was to scout the city by bike. My mum and dad are advocates for city bike tours so treated me to Fat Tire Bike Tour. This meant 4 hours being shown around downtown Paris, visiting every key site, with a factual, humourous and well-informed running commentary by our excellent Brazilian (but French speaking) tour guide. Despite pretending to be an avid non-tourist (preferring hanging out with locals more than anything) I was well pleased with the tour – an excellent way to suss out the city before returning sometime in the future with Jesse.
I spent the afternoon and evening with my sister, brother in law and their two kids. We carried the kids up Sacre Coeur for a 360˚ lookout of the city. It was a bit of a trawl to find a decent food spot for dinner – surprisingly. Every restaurant seemed to be more of a diner or bar with a lot of typical, and not overly interesting, menus. We eventually sussed out a trendy Spanish tapas bar in Montmatre, Tapas Nocturnes. And because the French eat so late, we managed to hit Happy Hour by eating at 7pm. Dessert at Diner Bedford was a no choice situation – a cute American style diner with French-speaking staff , decadent cheesecakes and pies and very decent espresso. (We had all had our fair share of authentic, market-fresh French meals while staying in Avignon to justify visiting two very non French restaurants in Paris.)
A highlight was catching the Eiffel tower during it’s light-up just moments before catching the train back to the apartment I was staying at. For 5 minutes on the hour, lights covering the entire tower sparkle and dance, much like a Christmas tree.
Paris was very memorable – it is indeed the city of romance, full of history, sites, wine and love. Definitely looking forward to returning with my love.