After much planning and preparation we finally arrived in the northern hemisphere.
Our first week in Paris has been a combination of busy and relaxed. Catching up with old friends has been the highlight and making new ones too! The relaxed ambiance staying with friends helps overcome the jet lag and getting ones head around day to day practicalities from braving the Paris metro, buying a SIM card and finding your way around.
Our first adventure was not finding our taxi driver at the airport. Our lovely friends had reserved one for us but it took maybe an hour before we found him! No one had heard of the company and I ran around looking for an atm = money = feed the kids = get change and try to call someone...if you can figure out how to use the public telephones!
Once we found him all was good. He was a lovely young man who attacked the express way and le périphérique with true Parisian driving skills, all the while managing to bite his nails and check his texts! How could I have forgotten those crazy French drivers?!
Since, my thighs have had a good workout. We have roamed around the streets of Paris, just 3 of thousands of tourists out and about with their selfie sticks, (I've never seen so many!).
Pre-booking tickets online can be helpful but sometimes you have to stand in line no matter what. I don't remember there being so many people during my last visits. Some Americans had a go at me when I cheekily merged into line near them, pretending not to understand what they were talking about, comme une vraie francaise! Still had to wait at least half an hour. Paris is immense and full of surprises, not all good of course. Armand commented on rubbish everywhere and there are plenty of soldiers with big guns but despite the crowds it is amazing. We have had only a small taste, concentrating on famous sites. We had a great day with a lady from Newcastle, whom I met during the last 15 minutes of the flight via the book she was reading! We roamed around the quartier de Notre Dame, tested the Metro, picnicked near Sacre Coeur after climbing many stairs and discovered the little streets of Montmartre, before climbing to the top of l'arc de triomphe!
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For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.