Paris. Day 2.
It’s was a day of extreme touristy-touristing, ticking off some Parisien staples and just so much walking.
I totally dig cities with great public transport and that facilitate easy walking around. It’s an extreme luxury where I come from, and a definite sign that authorities care for people. Paris was always well connected by public transport, but it’s gotten even better, if that’s even possible.
I remember how easily I crisscrossed the place in 2004, armed with just a weekly metro pass and a map and only occasionally needing to ask someone for help. This time around, it feels like the number of stations have increased and there’s a far superior level of interconnectivity between the metro, the RER (intercity train system), trams and buses for the last mile bits. And what’s better is that tickets bought for any of these systems apply across all others too. Which means, if I buy a metro ticket, I can even use it on a bug or tram to get to my destination once I get off the metro.
There’s also bicycles on hire which is so great. And in general, I’ve seen so many cyclists, people on those two wheeled scooter thingies, rollerskates and skate boards, self-balancing electric unicycles and segways as legit means of transport, and not just fun things to do. There’s dedicated cycling lanes most everywhere.
Of course all of this means there’s far fewer cars on the streets, which is so wonderful overall. So many thousands of people take to the streets to walk to get to places. It’s the most normal thing. In fact I’m beginning to think that brisk, purposeful walk in the highest heels is also such a quintessential Parisien thing to see.
I’m aware how much this makes me sound like a villager out from the boonies, in the city of gleaming lights. Let me assure you, in this respect, it is 100% true.
Excellent public transport makes me irrationally happy. There is something so empowering about being able to wander freely, regardless of the time of day, distance you have to go and your age or gender.
So of course, to make full use of this we began wandering — which is my only non-agenda for the entire trip. I don’t have a list of places to see and things to do. I want to get out everyday, pick a neighbourhood and just wander. Loaf. Roam.
Ended the day with this view, watching the sun go down and the Eiffel Tower shimmering classily on the hour.
It was a steeply priced ticket to get up here, but easily the best Euros spent in the last two days because we got to be up on this observation deck for almost two hours just sitting and watching.
Umpteen train rides have happened, over 10km clocked by foot, and the day ended with a glass of wine at a bistro, more walking to one of the best Falafel spots, and a one hour bus ride back to our hotel.
I passed out on the ride back. The kind of pass out one has from extreme exhaustion, every inch of my legs wanting rest. My body hasn’t been used and moved around this much, since the OXFAM walk. It’s a thoroughly satiating way to get to know a city — by foot. It’s down and dirty, mingling with it on the ground, so much touch and feel that adds granularity to the experience. I was so, so tired, but so satiated and happy. And that’s a pretty good way to end the day, in my (holiday)book.
Two years ago: Day 264: Perch