I was as prepared as I could be having done my research ahead of time and I had maps, a French phrase book and a list of places that I wanted to see before my tour started.
(A few things that were not on the Ooh La La Tour.)
The direct flight from Vancouver was 9 + hours long but time passed quickly...(I was very excited!)
There were in flight movies and I cannot praise Air France enough...from their warm greetings, smartly dressed stewardesses, champagne reception and their tasty meals and snacks...their in flight safety announcement is just an example of the quality of service they offer!
When I arrived at CDG airport arrivals gate there was a sign with my name on it and I was whisked away to my hotel in a comfortable car...thank you to the Ooh La La Tour leaders Stephen Solosky and Jamie Cat Callan for arranging such a lovely warm welcome!
After I got settled into my room of Hotel Belloy in the 6th I went out and explored the streets and shops in the area near the Sorbonne...lots of people were out and about and the cafes were full of smartly dressed men and women. (The men looked particularly well turned out in their scarves and stylish jackets!)
Rue Racine near the Sorbonne where my Hotel was located.
Many cobblestone streets beckoned...
The Metro stations were conveniently located...
I preferred taking the bus or walking as I wanted to see all the sights.
my Parisian instructor would have been proud of me as I spoke French when I ordered.
Everyone it seems wears scarves in Paris even the children!
Some friends were staying in the next arrondissement...they had arrived 4 or 5 days ahead of me and they kindly took me under their wing and walked me through the neighbourhood and far beyond the first two days after I landed! I was glad that I had brought comfy walking shoes as we walked 6 1/2 hours the first day and 6 the following...our stops were for coffee and a wee pastry and in the mid afternoon for lunch.
We ventured along the rues of the art district, then along the Seine where kiosk sellers have books and posters for sale...this is a very "touristy area"...with lots of shops selling souvenirs and Tee Shirts...
I was cautioned to be on the look out for pick pockets!
After crossing over the Seine we wandered through The Marais...which is full of small boutiques and cafes.
Loved this area for shopping as you get a real taste of the fashions worn here and there are so many chic Parisian femmes street sightings!
We cruised through the large BHV department store where we discovered the "pop up vintage shop" where I bought a vintage silk Jeanne Lanvin scarf.
We lunched in their cafeteria which served a wonderful array of foods and wines...and a wonderful view.
I opted for a healthy salad and a bottle of Badoit water...
after several more hours of exploring we made our way back to the 6th.
I decided that I needed a rest and went into the well stocked Monoprix to see what I could find for dinner.
Fresh strawberries, a cheese plate and a demi baguette with wine.
I nibbled this in my room and had leftovers for another day.
It was lights out by 10:00, physically tired but blissfully happy.
Pinch me I must be dreaming!