23 Apr 2010
I came to France by Swiss Airlines and had to switch planes in Zurich. This Swiss town and its neighborhood look beautiful from the air. Snow capped hills were visible as well as the fragmented mostly valley settlements.
The visit to Paris lasted from the 26th of March 2010 till the end of the month. The first part consisted of participating in the annual French Pharmaceutical trade fair (Pharmagora)- an occasion for pharmaceutical firms that are active in France to showcase their products. Our trip was coordinated by Laborex Cameroon.
The other part of our visit was touristic and socializing. Our group consisting mostly of Cameroon based pharmacists was lodged at Mercure Paris Montparnasse hotel in Gaite. Among the social functions we had together include group dinner at the Montparnasse hotel and an evening of spectacle at the famous Lido in Paris. It is interesting to note that long lines form to pay high tickets into the Lido. And we had meal and drinks champagne inclusive at 190 Euro per person. Do not ask me what the menu was because I never know names of dishes.
Paris receives over 1.3 million international visitors monthly and at almost all major touristic sites, long queues form to gain access. I joined one of such lines at the Eiffel tower at 10.30 a.m and only got to purchase my ticket at 11.55a.m and eventually went up the tower 20 minutes later. If you do plan visiting some of these famous sites, it is advisable to book a reservation some weeks before you travel. For first time visitors, the best option of viewing Parisian landmarks is by buying a ticket to use on the open air buses (if the weather permits). With 27 Euros, you have access for the whole day. The Metro (subway) is a popular means of transport in Paris but as a tourist you will not profit much from this type of movement.
I had extra luck as Claire Ulrich, a Paris resident and writer agreed to spare some time to take me for a walk around her history laden neighborhood. We walked, talked and visited such aristocratic areas as Hotel de Sully and many more antique buildings that now house precious French art, artifacts and libraries. We discussed issues ranging from the Greek financial crisis and the Euro to the problems of governance in Africa.
Eating and drinking is completely integrated into the cultural fabric of Paris. Restaurants and fast food outlets are everywhere. You can eat in a supermarket, in a boat or even up on the Eiffel tower.
Click on this link to see related photos http://s758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/njei/Paris/
Njei Moses Timah