Paris Without a Map

The accidental tourist

It’s a very unorthodox way to do it, but I have been in Paris for three days now, and I still don’t have a map.  It’s not because I don’t want one, I’ve spent the last three days totally lost looking for one.  Now it’s almost time to leave and I think I like the feeling of being lost.  As far as sensations go it is right up there with “I don’t have a clue,” and “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”  Ignorance is the best scapegoat.  I found several maps, but all the street names were in French.  That’s the French for you, maybe Ray was onto something.

Any way, it has turned out that this is a very agreeable (not the most efficient maybe, but agreeable) way to visit a city such as Paris, but perhaps not Detroit.  What happens is that you end up in some very touristy areas, to get  your bearings, and then as you’re looking for something else (like a map) you stumble upon other places that you would have probably missed because they aren’t even on the map.

As you can see, I did manage to find the Eiffel Tower, but I didn’t even go to the top (done that already…last trip), but I did wander around the neighborhood, looking at the beautiful apartment buildings wondering what it would be like to live in a place with that kind of view.  From there it seemed to be an easy hop over to the Notre Dame cathedral.

I’d heard of an area called Les Halles and I thought I wanted to go there.  When I got off the subway, I realized that I was within a couple blocks of my apartment (duh, I’ve really got to get a map).  I ended up buying some paella from a street side market across the street from my apartment which put me perfectly situated for my afternoon nap after lunch.  Les Halles will just have to wait.

After a nice slumber, I spent an hour on the Internet trying to figure out the best Metro route to Les Halles and the Le Marais neighborhoods.  After a lot of research, I decided I’d just walk there.  It ended up being about a 10 minute walk with the Metro taking about 30 minutes and 2 station changes…I’ve really got to get a map.  I spent the rest of the afternoon, totally lost, in one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting cities.

Tomorrow is my last day here.  I’ve decided that maps are for amateurs.

Notre Dame

I loved Amsterdam, but there was not a place to plop down. Paris is the most "ploppingest" city there is.

Something you see when you're lost. Is this street on the map?

Paris. The City of Light.

The accidental tourist.


6 thoughts on “Paris Without a Map

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