How to do Paris in under 3 hours…

Ingredients:

1 x reliable car
1 x semi-accurate satellite navigation system (satnav)
1 x brother who knows his way around Paris
1 x camera with fast shutter speed function
A healthy dose of patience
A pinch of nerves
Good passenger/driving skills
• Drive into Paris, blindly following your satnav’s directions
• Take a few detours as you realise that your satnav hasn’t accounted for roadworks or the odd one-way road
• Get brother to park illegally on side of road while you run into Starbucks, destroy the beautiful French language and emerge proudly holding what you actually asked for.
• Prepare camera as you approach Arc de Triomphe.
• Try not to get too worried when you see satnav’s picture of junction.
• Try harder not to get worried when you enter junction and realise the traffic rules become a ‘free for all’ as cars and motorbikes drive onto and off the junction with no care for other road users whatsoever.
• Hang out window gripping camera for dear life and attempt to shoot ‘good’ shots of the incredible 50m high building standing in the middle of the junction, while brother drives patiently in circles around the monument.
• Try to listen to brother explaining about the burning flame and the grave of the unknown soldier, while not dropping camera and staring wide eyed between monument and crazy French drivers.
• Drive around 4 times before declaring “Arc de Triomphe – DONE!”
• Sip coffee and get ready for Eiffel tower.
• Spot top of Eiffel tower over buildings and declare disappointingly, “Oh, it’s not very big”.
• Get camera ready and enter another crazy French driving junction before brother drops you off at view point and leaves you to deal with your disappointment while he drives around the junction 4-5 times to give you some photo time.
• Gasp as you realise that the top that you previously spotted is actually about a kilometer away and now you’re gobsmacked at how big it is.
• You surrender to being a crazy tourist and take roughly 30 pictures within 5 minutes hoping that at least one of them shows the beauty of the 108 stories, 10,000 ton wonder standing before you.
• Jump back into car with now dizzy brother and start heading to next attraction.
• Drive past the Louvre and try to stop your mouth hanging open when you realise how big it is. Attempt to spot the glass pyramid but fail – make mental note to return to view this place in more detail.
• Drive along the banks of the Seine taking in the cafes, street traders, young couples in love and Japanese tourists.
• Smile cheekily as you realise this is another UNESCO World Heritage site you can cross off your list – DONE!
• Get camera ready for Notre Dame but even though you hang out car, there are too many trees and cars to get a good picture of this finest example of French gothic architecture.
• Brother insists that best view is from the back and tackles the alleyways to get you around there.
• Drive past some gorgeous looking restaurants and coffee shops before being treated to the view of Notre Dame’s flying buttresses and various other Gothic architectural elements from the back.
• Smile cheekily again as you cross off another UNESCO World Heritage site from the list – DONE!
• Sip coffee and smile smugly to yourself. Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Louvre (okay, just from the outside), River Seine, Notre Dame – 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and all in just under 3 hours.
Conclusions: You love travelling, you love satnav, you love your camera and you love your brother.
Paris – DONE!
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5 Responses to How to do Paris in under 3 hours…

  1. Verleice Peters Setchell says:

    Wow, too hectic for me. Couldn’t handle the stress. Love the article though.

  2. Pascale says:

    Funny way of visiting Paris if you are in hurry … Are you a Japanese ??

    • admin says:

      :-) No, I’m not Japanese. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time and rather do a quick visit than no visit at all… What I did see was beautiful and I would love to go back and sit and stare at the Eifel Tower for hours, walk along the banks of the river, stop for coffee in the many little cafes and walk around and absorb the atmosphere. I will definitely go back and for longer next time :-)
      Thanks for stopping by…
      Colleen

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