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Vive Paris! Essay

1318 words - 5 pages

I've been to Paris twice, the first time in 1999 and then again towards the end of 2001. (Hopefully I'll be able to go again before long.) Both times I went with a mate (different ones), and the two trips could hardly have been more different. But one thing came through from both trips - Paris is my one of my favourite cities in the world.My First Experience of ParisI went with a friend who, like me, knew basically nothing of Paris, and spoke about as much French as me - virtually none! (Hey I'm not your average Englishman who thinks that everyone can understand me if I raise my voice and speak s l o w l y - I speak reasonable Spanish, and know a little Czech and German [resists urge to mention little Czech called Jan and little German called Hanz] - but I just don't do French!) This meant a few communication difficulties occasionally, but of course most people there could speak perfectly good English too. Since we didn't know the layout of Paris we spent a lot of time wandering around wondering where we were, and also made the mistake of getting the 175F (.50) travel card - it's generally much cheaper to buy a pack of ten general purpose tickets instead. We flew in from Heathrow to Orly (not too far from the city centre) on a British Midland flight (breakfast included - an edible breakfast! I was seriously impressed...) for from - pretty good. We got a hotel in St Paul's for about per night B&B - though finding a hotel with reasonable prices took a while.The first thing we went to see was the Eiffel Tower, which impressed me immensely (and continues to do so!). We met up with a friend who lives in Paris and went for a meal (she suggested going to McDonalds - tsk... no class, these continentals...) and we found a nice little place just outside the main centre of Paris. That evening however (how my friend must have rued it being his turn to pay) we looked for somewhere to eat on the Champs Elysees itself - BIG MISTAKE!! The meal we had wasn't all that special and cost nearly each!! Partly due to this I found myself very disappointed with French food from this visit - however this was to be remedied on my next visit...A combination of not knowing the city or the language combined to make this trip feel far shorter than it was, although a weekend really isn't enough to see this beautiful city anyway. However I had already fallen in love with Paris, and desperately wanted to visit it again. It was nearly a year and a half before I did...Me Second Experience of ParisIt was October 2001 (I think - not very good with dates...) when I managed to go to Paris again. But this time I was far mor prepared - not simply because I'd already been and had done a little research, but because I was going with a different friend - one who not only spoke fluent French but had also lived in Paris for a year, and knew it inside out. This meant that when we wanted to go somewhere, we went straight there instead of taking unintentional (but...

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