Part 1 – of this three part blog is about speaking French and free things to do. Part 2 – deals with must-sees and getting to and from airport.
Les Halles translated into English means – the markets. There are food markets galore. Find them – here, here, also here and lastly here. Self catering suits me. Western European countries, apart from Italy, are hell for vegetarians. French cuisine may be all that, but I gave their bistros a wide berth. I wasn’t willing to risk ordering something in French and not know what I might be getting. Plus, the French are inclined to sneak meat into most soups, salads and vegetable side dishes.
Instead, we stocked up on French wines, cheeses, breads and pastries. We bought yummy fresh fruit and vegetables from the markets and we ate well. The few times we ate out, we went to one of the many Lebanese restaurants where the food was well priced, full of fresh salads and excellent quality. And it worked out infinitely cheaper.
Entrance to our apartment
Paris self catering apartment
When it comes down to it, you have to decide why you travel. Do you want to visit every museum and place of interest? Or do you want to see how other people live and experience another culture. With Paris that question is particularly relevant. You can run yourself ragged posing in front of every tourist spot for pics to take back home or post on facebook. I tend to pick just a few must-sees and focus more on soaking up the vibe. I love nothing more than to walk about, get lost and just enjoy exploring a new place away from the hoards of camera ready tourists. I like to pretend I am a local. No big camera at the ready or obsessive massive map following all the while missing the views. Nor do I do tourist clothes. The safari pants and jackets with a million pockets and survival gadgets – not me.
With that in mind, my must-dos are –
The Seine from Eiffel Tower
An evening stroll along the banks of the River Seine crossing back and forth over the bridges
Wandering along the Champs Elysee to window shop
A coffee and a pastry at one of the street cafes
Visiting the food markets in Les Halles or any of the other excellent food markets
Relaxing and enjoying your market food in one of the many beautiful gardens
A trip up and down the River Seine on one of their boats
Go to – My Holidays and Trips – at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on – this link.