Paris Pointers?

Jinx

when in doubt, upgrade!
Location
So Jordan, Utah
Ok, I have a chance to spend a couple of days in Paris in early spring...

Has anyone been?

What are something you would recommend seeing? anything that is overrated and show be skipped?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
We did a one day trip a couple years ago. My wife and I had joked for a long time about going to Paris for lunch, so while on a family trip in Ireland left the kids there (with family) and flew to Paris for the day. Honestly was surprised we could see as much as we did in one day.

The Eifel Tower was a lot cooler than I expected. Had breakfast of crepes by the tower.

Tried to get into Notre Dame Cathedral, but line was very long (and was a heavy down pour, so got lunch in a little café couple blocks away- great food.) I would suggest reversing our schedule and hitting ND first thing hoping to beat the crowds.
Was easy to get around on subway and got to see at least briefly most the major land marks.

Beyond the obvious, just walking town was fun. Little side streets away from main crowds are always interesting and let you see more of how the "real" city is.
 

Caleb

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We were there for a 4 day "layover" on our first trip to Ethiopia. It was amazing to see the historical stuff that's just around town. Kind of like walking through Caesars Palace in Vegas but it's the real deal :D . As mentioned, Eifel Tower was awesome to see in person. ND was very cool as well. While the subway was easy to use, we rarely used it. We walked that whole city. From our hotel, which was down by ND, we walked up past the Louvre, up along the canal to the Eifel Tower, over to the Arc de Triomphe, down Ave des Champs-Elysees, and made our way back down to our hotel. Tons of walking but worth it if you're healthy and have a good pair of shoes.

Couple things I will note, many of the people in France are the stereotypical stuck up asshole. I've never been pushed from behind as many times as I was in Paris (they don't ask you to step aside, pardon them, etc...they'll just shove you out of the way). If you don't know any French, I'd suggest you learn at least a little. When we went we knew nothing (it was only a layover after all) and they'd come to seat us for dinner/lunch/breakfast and start talking to us in French. When we told them sorry but we didn't speak French, they would give us a stuck-up huff and walk off. They wouldn't come back to us for 20-30 mins (often seating people that got there after us, but spoke French, before us) and would act like we were putting them out because we wanted to eat there (mind you, they spoke English just fine). If you've just flown 12 hours and are exhausted and starving and want something easy/quick and go to McDonalds, don't get your hopes up when they offer you Fry Sauce...it's f***ing mayo...that was a serious let down.

So, awesome to see all the historical architecture, famous landmarks, and just the general atmosphere of the city but the people really killed it for me. I've been to places all over the world and have never come across people that are more stuck up and rude. I don't plan to ever go back. I have heard similar stories from many people as well. I have a girl that works for me right now that went and lived in France to go to cooking school. She said if you get outside of Paris, the people are very nice, but within the city she agreed that they were very stuck-up and she speaks French. :)
 

pkrfctr

Registered User
Location
Spanish Fork, UT
Most important part.... Bring me back something.
 

spaggyroe

Man Flu Survivor
Location
Lehi
We thought Paris was pretty, but it didn't really win us over. We also experienced the stereotypical French rudeness while there. The Eiffel Tower is amazing. There are hop on / hop off tour busses that are a great way to see a lot of the sights in a short period of time. We also toured Normandy, which we enjoyed MUCH more than Paris.
 

Caleb

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Riverton
Curious to hear about Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is amazing. It was a major culture shock the first time we went. There's little shanty towns everywhere, people don't have anything...often including clothes or shoes or (fill in the blank) and the things you see really make you wonder if you're safe. Then we got out there and started meeting the people, talking with them, and you quickly realize that despite having "nothing" these are some of the happiest people you will ever meet. So cool and such an eye opener. As part of our first trip there (we've been there a couple times) we drove to the southern part of the country where our son was from so we got to see a lot of the country. The scenery was amazing, seeing the wild animals was super cool and again, the people made the trip one to remember. As crazy as it was, once they found out you were American, they loved you. In our discussions with them, they said they don't like Europeans much because of past history of European countries trying to rule Ethiopia. So they're a little cautious at first, then they'd find out we're Americans and suddenly we were their best friends they hadn't seen in a long time :D . Then they'd find out we were there to adopt and once again, they loved us for that. Despite being extremely happy people, it seems like most wish they could come to America, so when they'd find out we were giving that chance to someone, they were all about it. It was pretty cool to see.

Some of the things that's hard with Ethiopia is it really is a third world country. Nothing is safe to eat, nothing is safe to drink, you have to be careful where you go because there are very desperate people, etc. It opened our eyes in a major way to what it really means to have nothing. When our son is a bit older (he's eight, almost nine right now), we plan to take him back so he can see where he's from and, if we're able to find them, meet some of his birth family.
 

Jinx

when in doubt, upgrade!
Location
So Jordan, Utah
Thanks for information everyone!

Our will be a lay over as well.

We are thinking a day to go to Normandy, a day to go to Versailles, and a day doing the major things in Paris.

Our kids are in a dual immersion program with French so they have been helping with the common phases, but they won't be coming with us...
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
Sorry for the Africa detour on the thread....

Ethiopia is a country on my bucket list. Hoping next year to travel to Uganda where I am helping develop a couple projects (demonstration farm and aquaculture) via Rotary International. Tying Rwanda and Ethiopia into the trip is the goal (have friends in all three countries.)
 

ID Bronco

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Idaho Falls, ID
When I saw the title I was excited to hear about another breed of hunting dogs.
 

Caleb

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The other thing worth spending a few hours doing is the Louvre. Some of the things are cool and it's pretty cool to see the Mona Lisa in real life, but be prepared to be a little disappointed. Nothing like the movies :p It's in a glass case in a room crammed with a bunch of people. Cool to see to say you've seen it but see it and move on to many other parts of the Louvre that's not nearly as crowded.
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
If you are standing facing Notre Dame cathedral there is a side road to the left. Follow it a ways down to a gelato shop that shapes the gelato like a flower. Eat a gelato there and get a macron on top. After you are finished, eat another one. The best Gelato we had through all of Europe including Italy and trust me I ate my share everywhere we went ;-)
 

Jinx

when in doubt, upgrade!
Location
So Jordan, Utah
If you are standing facing Notre Dame cathedral there is a side road to the left. Follow it a ways down to a gelato shop that shapes the gelato like a flower. Eat a gelato there and get a macron on top. After you are finished, eat another one. The best Gelato we had through all of Europe including Italy and trust me I ate my share everywhere we went ;-)
We are staying close the Notre Dame... I will have to find this place and report back!
 

mesha

By endurance we conquer
Supporting Vendor
Location
A.F.
Oddly enough, we went to a million places over the course of a month and 13 countries and Notre Dame was my sons favorite place.
 
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