We stayed a few blocks outside of the 14th arrondissement, technically not in Paris but only by a few hundred meters. Our hosts were the intrepid minusandcortex.wordpress.com, aka M and E whom we’d met while making the complicated border crossing from Myanmar to India. We spent about a week traveling with them in northeast India in February. They were gone a year and had just returned home from Columbia to Paris two days before we arrived there and despite jet lag welcomed us to M’s parents’ house most graciously. His parents were away and I worried on their behalf about their beautiful home. There was a lot of original artwork by a family friend and a definite Asian vibe with Buddha statues, plain white walls, floating steps, and Japanese maples in a small garden. A beautiful place!
With our ever-precarious finances I again found myself in a tourist challenge of being in a new and fascinating place with a ludicrously small budget. Luckily, the weather was delightful and attractions seem to be free for under-eighteens. We ate superb bread, cheese, olives, and produce from grocery stores and limited our metro trips and still felt like we experienced this grand city.
The Eiffel Tower was a big deal for Fiercely and Cleverly, apparently for the same reason as the other ridiculously posed tourists we saw there. The structure is basically a meme to be used in a variety of photos such as ‘holding’ it in one’s hand, ‘pinching’ its tip, etc. This made entertaining viewing for yours truly, as person after person positioned themselves just so for the desired effect. And… forgive me I am distracted by the gorgeous French policemen who are walking by as I write at the sand park by the Seine and I’m wondering how hard it would be to get briefly arrested, probably bad idea, must focus… Ah, the Tour Eiffel, it was so cold and windy that day we didn’t climb it. We still might go back since we are here a few more days. If I’m not in jail…
Paris beach above, nearby world map and lover’s locks below. We heard too many locks caused a rail to collapse a few years ago!
As for the sand park ‘Paris beach’ near Notre Dame is a summertime public space that draws people to the banks of the Seine. We went several times and the kids loved to play on the sand with the sand toys available. The weather was nice and the place was crowded but friendly. We had beautiful views of the river and the graceful buildings along its banks. More to follow in part 2