14 October 2011

First Day in Paris

Four weeks ago this morning I was waking up for my first full day of my European adventure.  I was staying in the lovely Marriott Rive Gauche thanks to my buddy's contribution of Marriott points (thank you Greg!) so that his wife and I might enjoy one less expense on our trip.  I generally stay in quaint boutique hotels that charge less than 100 € per night, so I definitely felt like I was living large.
Evening view from Marriott Rive Gauche 15th Floor room.
One thing that always confounds me is the more expensive the hotel, the less that is included.  Not to worry, Greg had Gold status and we were treated to free Wi-Fi and Executive lounge privileges.  Here's the kicker, with the Executive Lounge privileges, we had a wonderful breakfast, usually scrambled eggs, bacon, pastries and all the soda (Missy) and coffee (me) you could drink, AND half of the time we ate our evening meal and drank copious amounts of wine during the lounge's "tea time" thus saving us loads of money.

For those of you in the know about the ebbs and flows of my personal finances who were questioning how I could afford to take a trip right now, there's part one of your answer!  The other part was I was able to schedule a portrait commission in the Netherlands that made it a working vacation.

Le Car Rouge bus tour
One of the first things I like to do when seeing a new city is take a guided bus tour.  Usually over the course of a couple of hours you can see a city's tourist attractions, and better plan what you would like to look at more closely.

Drive-by Shot from tour bus.

TRAVEL TIP:  I have used the touring company Viator previously and in the name of thinking ahead we purchased our tickets for the "hop-on hop-off" bus online.  This was completely unnecessary as you can purchase the tickets for this from the bus driver.  Viator only offered a two day pass and while this sounded good, we, in fact, only used the pass for one day.  After half the tour, we did our first "hop-off" and then completed the circuit later that afternoon.

With the metro system and very easy walking, you would not elect to use the bus as your transportation between destinations after you planned your touring locations.

Drive-by Shot from tour bus.

Net/Net:  Do take a guided bus tour of popular attractions and listen to the information:  Don't buy a two day pass through an online tour company, purchase from the bus driver.  Viator has some excellent offers, but this isn't one of them.
Drive-by Shot from tour bus.

No comments:

Post a Comment