Coming to the close of our 15 day Western Europe Tour, after visiting 8 different European countries, the final city of the tour was the capital city of France, none other than the City of Paris! If you know anything about Paris, then you know it’s one of the most sought after cities many people long to visit. Whats so special about this popular city? You might have seen Paris on television or on the big screen at the movies, but to actually walk the pavement of this city 🤔honestly speaking, it’s waaaay too much to take in and process. In Paris the environment is fast pace , especially if you only got two short days, that is why I Gotta Go Back !
Have you ever been some place that you anticipated going to, a major landmark to the world that you only heard about and finally you are here, it can be somewhat overwhelming. Knowing that I only had a few days my goal was to try to make the best of my time and get the most out of this special place. So I planned Carefully.
I bought a book yes! good research pays off! I like a good book with plenty of pictures, try this one: Paris: DK Eyewitness travel guide. This Guide Book led me to some fine landmarks and SOME OF PARIS MUST DO’S: DK Eyewitness
- Eiffel Tower
- The Louvre
- Arc de Triomphe
- Moulin Rouge
It’s been over 10 years since I have been to Paris 😩
It was the unforgettable year of 2005 when I visited Paris and that is my focus for this story, especially for those who never visited the city of Paris, I want you to get a glimpse of what I experienced in France, but as I was writing this story I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened a week prior to my visit to Paris, my wife and I was in London England which was part of our European tour, in fact it was our first stop in Europe. British Prime Minister Tony Blair was hosting the G8 Summit and The United States President George Bush was in London as well.
Notice the timeline:
- July 5th we arrived in London
- July 6th We went out freestyle to explore London with the destination: Piccadilly Square, taking the King’s Cross underground train.
- July 7th we met up with our tour group and departed for Belgium and Amsterdam.
On July 7th 2005 after we left London, down in the King’s Cross underground subway a bomb went off killing 52 innocent civilians and injuring 400 others, so if you notice my time line, the day before the bombing my wife and I rode those same King’s Cross trains over to Piccadilly Square as we explored London. This no doubt had us on edge as we were crossing the English Channel on our way to Amsterdam when we heard the sad news as our tour guide made the announcement on our tour bus, what a tragedy and a near miss!
Many thoughts went through our minds, but we undoubtedly thanked our God who gave us undeserved kindness and another day of life and for allowing us to get back home to our children whom were with my mother at the time.
Now back to Paris…. 😏
First things first – Eiffel Tower
I couldn’t wait to get to the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower is a photographers dream, and is definitely on many travelers bucket list, what a site to see from miles away towering over all of Paris. Taking the elevators up inside the tower can be described as a adrenaline rush.
The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. When in Paris this is a must do. You will see people from all around the world visiting this massive wrought Iron Landmark.
Here is some photos that I had the pleasure of taking in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower and The Arc De Triomphe
The Louvre. Another site to see, if you like museums, or not, you have to go to the Louvre there is sooooo much to see: paintings, antiquities, sculpture, drawings, statues, art etc. lots of world history, you will certainly be impressed!
This Photo of the Mona Lisa was taken with it’s glass case around it in 2005. By M.Swint
When I was in the Louvre, the most popular exhibit was none other than the Mona Lisa! You should have seen all of the cameras and all the people around this glass case. This was a painting that I heard about in the US all my life and now I was finally here to see it in person, face to face, what a site to see.
But on a sad note, due to the recent events in France, there has been talk about the country of France economic down-turn, also there has been talk about the sell of the Mona Lisa painting which is owned by France and estimated to be worth $1.6 billion, that’s a lot of dough, however many experts say that the Mona Lisa is priceless! and is one of the most known and expensive pieces of art ever painted.
More photos taken in the Louvre: By Yours Truly M.Swint
Arc De Triomphe. Standing in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, no, not the airport, but in the center of the city. The Arc de Triomphe is the center of attention as you take a drive up to a circle of 12 avenues and is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, only if you can stop looking at the Eiffel Tower, located where the 12 Avenues end is Champs Elysee. A side note: the avenues are named after French military leaders. For more information check out the website:
Free Entry to Arc De Triomphe with the Paris Pass.
