Paris: Along the Seine
Paris in March with grey skies and rain is still rather magical. And though they do say that "Paris is for lovers", I was perfectly fine with experiencing it by myself because I was able to do and see everything I wanted on my own time and not anybody else's.
Day one was all about figuring out where everything in the city was and just exploring on a whim. I was super jet-lagged when I got off the plane since I had traveled through several time zones from the Middle East. While I had done some homework about the city and getting around, I mistakenly thought I was easily going to find a row of taxis waiting outside the airport. Not the case. I ended up following airport signs for transportation which led me to a Le Bus Direct terminal that had a ticket machine, which, thankfully, displayed a drop-off point in front of the Eiffel Tower. From there, a quick ten minute cab ride took me to the Hotel Pont Royal. Simple gestures like nodding my head and replying with "oui" and "merci" allowed me to get around and to appear very well-versed in French.
Since I arrived before check-in time, I left my bags at the hotel and decided to explore the neighborhood. I had collected as many maps as I could anyways and needed to stretch my legs.
I soon noticed cafes and bakeries lining the streets and corners, just like in the movies and paintings. I was instantly in love! In under five minutes, I reached the Seine River by the Musee' D' Orsay, and then decided on breakfast at the corner cafe across the street, La Fregate. I quickly ate the coffee and croissant (since breakfast isn't served with eggs, sausage, bacon, or pancakes) and began my walk alongside the Seine to reach the Eiffel. It was very cold outside, but there were joggers jogging, exerciser people exercising at the exercise stations, children playing, and grownups and teens socializing along the park riverwalk. Parisians and tourists walked and biked about their day. I noted the many boat bars and restaurants and then discovered the Batobus, a ferry that stops at all major tourist sites: the Louvre, Museum De Orsay, the Eiffel, Notre Dame, and several more. I bought a two-day ticket for 17 euros, but decided to keep walking anyways. I got to the Eiffel in about 45 minutes, which wasn't too bad considering I was snapping photos of everything and admiring all the architecture and gardens that were along the way.
I had to take the obligatory selfie to prove that I was here. Or there, rather. Not like I would ever lie about something like this, but, you know: I needed it for my scrapbook/Project Life. Okay, and maybe even Instagram. But most of all, I needed it for me and my memories. I didn't think I could make it here. I thought it just wouldn't happen because life sometimes just gets in the way. And, yet, there I was. It's true that difficult roads can lead to beautiful destinations.
More photos from day one will be available in my next post! Talk soon.
Have you ever thought that you might never accomplish something on your bucket list?