Imagine everything you ever liked about any city you ever lived in: that’s Paris. Other people have written about it better, in more detail, and taken better photos than I ever will, so I’m not going to do a multi-series of posts. This is it. Your postcard from Paris. Need a guide? Rick Steves does a bang-up job.
Our options for reaching Paris were train (expensive!), plane (expensive!) and driving (comparatively reasonable!). Hotel rooms for a family of five are hard to find at a rational price, so we rented a flat. Hands down, when traveling with children, I recommend renting a flat or a cottage rather than staying in a hotel. Paris is no exception, and finding a flat over a boulangerie in the 1ere arrondissement just steps from the Louvre? With a kitchenette and a washer?! That was heaven. (We used My Paris Visit.)
I found Paris a family-friendly city. There are parks, playgrounds, tons of open space, always something to see, and always someplace to eat. And kids enter free at most museums. A contrast to England, where I still don’t understand how families can travel around and enjoy any of the national treasures here – everything costs, everything costs a lot, and everything works off a different pass — National Trust, English Heritage, networks of grand houses, individual gardens charging separate pricing. Some days it feels like the only thing free in England is walking.
The weather was chilly in Paris, as it has been everywhere in this year’s seemingly endless winter. But … winter in Paris is still better than anything anywhere else. Probably. Snow at the Eiffel Tower and the top of Notre Dame did not deter us.
A wonderful week away and a bittersweet return to home-which-is-not-home. If you need me, I’ll be trying to scratch-and-sniff photos of croissants while eating the last of the easter chocolates.