This is a little late as I was in Paris at the beginning of July but better late than never.
I did lots of research on TA before a 5 week holiday in Europe ,including one week in Paris.
Thank you to all the TA contributors for their time and patience in answering our queries.
We are are a couple in our mid 50’s who travel a bit and enjoy the history, sights, people and food. Plenty of time is allowed to sit and watch the world go by.
Our apartment is in Saint Germain (ParisBestLodge) and I am excited to be opposite 2 café/bars and next to a chocolatier. We are in a small street between Rue du Mazzarine and Rue du Seine. If I walk in one direction I am in the Luxembourg Gardens, another direction takes me to the Seine and another to the Boulevard Saint Germain. I am also in heaven! The streets are interesting with wonderful little boutique shops and galleries and plenty of places to eat. This is going to be wonderful.
We go to dinner at a little place in Rue du Baci and a delightful young French couple sit at the adjoining table and chat to us as if we’ve been friends for a lifetime. It is such a lovely way to spend our first dinner in Paris and we find that at every dinner we have in this magical city, there are always people at nearby tables who are happy to chat and share experiences of Paris and their home.
Mostly these are tourists but we also find the locals are happy to share their Paris with us. We look forward to dinner time, both for the food and the wonder of who we will be talk to tonight.
On our first morning in Paris, we are out and about early, 5.30am (time differences and their consequences generate stories in themselves). We are amazed at the lack of people about, especially as it is a week-day morning. We follow the street sweepers and look for a café to have some breakfast.
There is nothing open yet and we see quite a few homeless people sleeping in doorways. They seem to have no sense of urgency to be up and about and obviously know that it is not opening time for awhile yet. An hour later, there are signs of life as shops prepare for the day, but my enquiries as to the possiblity of a coffee are met with the response of “ferme” – closed and a look of amazement that I would expect to be served at such an early hour.
It begins to make sense now that those 2 little café/bars opposite us are still going strong at 2am, even though it is a week night. Parisians are late risers!... and this makes me love them all the more.
We lose our sense of urgency and take a seat in a bus stop and watch as Paris awakens. It is one of my best memories of Paris, sitting and watching as more people come by making their way to work, streets start to fill with people and movement, traffic increases, the noise levels go up and Paris comes alive to face another day. We finally have our breakfast at around 7am whilst watching window washers, waiters setting tables, men making deliveries and as always, the women of Paris walking in their high heels over those cobblestones. Hahaha what a great place to be alive.