5 Interesting Things We Learned in Paris France

Spending 8 days in Paris gives you time to learn more about the culture and really see the sights. We first visited Paris in 2011 but were only here 2 days — it was not enough time to really see everything Paris has to offer. This time we took it slower.

 5 Interesting Things We Learned in Paris

1. French people are warm and friendly.

2. The French smoke like cast members of Mad Men.

3. French women are skinny.

4. The French love to people-watch and socialize.

5. Paris has beautiful architecture.

French People are Warm and Friendly

Many Americans think that French people are rude, pushy and not so enamored with us. We found this to be totally untrue. The French people we met were kind and eager to communicate. Even though we don’t know the French language, we tried to learn the basics (good morning, hello, goodbye, may I have the check please, etc.). That went a long way in greeting people and they seemed to appreciate our efforts.

The French Smoke like Cast Members of Mad Men

France reminded us of America in the 60’s and 70’s when most people smoked. In Paris,you can smoke in restaurants and pretty much anywhere else you wish. I think more people in France smoke than don’t.

Once you sit down for dinner, you sit next to French people chain-smoking for hours. We’ve joked that we are going to have black lung before we leave Paris, just from second-hand smoke.

Smoking Parisians

Smoking Parisians

French Women are Skinny

It seems everywhere we walked, you would see skinny women. Much has been said about the women of France being skinny and it seems so. I can tell you that they are not on a low-carb diet because pretty much every meal involves tons of bread. Maybe smoking is the secret — they are all young and skinny because they don’t live past 50 due to rampant lung cancer.

The French love to People-Watch and Socialize

Almost every restaurant has tables facing the street. This is where the French congregate — to smoke, drink and socialize. They watch as people pass by and seem to enjoy the company of others. They are not on their iPhones when they socialize, they seem to really be enjoying the time spent with their friends. They also don’t seem to mind eating by themselves. It is common to see someone at a single table enjoying a beer and a cigar while watching passersby.

Tables face towards the street

Tables face towards the street

They also eat late here. It stays light until almost 11 p.m. during this time of the year so we found that we ate dinner around 9 p.m. each night, just as the Parisians do.

Paris has Beautiful Architecture

We stayed in an apartment that was a couple of minutes walk from the Arc de Triomphe. It was a quiet street but in a great location to easily access all that Paris has to offer.

Arch de Triomphe

Arch de Triomphe

On the night that Algeria beat Korea in World Cup soccer, there were tons of cars blowing horns, flying Algerian flags, launching fireworks, and having a great celebration around the Arch de Triomphe.

Probably the most recognized monument is the Eiffel Tower. It can be seen from almost anywhere in town. We visited it at night — it twinkles at the top of each hour for 5 minutes — very cool.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Ryan and I at the Eiffel Tower

Ryan and I at the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower – Ryan took this picture

As we were walking to Notre Dame, we noticed a few bridges filled with locks. The story goes that couples put these locks on the bridge as a way to show their commitment.

Bridge of locks

Bridge of locks

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

The best view in town can be seen from the top of a church called Sacre-Coeur. We climbed to the top (300 stairs) to take in the view.

Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Coeur

View from Sacre-Coeur

View from Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Couer is in an area called Montmartre, we spent a day walking around this area and visiting the Musee de Montmartre.

Cafe in Montmartre

Cafe in Montmartre

Musee de Montemartre

Musee de Montmartre

Also in Montmartre is the Moulin Rouge. We saw a show here the last time we visited in 2011.

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

The Louvre is a place you must not miss — it is one of the largest museums in the world and where the Mona Lisa is displayed. We were surprised at how small the Mona Lisa painting is, but the Louvre is a must-see museum, you could spend days in there.

The Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

The Louvre

I will leave you with a few more pictures of the incredible architecture of Paris.

DSC01038 DSC01032

DSC01020 DSC01010 DSC01007DSC01147DSC01151DSC01154DSC01158DSC01160DSC01162DSC01164DSC01166DSC01170DSC01177DSC01182DSC01184

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8 thoughts on “5 Interesting Things We Learned in Paris France

  1. Julie & Doug

    Sounds like fun! Missed you guys today at Brewfest but you didn’t miss much of a festival … Enjoying the blog but where is pics of Lynn?!? : )

    Reply
  2. silvernomads

    This post is awesome as always Steve, love the photos. Brings back happy memories of our 8 days in Paris. Sad for me too to realise that my next trips will be without Duncan.

    Reply
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