Paris

Last week I was lucky enough to go to Paris for five days with work.

I’d been to Paris once before with my parents a couple of years ago only for a few days so I was looking forward to spending a decent amount of time there. Last time I had been to Paris we had been to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and also been to the Eiffel Tower and done a few other touristy things. I’d found a Lonely Planet book for Paris in the office at work and labelled a few things that I’d wanted to do. As I was going away with work I would only be able to explore in the evenings and during the day on Saturday before I flew back to Manchester Saturday evening.

I was determined to make the most out of a my trip and as a keen planner I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to see. I also was keen not to spend much money as it was coming to the end of the month and I had to buy new running shoes for the marathon.

I took my running stuff with me and this was the first time I had ever ran abroad and I really enjoyed it. I ran to the Arc De Triomphe one evening after work and ran to the Eiffel Tower one morning before work, via routes recommended by my manager. I found Paris relatively hilly though, when I say hills I mean a few gentle slopes along long roads that seemed to last for a long time. Something that didn’t inspire me to want to sign up for the Paris Marathon anytime soon as those hills would be a killer for 26 miles. I found that when I ran after work the air felt quite smoggy and I managed to avoid stepping in any poo on both runs which I was pleased about.

When I wasn’t running I mainly headed out to the sights that I wanted to see usually by taking the Metro. I downloaded a Paris Metro app which was similar to the one I use for the London Underground so I found it really easy to get around. I would mainly get to Notre Dame or Place de la Concorde or which ever tourist attraction I was heading for and would find a seat to read about where I was in the Lonely Planet book.

I had a few really nice meals whilst in Paris. The office was near the Perier Metro stop so I mainly ate around there. La Rosa Italian close to the Hotel Banville where I stayed was particularly nice. I quite enjoyed eating by myself in Paris. I liked to pretend that I was someone very important whilst ordering a glass of vin rouge and reading my book in the restaurant. I ordered a steak one night and ordered it medium because I had a feeling the French version of rare would be practically blue and FYI medium in France is definitely an English rare.

One of the highlights of the trip was definitely having a guided tour of Paris on the back of my managers motorbike. We passed a few of the sights and saw a photo shoot taking place on one of the bridges which was cool. We also drove past where the French president lives and past a Hermes shop that I later went in as it used to be an old swimming pool which they turned into a shop.

Another highlight was the walking tour I did around the Latin Quarter after visiting Sacre-Coeur on Saturday morning. In  book they had a few walking tours which took you along interesting routes around Paris and I showed my manager the different routes and as he is a true Parisian he picked the best ones for me to do on the Saturday. It took me around where Ernest Hemmingway, George Orwell and Picasso used to hang out before recommending a very nice restaurant for lunch.

Definitely hoping to go back to Paris soon. It’s such a beautiful city and I felt like every street was full of beautiful buildings and statues. It also has loads of parks with a lot of benches which I liked. Fingers crossed for more work in Paris.

Thoughts from this week:

  • French bread is the best
  • Paris is not much warmer than England in March
  • A demain means see you tomorrow in French
  • I love hotel breakfasts
  • I need a detox after Paris

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