9 Fun Facts About Paris

One of the biggest things you get out of travel is the culture. Meeting people, trying new and exotic foods and embracing the manner and lifestyle of the place you visit all can make you feel like you’re part of the country rather than just a visitor.

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When you are an avid traveller, you make a point of embracing new places and one of the best types of break you can have is a city one. It’s more than paying for visas and travel insurance and packing your bags ready for an adventure. Travelling is about the memories and the experiences. You get to immerse yourself in the culture of a new place and city breaks really get you into the heart of the country you’re in.

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Paris is one such place that is dripping in history and culture. There’s so much about France that is more than just Paris and Disneyland, but Paris is the capital city and the cultural factor is huge. There is so much about the City of Love that many do not know, so we’ve put together ten facts about Paris you may not have known:

  1. Did you know that the famous Eiffel Tower was never supposed to be a permanent fixture in the city? It’s one of the most famous world icons that there is and it brings a massive amount of tourism to the city. Originally, the Tower was supposed to stand for twenty years. It was so popular, it’s still there now!
  2. It’s widely believed that Paris only has one stop sign. Is it true? Well, book yourself a trip to Paris and scout around to see if you can find more than one! The one that is widely known is situated at the 16th arrondissement.
  3. Notre Dame is one of Paris’ biggest monuments, and the bells are what makes it so popular. The largest bell in the towers is named Emmanuel and weighs a stunning 13 tonnes.
  4. The Eiffel Tower may not seem tall in the pictures, but it takes 1,665 steps to get to the top if you choose not to use the elevator provided. Who would choose not to use it, though?
  5. French people are famed for their taste, and Paris has over 400,000 trees, making nature a priority in such a city. Every tree in the city is referenced and measured for aesthetics!
  6. Coffee – and food – is a specialty of the French and there are nearly 200 places across the city you can get an espresso for just a Euro!
  7. Paris is lesser known for its shadow town under the southern part of the city. Underground tunnels and galleries are there for your exploration.
  8. You can define Parisians by which side of the Seine they hail from. Most northerners won’t venture south of the river, much like in London!
  9. Paris was originally a Roman city – and it had a much nicer name! Lutetia was what is was known as and the remains are currently buried underground.

There is so much to see in Paris, it’s easy to put together an itinerary and get exploring the city. The city of love, baguettes and art is a wonder that everyone should behold at least once.

 

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Je suis tres excite!

Oui, I AM very excited to finally start my French class. Its a relief, because atleast now I know after 10 lessons I will be able to communicate with that lady in the cash register or ask for direction when I am lost in small villages of France much easily. Living in a country without knowing their language (in our case its plural…languageS, because in Belgium, you have to know both Dutch and French to get around) is not only hard, but its kinda irritating going to the grocery where you don’t know what you are buying 90% of the time. I still can’t find many things that I want when I go to the supermarket; sometimes it happened that I even bought wrong stuff.

Its been about 4 months now since we moved to Belgium. All this time I tried to get by with my 1 year of high school French that I took some 14/15 years ago. Few things that I still remember are Bonjour, Au revoir, Merci, Vou parlez anglais (do you speak English) and Je ne parlez pas francois (I don’t speak French). You really can’t do much with these few phrases/sentences especially when you are living amongst the French/Dutch. After all, we will be here for a while, so its wiser to just get out of the comfort zone and start getting involved with this new culture. And you can’t really enjoy a culture thoghourly unless you can interact with the locals.

I tried taking some free online courses, but it doesn’t help much with the pronounciation and doesn’t teach me any interesting facts about French culture. Whereas, my teacher (its a lady) not only corrects when I am wrong, conversates with me one-on-one, she also gives me lot of insights on this very sophisticated and rich language.

So, my plan is to first get done with this 10 lessons of French, then if I want to continue and move on to the next level, at that time may go for some more advance French classes, where hopefully I can actually read a French newspaper/magazine/understand French lyrics…WOW. Then after I am done with French, will start with Flemish (Dutch) lessons. I get too excited thinking that by the time I leave this country I will be able to speak/understand 2 more languages very well, these will be my true assets for the whole lifetime.

Ok, Au revoir (bye) for now and Bon nuit (goodnight). A bientot (see you soon)

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