May 2002 - Paris

My first trip to Paris. Not being a great fan of all things French I'd never been in a hurry to visit but it had to be done. Did the usual sights, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, ... I was surprised that Paris isn't all that busy. There is room to wander around and the roads relatively quiet. I like the big wide boulevards and there's quite a bit of open space. It shows, sometimes having an all powerful emperor who isn't afraid to upset people and build things how he wants it can be a good thing. Napoleon III totalled the place and I like what he's done.

The Louvre is great. The most impressive part is the building itself. The architecture is a work of art in itself. The Mona Lisa is unimpressive, the Venus de Milo just a tatty old sculpture with the arms missing.

French food and French wine, supposedly the best in the world. They are not. From the selection of food that we had it's very, very ordinary. Either drowned in garlic, or tasteless. As for the wine, a lot of it barely drinkable even by me. In the UK you rarely get a bad House Wine, in Paris we didn't have anything but.The best food and drink experience in Paris. Häagen-Dazs! On the only hot day whilst we were there we were walking down the Champs d'Elyse and came across Häagen-Dazs. Believe it or not I'd never been to a Häagen-Dazs restaurant so we gave it a go. Absolutely delicious.