When in Paris, one walks a lot and it’s worth doing as there are so many sites to see. But you can walk down a street and not even realize you’ve passed a historical monument or famous site. I recently discovered that you can see the Bastille fortress—yes, that famous ‘storming of the Bastille’ place—-that made July 14, 1789 famous. I found the remains of the Bastille in the most unlikely places, so if you’re in these four areas, be sure you’re on the lookout for the remnants. You’ll be looking at a little history from 228 years ago. It’s not all rocks, either, particularly at the Bastille Metro where you will see some amazing art (from France’s bicentennial).
No matter how many times you visit Paris, you will always discover new sites and learn new things about the “City of Light”. I am a lifelong learner and especially love history. Recently, I took a free Paris Greeters walking tour that uncovered a new part of Paris to me. Paris Greeters is made up of volunteers who take tourists on Paris walking tours. Because I have been to Paris so many times, my challenge to my tour guide was to show me some new things and places. I was not disappointed. Some of the stories I heard were fascinating.
When you visit Paris there are many opportunities to see the sites and learn about French history: bus tours, walking tours, and bicycle tours. But what about running through the streets of Paris with a tour guide? Why on earth would one want to do this? What better way to get some mileage in, be challenged to keep up one’s pace, see the sites over a large area of Paris, and hear some good stories along the way! Recently I had the opportunity to do so with Paris Running Tours.
Have you ever considered travelling to France and taking a French immersion course as part of your vacation? I highly recommend you do this. It’s fun. It’s a way to learn a new language or improve your ability to converse with others when travelling. And, it’s good for your brain! I’ve taken French immersion classes in France at three schools. The experiences were vastly different and I can report that in all three cases my French improved. This post is to help you see what you might expect when you take a French immersion course in France. It’s a learning vacation you’ll never forget.
It is interesting scanning some of the France travel forums as I have seen a trend with the advice that is given to people who are looking to travel there. There are hundreds of pieces of advice and much of it centres on what they wish someone had told them before going to Paris. I have often written about the importance of saying “Bonjour” as soon as you enter an establishment. There is a page devoted to “First Time Tips” and I have written a number of posts giving tips that apply not just to Paris, but all of France (10 Dos and Don’ts When In France and Two Common Questions Answered). Here is a list of some of the most common recommendations from travellers and they are spot-on.
Remember the movie, “When Harry Met Sally” and the infamous scene in the deli with Meg Ryan ? Well, to paraphrase a line from this movie, all I can say is:
“I’ll have what he’s having” and “I want to do what he’s doing!”
Thank goodness time heals because I can now look back on a couple of mistakes I have made and laugh. They certainly weren’t funny at the time and they were lessons I had to learn the hard way but as a result, I’ll never make those mistakes again. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and won’t encounter them when you travel to France.