As we sit on our first TGV train, accelerating up to ridiculous speeds and heading to our first non-Paris destination (Beaune), I wanted to make a few comments about our trip so far. Paris is a beautiful city, and in my opinion it is mostly because of all the old architecture. There are parks scattered about the city, but not many patches of dirt otherwise. The Seine is a happening place to be and gives great views of the city. There are tiny boutiques everywhere, selling anything you could every think of, from tea sets to vintage American kid’s toys. We went to a huge Flea Market and some vendors had antique furniture selling for many thousand Euros. People are out and about constantly and all the restaurants, bars, and cafés (the distinction seems to blur between these) are packed every evening. The schedule of Parisian life is later than ours – days start ~9am and don’t end until Midnight or so, which is very easy since it’s light until almost 10:30pm this time of year.
Contrary to what we’ve been hearing about French people, they seem to be very friendly and accommodating. We went to countless Cafés for lunch and dinner and were surrounded by locals chatting, laughing, smoking cigs, and never once felt like people were eyeing us for speaking English, granted Jen and I try very hard not to be the “obnoxious American tourists” they’re used to seeing. We were actually mistaken for locals a few times, which I’d like to attribute to my perfect French accent ;)
More to come as this adventure unfolds.