Morning and time to give Joseph from the boulangerie some of his change back. A baguette for a Euro and three croissants for 1,60 Euro a piece. Not very expensive. Since my parents took half of their flat with them we eat homemade jam and cold cuts. Nothing wrong with that.

We don’t want to use the car in Paris. so we will do most of our tours by public transport. The metro is about 800 meters from where we live and has a direct connection into the heart of tourist Paris. I have been in the city before, but my parents have never been here. So I will go together with them and enjoy being together on this holiday. My brother will arrive later tonight by car. They have an AirBnB 20 minutes away.

First we have to buy metro day tickets. Getting the apps on the phones of my parents, buying the tickets with my card (sine theirs does not work for online purchases – German bullshit) and teaching them how to use NFC is my challenge for the day. But then we can take the walk to the Metro-station “Villejuif Léo Lagrange”. One thing we find out is, that most Metro-stations so not have elevators or escalators. A lot of stairs and walking in this old system.

We take the metro no. 7 to “Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre” from where we will start our walk. First thing to do is evade the scammers that want you signature for a fake cause, just to take your money and maybe pickpocket you. Starting point is the Louvre. A nightmare of a cue in front of the museum. If you want to stay a day in line, go there. Unbelievable. And then you will stand in line for seeing the most famous picture. I think that is money and precious time thrown out of the window. But we have seen the building, the pyramid and I got my first geocache.


Walking north-west to the Jardin des Tuileries. A nice park – where we lost sight of my father and had a lot of fun guessing bald heads… he was not that amused, but we were. A very nice park, big fountain in the middle and sitting possibilities everywhere. There are chairs that you can take and place where you want to sit. Very nice. Not so nice was the free public toilet, which was dirty like hell.

Next stop Place de la Concorde, where they were building some stands for an event. Not much to see so we tried to cross the street without getting hit – the traffic light were not working.

We know already, that it will be impossible to see everything in Paris and there will be not many places we go into. Passing the Jardin des Champs-Élysées and Petit Palais to the shopping part of the Av. des Champs-Élysées. My parents were a little bit disappointed. This is not what you read about in books or see in older movies. It has become a shopping street with all the major brands. Nothing special when you thing about nice shopping. H&M, Gucci and other brands for people you want to pretend to be something they are not. At least my mother found a blouse.

Walking towards the Arc de Triomphe. If you hate driving a car, don’t drive there. No markings around it. Little did we know that we would drive here soon.

My plan is to get to the Eiffel Tower. But to but the walking a little bit we hop in the no. 30 bus that takes us to the Trocadéro. From this area you have a great view of the Eiffel Tower. That is a fact known by many tourists and the mandatory sellers of all the stuff you don’t need. Just be careful with your belongings and it will be OK. And we didn’t let the self proclaimed “best photographer” take my phone to take a family picture. I like my phone to much. A little bit of waiting to get a bloody crane out of the picture and helping a German couple with some photos before we go down toward the tower and the river Seine.

No need to get on the tower. Long lines and high prices. We have other plans, but first a little break on a bench in the Jardins du Trocadéro. We didn’t even get on the Champ-de-Mars, but walked to the left along the Quai Jaques Chirac to get to our next bus. On the way the Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité (a Russian orthodox church – quite a modern building). We catch bus no. 80 to get to Montmartre.

About 40 minutes as announced by Google maps. First thing on the bus is a ticked control. No problem – we have a valid ticked. Just my phone has some app conflict. The bus stop is not really close to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre which is our goal. First we have to climb up there. We counted at least 120 steps plus the incline of the roads. We get some cheap workout here. As soon as we are clos to the cathedral we are in the tourist area with MANY tourists. Not nice at all with so many people. All the cheap shops with souvenirs (and yes, we also got something, so I should not complain) and then just follow the flow. Around the cathedral it is very crowded. What we didn’t think about is, that today is Good Friday and they do some catholic stuff outside, carrying a cross around, praying and singing. So no visit inside the cathedral (or Basilique to be more precise). I got an app to give me tips for self guided walking tours which I use. Not every sight was interesting for us, but a general direction was given.

Most important to go down the hill. It started raining a little bit and we became hungry. A stop at a little pub. Unfortunately, they didn’t have food any more, just drinks. The bartender was his own best customer as it seemed. We had to get to a small supermarket and my mother and I bought crepes. Very yummy – with Cointreau.

Down the street we go and I found out that I hit unknow women in the face. I wanted to show my parents something an used my arm for pointing. But I didn’t see the woman that came behind me and got my arm quite hard on the nose… embarrassing.

Moulin Rouge around the corner. Very small. And again a tourist trap I would say. But now we are totally finished. There is no more to get out of us. We have to plan for dinner. Trying to get into contact with my brother. They are quite in heavy traffic, so they don’t know, when and if they are able to get together for dinner.

I checked Google and found a neighborhood restaurant, that seemed promising. I don’t remember the name (I will include it if I do) but we had to do a Metro ride and a little walk. Very cozy restaurant. Simple menu. The staff is – as many French are – not very good in English. But it worked and the food we got was great. Lars and Christopher made it not so much after we started eating. Whole family gathered. Even the dog was welcome in the restaurant. A great evening.

But there was still a way to go home. Some more walking to the metro and then Google maps made us leave the at the station Villejuif Paul Vaillant-Couturier. Same distance home, but fortunately, we did not chose this one early today. It would have been an uphill walk all the way. Good to know. Downhill is much nicer.

We and our feet are tired and it is bedtime before an new day of exploration tomorrow.

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