Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bon Nuit, Paris!

We arrived at Paris at about 11 o'clock pm, and about an hour away from our hotel. The information desk at the airport told us that the RER, Paris' underground train, was closed, and the the only other option was a bus, which was apparently not safe at that time of night for two girls traveling alone. We would have to take a taxi which would likely cost us anywhere from 80-100 euros. 

Without any other choice, we talked with the taxi driver, and I asked him, "Combien pour aller a Montparnasse Daguerre?" (How much to go to Montaparnasse Daguerre?) His response was "Autour de quatre-vingt euros" (Around eighty euros).  I told him, "J'ai soixante euros" (I have sixty euros) and we began to walk away before he stopped us and agreed to take us for that amount. 

During our ride, with my little knowledge of French, and his little knowledge of English, we were able to communicate as he told me about Paris, and explained Paris' highway, the Boulevard Périphérique, or "Le Périph" as the Parisians call it, which wraps around all of Paris.

He asked me questions like how long we were staying and wondered if we wanted a tour of Paris, free of charge. We agreed, and he took us to the "Tour Eiffel," which he explained lights up in sparkling lights every hour, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and showed us Le Sienne which he said offers hop-on-hop-off tours to all the major cites in Paris for about 15-18 euros, depending on whether you want a day pass or two-day pass. All in all, it was a very informative and pleasurable experience, and our driver was nice enough to give us a great tour. I realized knowing a little french, goes a long way in Paris. Whenever we were lost I would simply ask, "Pardon, ou est la rue....?" (Excuse me, where is the street...?") and Parisians would go out of there way to help us! They were so nice and helpful! One man even asked us, "Vous êtes perdu?" (Are you lost?) and went out of his way to show us were to go. I was so grateful for their kindness and help.

Here are some pictures from our first night in Paris. The Eiffel tower was even more spectacular than I imagined it, and watching it light up in sparkling lights as we stood with our new Parisian friend on a bridge overlooking the Sienne was a wonderful feeling I will never forget.
Bon nuit, Paris!

GETTING AROUND: When  it comes to getting around Paris, you can take the RER, the underground metro/train station, or the Sienne river hop-on-hop-off tour, or you can walk. My recommendation would be to take the Sienne, as navigating through the RER could sometimes be confusing. Not to mention, with the passes for the Sienne, you get to be out in the sunlight as opposed to underground, and you save your feet a lot of walking time!

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