Hop On Hop Off
Like many other cities Paris has a Hop on Hop off line of buses that cover the main touristic points.
Like anywhere else, that is an expensive way to see the city, so:
If you are short in time and want to have a quick view, with an occasional stop, or...
... you had no time to prepare your trip and don't know where to go, or...
... you absolutely need some immediate information about the seen places... then do it.
Otherwise, remember that everywhere they go you will have a cheaper alternative not difficult to find, and the open deck is great from outside, but as soon as you enter, sun, wind or rain may give you a different idea.
The crowds around Eiffel tower are a good opportunity to pickpockets.
In one of our late visits, Fernanda noticed a couple of men following us, too close, and with a clear concentration in my camcorder.
We joined one line to the elevators and they lined after us.
Then, I turned myself, looked the first one clearly in the eyes, and, without a word, we moved to another elevator.
They abandoned the line and went away.
The prices for public transport in Paris obey to distance, with the city covered by concentric crowns.
Most touristy destinations are in the central crown, and even LA Défense, a few kilometers out of it gets special treatment, being included in central zone. Our problem was not knowing where to exit, and we noticed that we had passed the right stop, we were already in the outer zone.
We decided to stay until the end of the line, and stop there in the way back, expecting to be asked for the right ticket.As a matter of fact no one bothered us - the bus stopped about 10 minutes, the driver let us stay inside, and returned without any demand.I think we were lucky, but next time I will control carefully the right stop.
Funny and French
Travelling with kids, while in Florida I had to go to Disneyworld.
In France, why should I search for American culture (and business) to go to EuroDisney?
I preferred Asterix Park. It's the same idea, lots of amusement, and... it's french.
Address: 60128 Plailly, France
Directions: 30 Km from Paris by the Highway A1. By RER (metro) Roissy Charles de Gaulle then a shuttle.
The Square to Walk Backwards
If you want a little bit of fun, just stop in the square facing Notre-Dâme and look at the people. There's always someone walking backwards in the square.
The facade is so big that confuses the photographers, who try to frame it from the center of the square, and discovering the impossibility start to move backwards until... until the photographic point right at the bottom of the square.
So, after looking and smiling, save your time, and go straight there. In my recent visit I noticed that the old fun is over - the new cameras have wider lenses and framing the facade is easier... closer.
This funny experience was lived in 1979, in the "pré-history" of photography.
Now with digital cameras, the angles have changed, and the fun is no more available to anyone.
Versailles is very big, so, be prepared to a long walk.
Either inside or outside, the distances are big, and if you go to the gardens (of course, you will!) the distances are counted in kilometers.
There's a small train, and believe me, at least for who was coming directly from America, without sleeping and with jet-lag, it was a blessing.
Maybe it's unfair to call this a tourist trap: the museum is beautiful, and some pieces truly remarkable, but the ticket they charge allows us to expect more.
A few (very few) good pieces, and, when I tried to see something else, I found myself in a larger display that was... the showroom, with five or six people available to deal with clients, but not to waste their time with curious tourists.
Well... I understand: It's not a cultural entity, but an industrial company trying to survive in a, each time harder competition...