Normal Entry Price: Adult: €12.00.
Moulin Rouge. This is another place you just hear about or see in the movies. Our tour group was not scheduled to go inside and that was fine with me, just to see the outside setting and snap a few photos of it in the background with some newly found friends topped off a nice evening to a previous dinner show of which I can’t remember the name.
Friends on our tour – Ivan from South Africa and the young lady was from the US.
Speaking of the Tour, we met so many people from around the world on this European tour, I would like to take the time to acknowledge some of them in the next series of photos:
My wife in the background and some friends from South Africa; The Middle East; Australia; and Rio De Janeiro
What a lively group after we got to know one another, I have not been successful with keeping in touch with any of our tour group, so if any of you come across this story please contact me. Our tour was hosted by Insight Vacations which I think is owned by Trafalgar Tour Company and booked through: Vacations to go This Jewels of Europe Tour I highly recommend to Europe first timers. Note The Itinerary :
Where did we stay in Paris?
Mercure Paris Porte De Pantin Hotel
Not a fabulous Hotel, but not a Motel either. This Hotel has a bit of Paris charm to it (in my French accent) but it was clean and served the purpose. I’m sure it was cost efficient for the tour, here is the website if you are interested: Mercure Paris Porte De Pantin Hotel
Food in Paris -don’t leave without trying at least one.
6. Ice Cream
What did we eat? Sandwiches – wrapped in French bread are very popular in Paris, you can get a sandwich just about anywhere you go, honestly, and they are very tasty.
French Restaurants: We did not get to go to many French restaurants, just a few,
On our way to Paris our tour group stopped at a rest stop with along the highway for a lunch break. There we found more French bread sandwiches 😋 and we also found that there was a language barrier as well, at least for my wife and I , we don’t speak French 😩 As we ordered in English we got no response, everyone was speaking French, so we did a lot of pointing and hand signing 👈🏼👉🏼😦 but this did not discourage us as we were excited to proceed on to Paris.
Also at the rest area we noticed some children sipping wine with their lunch, this customary in France,
Also another observation about the rest area was that the restrooms were very clean…. and the restroom attendant charge you a small fee to use them, I think it was about a Quarter or so, but all in all a good idea, but I also noticed women restroom attendants will come and clean the men’s room right when (men) are using the facilities 🤔 huh, I kinda felt violated 😭😭😭 or just not use to it ☺️
Hopefully you see now why I gotta to go back to Paris, yes I did a lot in two days, but I missed a lot as well. When I go back I plan to spend a week or more. If you have any up and coming trips overseas please let me know.
As I conclude this story on Paris, I’m sitting here on Jalousie Beach or Sugar Beach in St Lucia so relaxing 😏 I know I left out a number of places to see, things to do and tasty things to eat in Paris, however that is where my readers and those who follow my blog come in, please give me your input or comments on this story or any of the stories on my blog. Please ask questions about my travel experience, sharing ideas goes a long way and could save you time and money when traveling. Thanks for reading!
Meet The Author
Welcome to Swint Travel Blog! May name is Mark A Swint and I enjoy Traveling or you can say that I have the travel bug. The purpose of this website is to share travel ideas and travel tips that will invite inexperienced travelers as well as those who are well traveled get away and try something new. My family and I have traveled to many places around the United States as well as the Caribbean, Central America, and Europe. My goal is to get viewers and bloggers excited about going to see places you have never been. (Switching Careers) Living in the beautiful Michigan area all my life, I currently work in the Auto Industry, however it is my goal to switch to the hospitality/travel industry in the near future. There are so many places on my bucket list for travel, please feel free to share your travel experience with me so that we can have an exchange of ideas.
Thank you for visiting my website and I hope that the pictures and the travel tips get you motivated to try some place new!