My London and Paris Trip.....

Feb 24th, 2006, 07:32 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 96
My London and Paris Trip.....

I realize that many do like to read the travels of others, so it is time that in earnest I describe my feelings on the trip I took recently to London and Paris.

Here goes---and yes, I hope this version is better than the others...
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I awoke early in the morning in the 6th arondismont (i believe)...I stayed near the rouchechart fauborg (sp) station.....let me say, the area is a little sketchy....it is very dark and crowded and full of lower priced suits and wedding gowns and lotto shops. Not the nicest of areas, but I was looking for affordability, not locale. I will say that my hotel was in great walking distance of the station and though I got confused a few times, and went in the wrong direction a couple of times, I was able to figure out the maps without too much difficulty.

I will say, without a doubt, that the best coffee I have ever had in my life was the coffee I got in Paris. And no, you will not find any grande or tall or venti to go cups in the more traditional Parisian cafes...actually, they don't really have coffee to go...I mean, they do, but they give it to you in a weird dixie like cup without a lid. You are rather supposed to stand at the bar and enjoy your coffee and a smoke next to those that are doing the same or having a small 15ml of wine.

Did I mention the Beaujalais? Did I mention the strength of the wine? Did I mention how it lightly coats your palatte and within a few sips, you are feeling its relaxing effects course thru your body?

I will focus on the food I had.....I did not do the usually foodie posts you may read about where people discuss sweetbreads and expensive foods and this chef versus that. I am not into that scene....but I am into the scene of what the locals eat.

My first night in Paris, I went to a local Halaal style restaurant. I noticed that foods being Halaal were very prominent in that area, and even took pictures of a local mini market place area....the butcher and meat sellers have their glass display cases outside!

I order what I thought to be a hamburger and fries...yes, it was the only thing I felt safe ordering on the menu....mainly due to price and limited understanding of french. Let me tell you, that was one very good burger!

I received a nicely baked sandwich style roll...though the bread was better than most in the states. On the role was two thin beef burger patties...but very thin, and I must admit, not as well done as in the states. The fries were super thin and nothing out of the ordinary.

People were so kind to me in the small cafeteria style dining room. The water is room temperature and comes in little carafes.

It is true about eating with forks and knives....some people looked at me while I ate my sandwich with my hands (don't worry, I did not do that with my croque monsieur), but I saw other locals doing it, so I did not feel too odd about it.

I went to one of the many tiny little bakeries all over the area and got a couple of croissants. I watched others buy their bread and yes, people will sometimes touch the bread before buying it.

One thing that many people may not see a lot of, is telephone cafes. These wonderful places saved me so much time and money! Basically they are small, small little storefront shops with individual telephone booths and you can go in and use one and call anywhere in the world you like. The owner tells you how much it is per minute to wherever you choose to call. This helped me a lot for I could not use the street fones in Paris. So many of them required some sort of card that I did not have. It was terribly difficult, I am embarassed to say.

Also, I am now a true convert to the simple ham and butter on baguette. That is a perfect simple meal. And the ham they use in Paris is nothing like out deli style ham out here. It actually tastes like real meat!!

Things closed around 10 or 11pm in my area, which was a bummer. But this was also during the work week, so I cannot expect too much, right?

Also, for all of us Americans who are early rises and like to be up and at them around 7am....it doesn't work that way in Paris. Sure, there are a lot of people who go to work at that time and cafes and bakeries are up and beginning to start business. But they are in the minority. I learned that in both London and Paris, getting up super early and being all rushed is a very American thing. When you do slow down, you get time to savor the day, ya know?

Speaking of breakfast, at all of the hotels I stayed in (mainly 1 and 2 star hotels) in both London and Paris, breakfast was included. In Paris, it was 1 croissant and 1 roll with butter and jam (their jam was tart and soooo good!! not sugary like ours in the least bit!) and coffee or juice or sometimes both. In Paris, you get hot coffee, and a hot container of milk. My goodness!! Heaven in a cup! In London, you get two bread rolls and coffee or juice or both.

A note of caution about breakfast in London....it could be that we have too many hormones in our eggs or give them the wrong feed, and that it why the yolks are a pale yellow. In London, the yolks are a bright orange. I fear that too much oil is used in their frying and lends to the repeating taste of the egg much later on in the day. Also, bacon in London was NOT crispy...except maybe in a sandwich. But for the most part, it was like a very meaty and slighty soft type of bacon...great, but not what one may be used to. And let me not even start on the sausage....lets just say that I love London, but will stick to tea and maybe a scone for breakfast. I can do with their eggs. Maybe they would taste better if scrambled?

I will write more later....this is just a start.
milliondollarbbw is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 07:52 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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You might have been staying near Barbès Rochechouart metro station, and if so you weren't in the 6th arrondissement, which is way across town. It was probably the 9th, 10th or 18th arrondissement, as that metro station is at the junction of those 3.

Sounds like you had a good time, wherever it was!
shellio is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I like that you went and ate at the local area restaurants. Please write more!
tinyteacup is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 06:31 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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Hi M,

Thanks for sharing.

If you were near the Denfert-Rocherau station, you were in the 14th.

ira is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 10:23 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The clothes shops sound more like Barbès-Rochechouart. Nice to get a fresh eye's view..
PatrickLondon is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 10:32 AM
  #6  
 
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Definitely not the 6th arrondissement from the description. This is an area we don't get a lot of reports about, and just confirms my impression that anywhere you stay in Paris is an interesting neighborhood where you can have an amazing time.
Nikki is offline  

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