FRANCE: PARIS


 One and one half really cold days in Paris 2001

It was January, it was my first time in France, and I had been working in Cannes for four days at a convention.  Totally exhausted, I bought a first class ticket on the the TGV to Paris, and used all my Diners Club points for a night at the Prince de Gaulle, 5 star hotel near the Arc De Triomphe and just a few blocks off Champs-Élysées.  Now, a first class ticket was big for me since I had always traveled backpack style, but for the last three years of Corporate travel under my belt I felt I could splurge, especially since the hotel was on points.  As for Diners Club ... in 2001, was huge in Asia and Europe.  I checked in, sent my smokey clothes from the convention off to laundry, ate the chocolates on the bed, thawed myself out in the massive tub and took a long nap.  The next day was relatively clear and in the high 30's/low 40's F.  I spent the entire day walking in Paris!  Being in the cold air felt so good compared to the smoke filled rooms of Cannes.  I only went inside Notre Dame (moment of silence for the Grand Dame), walked across the bridges over the Seine, saw the museums from the outside, especially the D'Orsay, both islands near Notre Dame, and all the way to Montmartre to see the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.  Oh, I did eat inside for lunch at the coolest and tiniest restaurant, Le Pomme, on the island just before Notre Dame.  On my way back from Montmartre, it was twilight and freezing rain started to fall, so I finally ducked into the metro and rode it to the Arc de Triomphe stop and walked back to the hotel from there.  My lungs were clear, my hands were freezing and I was soooo happy!  In the morning, I returned to the airport and returned home exhilarated from my first time in Paris.  Be sure to checkout the last pic; a statue of Liberty on a boat.