Touring...where do I start. I go every year and still I get surprised at each turn of a corner. There is so much to see if you are a devout tourist...and there is so much to experience if you are adventurous. Paris has many Tourist attractions as we all know but it is those very special little surprises that make Paris PARIS. The Must-See attractions if you are a newbee are listed in every guidebook but let's list just a few:

Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, 8e: To the French, it symbolizes Paris's liberation in 1944. It is one of the country's most cherished memories. It is the largest triumphal arch in the world and commissioned by Napoleon to honor his army's 18 victorious battles. Cimb it. Only 162 feet up. If you do you can see all the way down the Champs-Elysees to the place de Concorde and the Louvre. Wow. What a view. Well that's what people tell me. I'm yet to consider such a jaunt. I personally perfer the escalator at the Pompidoo or the elevator at Tour Eiffel.

Cathedrale de Notre-Dame- Ile de la Cite, 4e
This little gem is not only a gothic representation but... the circular bronze plaque in the cathedral marks Kilometre Zero, from which all distances in France have been measured since 1768. Holy Smoly. Can you believe that data. Notre- Dame is THE Center of France. Construction started in 1163 when Pope Alexander laid the cornerstone.

Centre Georges Pompidou - Le Marais, 4e
Only one word to describe this place...amazing. An albatros in the centre de Paris. We arrived in winter and sat inside with meticulous single roses projecting a repetitive mesage of the city's romance. The day was young and the room was empty as we looked out to see chimney tops throughout the city. The view was breathtaking. The museum incredibly interesting. By the way, don't wait in line on the backside of the museum. It is the entrance the Pompidoo library. Lines are long can't get in the museum. 01-44-78-12-23; Metro: Rambuteau. Price: 10e ($12 adults)

Champs-Elysee, 8e
Lance Armstrong became the fist cyclist to win a sixth Tour de France in July 2004. He was crowned on France's most famous Avenue. It will take you an hour to walk this wonderful boulevard....faster, of course, if you have your grandchild's scooter...and a very fast pushing right leg. (smile)

La Tour Eiffel, 7e
Post your cards at the Eiffel. Yes. Tour Eiffel has its own post office. It gets an Eiffel Tower stam. What more can your relative ask to receive. Someone had to make the journey to post. This is THE place in Paris that tourist go. To avoid the long lines, go in the morning or in off-season. By the way food is available at altitude 95 (first floor). If you are into luxurious dining, try the Michelin-rated Jules Verne, one of Paris's most celebrated restaurants. By the way, the get your own private elevator to the restaurant.

Hotel des Invalides/ Napoleo's Tomb, 7e
This very interesting symbolic significance is its architecture. Be sure to see the Musee de l'Armee, one of the world's greatest military museums. The building is a European architectural masterpiece. You can get your inspiration by crossing the Alexander III bridge. Metro: Latour-Maubourg, Invalides, or Varenne. Admission 7e.

Jardin des Tuileries:
PLace to stroll, picnic, fall in lvoe. If you are visiting the Louvre. This is a must stop. Try the homemade icecream sold from the standrigh beyond the Ar de Triomphe du Carrousel. And..if you are me. Hop on the Carousel with your ice cream and dream you are in fairy-land.

Jardin du Palis-Royal - Louvre, 1er
Peaceful and ringed with wonderful restaurants, art galleries and specialty boutiques besides being the home of Comedie-Francaise. And.. I'll let you in on a very special boutiques. It is l'escalier d'argent. The husband and wife owners sell the most beautiful bow-ties, ties, vest, scarves and so much more. They are fashioned after century old fabrics and design. This is a must-see, must buy shop. Even after 5 years, they remembered us. Very special folks.

Jardin et Palais du Luxembourg, St-Germain-des-Pres, 6e
Here is the parks of parks. Stop by on Sunday and watch what family life is really all about. Ther are pony rides, puppet theaters, and the Fontaine de Medicis where the children...and parents can sai toy boats and watch the ducks. In the southwest corner of the park, 360 varieties of apples, 270 kind of pears and a variety of grapevines are ready to great you. Don't miss the beehives .

Montmartre, Right bank
A neighborhood not to be missed. Moulin Rouge, Picaso, Poulain, artists and wonderful quaint bistros and restaurants. With a simple Funiculaire ride to the top and you are at the fee of Sacre Coeur. Say a prayer, light a candle, whatever your pleasure....except drive a car. Avoid a car in this area at all costs.

Museed'Orsay, Eiffel Tower/Les Invalides, 7e
If the impressionist are your favorite as they are mine, this is the place to go. I personally love the view of the Seine and the Louvre from the back of the clock on the second floor. It almost feels like a secret. Take your camera. The view can be yours too.

Musee du Louvre, 1er
Can I say more.... A must stop. Even if you simply go to the Mona Lisa and experience her mysterious eyes as she follows you as you attempt to pass her by. The other attractions since Da Vince Code are the huge painting depicting the life of those times. Stop mesmerized...or not. It's certainly worth a quick visit.

There are so many high points. Here are a few more: Musee Jacqumart Andre, 8e; Musee nationale dAuguste Rodin, 7e; Musee Picasso, 3e; Pantheon, Latin Quartier, 5e; Pere-Lachaise Cemetery, Montmartre and beyond, 20e; Place des Vosges, le Marais, 3e; Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre, 18e; Sainte-Chapelle, Ile de la Cite, 4e (catch the concerts here and the light on a sunny day).

FUN THINGS TO DO for adults
Aquarium Tropical de la Porte Doree, Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Parc de al Villette, Jardin de l'Acclimation Bois de Boulongne; Jardin des Plantes/Museums of Natural History, La Grande Arche de la Defense, Musee de la Curiosite et de la Magie, Palais de la Decouverte, Parc Zoologique de Paris.

Aquaboulevard 01-40-60-10-00. Metro Balard; Les Ctacombes 01-43-22-47-64 Metro: Denfert-Denfert-Rochereau - Cost: 5e; Les Egouts (sewers), 7e - 01-47-05-10-29 Metro Alma-Marceau, then walk across the bridge tot he left Bank. RER. Pon de l'Alma. Cost 3.80e.

HISTORY BUFFS: Cluny Museum, 6 place Paul-Painleve, 5. 01-5373-78-00 Metro Cluny-Sorbonne. Cost 5.50e; Conciergerie- a prison dating back to the middle ages - Palais de Justice, Ile de la Cite, 1er; La Crypte archeologique

There is so much more which I'll cover in the near future.

A Bientot,


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