Never have I ever… in Paris

Have you noticed that when you have a long period of time to explore a place thoroughly, you don’t? It’s easy to live somewhere for a year and never get around to seeing some of the major sites. Please tell me I’m not alone here!

Example #1: I grew up on the central coast of California, yet didn’t visit Hearst Castle until I was 26, and still haven’t been to the Winchester Mystery house. (I have listened to two podcasts on the latter, though! Geek alert.)

Example #2: I lived in Chicago for five years and never went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Big fail. (I regret this almost as much as I regret not eating more Big Star tacos.)

When there’s no deadline, there’s no urgency to explore a city’s attractions. If you can go any day… why go today? Life gets in the way, and routine takes over.

To ward off a future steeped in regret, I keep a little Paris bucket list so that I can take advantage of the city while I’m here. It’s easy for me to get lulled into the mindset that I can visit whenever I want, but the fact is once I go back to Lyon for la rentrée (back to school), I won’t popping up to Paris for the weekend anytime soon. I try to check something off the list every day, even if it’s a simple as wandering around the North Marais or trying the tacos at Candelaria. (Verdict: Delicious but overpriced.)

So on this note, I’m going to share with you some famous Paris attractions that I have never, ever visited, even after two years in France. Don’t judge me.

The Moulin Rouge

Paris Moulin Rouge

How many Parisians have actually been to the Moulin Rouge? Seriously, I want to know. Is it like, something everyone does once? Is it only for tourists? Do they have regulars? Do they have a Nicole Kidman doppelganger?

The Catacombs

Paris Catacombs

I hear the Catacombs are really, really cool. Can someone explain this one to me? What is down there besides a lot of bones in a damp subterranean tunnel?

The Versailles Gardens

Versailles canal

I’ve been to the chateau. I’ve been to the canal around back (yesterday!) but I haven’t been in those gated gardens. I’d like to go one day, but after all the chateau-ing we did in the Loire, I’m a little burned out on manicured hedges right now. Remind me to show you the gardens of Villandry… and you can tell me if Versailles tops them!

The Pantheon

Paris Pantheon

I routinely forget about the Pantheon. What am I missing out on?

The Eiffel Tower

Paris Eiffel Tower night

No no, I have seen the Eiffel Tower. It commands so much real estate in the Paris skyline, you can’t not see it. But you know what I’ve never done? I’ve never been up the Eiffel Tower. Not up to the top, not up to the first floor, nothing. It is fun to watch people trudging up like little ants, though. I don’t feel bad about this one – everyone says the best view of Paris is from the Tour de Montparnasse anyway. (Although… I’ve never been up there either. What is wrong with me?!)

I've also never put a lock on a bridge. But you're not supposed to do that anyway.
I’ve also never put a love lock on a bridge. But you’re not supposed to do that anyway.

 

The truth is that Paris is a city with endless possibilities, and I don’t think one person could experience everything it has to offer in a lifetime. So many museums, so many famous patisseries, so many restaurants where Hemingway drank tea kahlua whiskey? (What did Hemingway drink?) But I’m slowly chipping away at Paris, little by little. And if I move back one day? Who knows, maybe I’ll finally make it up the Eiffel Tower.

Have you visited any of these? What did you think?

 

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10 thoughts on “Never have I ever… in Paris

  1. I’ve been to Paris a couple of times, yet can I only mark off one of the above! That’s even worse to say I actually went as a tourist haha! But, I’ll be moving to Paris in a couple of weeks for a while so … I’ll be sure to visit them all 😀 Paris xXx

  2. I totally know what you means about not exploring the city you live in!

    I have been to all of the sites except the catacombs. We tried to go their past time, but it was closed early (damn those jours fériés!) I haven’t been in the moulin rouge, but I’ve seen it from the outside. It’s on my list!

  3. I avoid the tourist attractions in favor of wandering walks of off-beat discovery. I do carry a map so I don’t get hopelessly list. The wandering has given me far more pleasurable jaunts in every city than a guidebook of “must see’s”.

    I do enjoy seeing Paris and other French cities through your eyes and your writing.

    1. Thanks Sammy! You can expect to see more about Lyon in the near future.
      I like your method of exploring a new city. I agree, it’s so nice to discover unexpected sights by wandering.

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