Winter Tour: Paris Revisited, Another Side

A grand return to the city that I absolutely dread returning.  I’ll be honest.  Paris really isn’t my favourite city to visit in France.  I’d much rather go to the country side and visit some cheese farms and drink wine out of kegs.  But alas, I’ve returned.  There’s still plenty for me to see though.  The last time I was there I didn’t really get to see everything.

Before arriving, I found a place to stay on AirBNB like I usually do.  This time instead of staying in Bangnolet I ended up staying in Villejuif.  Yes, that’s the name of the area, as terrible as it sounds when directly translated into English.  But, overall it’s a pretty good place to stay in Paris.  Relatively safe to be honest.  It’s actually only a few stations away from China Town if that’s your kind of thing.  China Town is kind of weird though.  I think the China Town around the 13th District should be called Viet Town.  There’s like Pho everywhere and barely any actual Chinese food.  Even if you’re not really into China Town though, there’s a great mall nearby.  It’s called Italie 2.  There’s plenty of shops in the mall. Pretty much every chain store you can think of in Paris.

I flew in from London and arrived around noon Paris time.  Unfortunately, the host I was staying with couldn’t check me in until he got off work at 6 pm.  So, I had to wait around until then.  Luckily the train station, Gare du Nord, has lockers for public use.  It costs around 9€ for a big locker.  I dumped all my stuff in it for the next 6 hours and then went to wander around Paris for a bit.  I choose to head off to a street I was familiar with; Rue de Rivoli.  It’s a pretty typical place to go for shopping and it’s relatively close to a few major museums.  Most importantly, there’s tons of food along the street so it’s easy to find a place to sit in and just sip on some coffee or soup.  After wandering around until 6pm, I headed back to grab my luggage and headed off to my new place.  It wasn’t the nice places, but it’s Paris after all.  I never expect the best accommodations, but it was at least liveable.

The next day, I decided to wander the city again, as I usually do.  However, this time I decided to wander the more Western side of the city, since I didn’t really do too much of it last time.  Ended up going to the Eiffel Tower.  Took some shots of the place.  It was freezing cold though.  Luckily there was a crepe place near by.  Not talking about those sugary crepes but the ones with chicken, egg, and cheese.  They’re so awesome.  Warms you right up.  A few of the other places I visited for the next few days included Louvre, le Grand et Petit Palais, and la butte de Montmatre.  Out of the bunch, Montmatre was definitely the most interesting.  There were small little market stalls, live music, and a few other performers doing their own acts.  It was kind of unusual though.  It was New Year’s Eve and there really weren’t that many fireworks.  I guess they aren’t really big on that.  But, they did have live cabaret dancing going on.  Like instead of having musical artists come in and sing, they have naked girls dance on stage.  It is Paris after all.

In my own opinion Paris really isn’t all that magical.  It does have its upside though.  I do love going to local cafés and eating my morning baguettes.  The metro does smell like pee still so that kind of sucks but at least it’s much more usable than Toronto’s TTC Subway.

For now enjoy the videos and photos.

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