With little knowledge of
Paris, we thought that the best introduction to Paris was via a tour. After
all, the French spoke French and we don't. The L’Open
Tour Bus offered a
great option in that it was available 200 meters from our hotel and as we
discovered over time, it offered great value for money. As there were 4
routes that can be accessed with the one ticket, our strategy was to first
take all 4 routes, mark the spots we wanted to get off and why, then
prioritise where we wanted to get off for later.
A key stop is at Notre Dame, where three out of the four L’Open Bus routes meet. At Notre Dame, we walked around the church grounds where a nice park attracted many Parisians, especially young couples to sit under the shaded trees. The queue to the Notre Dame tower was quite long, presumably because you are able to get a very nice view of the city environs from up there. We wanted to get up the towers to see the gargoyles, made famous in cartoons and also by the “Hunchback of Notre Dame”. Not a big fan of queues, we had to give the towers a miss and took a walk around the church grounds instead. Along the river we found many people sunbathing on the concrete embankments, some topless. A street market available here had vendors displaying their original artwork so for those who are into quaint nice pieces of French art, here’s the place.
At the head office of the L’Open Bus, we took a short walk to reach the famous departmental store Lafayette, a branch of which is available in Berlin. There were 3 Lafayette buildings n Paris where the Opera House is: Lafayette Gourmet, Lafayette Mode (fashion) and Lafayette Home. We visited the Mode building, which inside was lined with brand name fashion at brand name prices. Nevertheless, there were many shoppers that were looking and buying. At Lafayette Gourmet, we purchased a quantity of Foie Gras (Goose pate) to take home and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of Chinese Dim Sum that was available for takeaways. It was good that the L’Open Bus was able not only to show us around Paris, it also told us where the larger and more famous department stores were for our shopping. However, as the last L’Open Bus completes their rounds at 6pm, we took the subway (the Métro) to get home.
We hope you enjoy these pictures. They were taken from the bus... ie: we didn't get off to take these pictures.
Raymond and Jeanette