Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paris in August





We are loving our time in Paris! We expected that we would, but we did not anticipate that Paris would be fairly affordable even in high season. We have rented an apartment in the 2nd arrondissemont with everything we need and some lovely additions, like a cappuccino maker. Other than our rent, museum and velo lib passes, and groceries we have spent very little here.

The velo bike rental system is amazing. I first became a convert in Toulouse when we studied French there. The bikes make it easy to wiz off to museums and sites and then return home for lunch and a break before heading out on another bike somewhere else in the afternoon. The distances in Paris are ideal for velos; using the metro would actually involve more walking and take more time. Best of all it's August, so all of Paris on vacation and as a result traffic is very light. We were even able to cycle through Place de Concorde with only one near death experience (only kidding mom)!
The velo game can, on occasion, be intense. Eight euros buys you an unlimited number of 30 minutes rides for a week, but sometimes it is a mad dash to find a station to park the bike when the meter is running out. It is not that the bike will suddenly turn into a pumpkin, but additional charges will kick in.

The fact that most Parisians have left the city for the month is a bit strange. In certain districts the town seems empty or sleeping, but the contrast is huge when you reach within a block or two of any of the major sights. Swarms of foreigners queue up for hours to get into the Louvre or the Musee D’Orsay. Thankfully the museum pass allows you to jump to the front and get an even bigger overdose of art. Gord and I are visiting three museums a day and definitely are at the addict level.

We love Paris and now that we have found this perfect home away from home I hope we return many times.




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