We’re just back from a family break in Paris. The women had tickers for two days of the French Open tennis, but the men, not being fans of the sport, had two days to themselves to wander the streets of the city at our leisure. We then had a couple of days all together to explore, do some sightseeing and visit some galleries.
We travelled by rail – two hours to London on the fast train and then another two and a half hours to Paris on the Eurostar with a couple of hours to relax and enjoy a leisurely light meal between trains. A lot easier and less stressful than flying and we arrived in the centre of Paris about a mile away from where we were staying. Our plans had almost been derailed by the threatened rail strike but it was postponed meaning we didn’t have to go through with the alternative arrangements we’d made.
We stayed in the Hotel Joyce, a “boutique” hotel in the South Pigalle district. Pigalle has a reputation as a rather sleazy area, associated with “adult” entertainment, and that is still the case for the northern end around the Boulevard de Clichy. But the southern end has been “gentrified” and become quite trendy and “BoHo” and has been rebranded as SOPI. The buildings in most of the streets looked as if they had been relatively recently renovated and the area had a relaxed feel to it.
Although we have visited Paris many times over the years we did some of the touristy things – the Eiffel tower (son had ever been up previously) and Montmarte. But we got off the beaten track as well, visited a couple of smaller, favourite gallery and also got to see an exhibition about Aardman Studios.
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Place des Vosges
La Tour Eiffel