Paris: The Ups and Downs of France’s Capital City

I’ve arrived safe and sound in Paris.

To get here I took the Via train from Ottawa, to Dorval, where I caught a redeye flight from Montreal to Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport. My flight went smoothly, departing and arriving on time. The plane itself was modern and spacious, even in economy.

Each seat came with its own tablet, embedded above the pull-down tray of the seat in front. The tablets allow passengers to customize their entertainment experience, which includes feature movies, TV shows, games and dozens of music albums. It was a pretty neat set up.

I’ve done a lot of walking in Paris over my two days here. You can see most of the key sites by foot, provided you have the endurance to do so. Where walking won’t cut it, you can catch the metro.

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Yesterday I took a long walk which started at the Arc de Triomphe. I then walked down the Champs Elysĩes, stopping in at the Petit Palais, before continuing on to Place de La Concorde and the Jardin des Tuileries, where I stopped for a quick lunch (taboulet from a nearby grocery store). I then passed by the Louvre, before crossing the Seine river onto Ile de la Citĩ, home of Notre Dame Cathedral.

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There’s also a seedy side to Paris, you need to be vigilant when you’re here. There are people here looking to take advantage of you. In one day alone, I had to shoo away people trying to have me sign some bogus petition, decline a gold ring a man offered me, having pretended to have found it on the ground in front of me and stop some sketchy guy from trying to cut in line in front of me at the grocery store because he only has one item. Credit to all the people in line in front and behind me, none of them budged.

But overall, the positive outweighs the negative here in Paris. It’s a beautiful city, with lots to do and plenty of people to meet. Don’t let my warnings scare you off.

Here’s a few photos from my iPhone, I’ve yet to sort through the SD card from my DSLR.

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