30 April 2004

Paris, c’est fantastique!

Wow, what a city! Paris is like nothing else I've seen in Europe: busy yet sparse, noble buildings and glorious parks. The city just seems to line up so well. As you walk down a broad boulevard and glance to either side, an arch opens to perfectly frame the building behind.

Oh, and the food. Well, France is known for its cuisine, but it's amazing how much great food you can get with even the mid-priced options at the Parisian restaurants. Liz and I walked away very full today after a three-course meal for lunch, topped off with fantastic créme brulée. Luckily we had a good climb up the stairs to Sacre Coeur to work it off.

Music seems to be everywhere you go. If it's not in the square you pass on your way home, it's a woman singing on the Metro as you make your way across town. Just watch out for pickpockets while you appreciate it!

In terms of places to stay, it's a fair bit more expensive than the rest of Europe (except Italy). Dorm beds go for about €22, and cost a little bit more near the city. The rooms aren't quite as nice as the hostels we've stayed in before, for example in Germany and the Netherlands. Of course, you don't expect anything like what you get in Croatia for the same price (double rooms with ensuite and sea view). We stayed two nights at BVJ Hostel Louvre (€25) and then four at Y&H Hostel (€22).

Tomorrow, we're heading down south to meet Liz's brother and his fiance in Agde. The plan is to stay one night at the hostel in Montpellier, then meet up on Saturday. We get to travel on the TGV in the morning. Should be fun, and it only cost €3 each with our Eurail passes!