Paris in a Day: Eiffel Tower Escargot and Inadvertently Undressing in the Street

On my way to Morocco last April, I scheduled a long layover in Paris. I’d never been there before, and as a general rule, I try to pack as much into a layover as possible, even if it’s somewhere I visit frequently. No sense in staying at the airport and missing an adventure!

It’s fairly straightforward to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the center of Paris. If your flight lands in Terminal 2 or 3, just follow the signs to the train station. (For instructions from Terminal 1 and the ins-and-outs of train ticket buying, take a look at the guide compiled by The Poor Traveler.)

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You can catch a train from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the center of Paris without ever leaving the building (photo: parisbytrain.com)

Even if you travel with carryons, you won’t want to haul your bags around Paris. The airport has a couple of options for temporary luggage storage, all of which are quick and affordable. It cost me €6 to leave my bag in secure storage for the afternoon with Bagages du Monde in Terminal 2 near the Sheraton Hotel entrance, and the whole process took less than five minutes.

I had two goals during my first visit to Paris: see the Eiffel Tower in person and have champagne and escargots. Anything else would be a bonus.

I took the train from Charles de Gaulle to Châtelet, then switched to metro line 7 (take a look at the easy-to-follow New Paris Metro Map) and exited at the Opéra station. Lo and behold, there was the magnificent Palais Garnier, arguably the most famous opera house in the world. Just off the metro and one bonus already experienced!

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As I walked toward the Eiffel Tower, I had to wade through puddles from a storm earlier that day. Midway through a small sidewalk lake, my trusty black ballet flat gave way to the water, and the leather sole peeled right off. Since I’d checked my bag at the airport, I didn’t have any backup footwear with me and had to do a strange little hop down the sidewalk in search of a shoe shop.

A wet foot wasn’t bad enough, however. In the midst of one of my odd little hop-steps, my slip … well, slipped.

One of the drawbacks of solo travel is not having anyone to share these bizarre moments with. I stood on the sidewalk with a broken shoe and my slip around my ankles and laughed aloud at myself as Parisians walked by and eyed my hilarity with suspicion. Oh, well. C’est la vie!

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After a quick detour into a Gap for new shoes (Really, Paris? You couldn’t have put something more French along my route?), I saw the Eiffel Tower and its beautiful Champ de Mars park. One sightseeing goal accomplished, and well worth the effort!

On to perhaps the more important goal, escargots and champagne.

One of the beautiful things about the Eiffel Tower area of Paris is the abundance of sidewalk cafes. I had my choice of gorgeous little brasseries with views of the tower, and I selected Le Suffren.

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This lovely cafe with its bright red striped awnings is known for its seafood, and had I not been by myself, I would’ve happily ordered their gigantic fruits de mer platter. It was a thing of magnificence.

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What I did order were my lovely little snails and a flute of sparkling French Champagne, both of which were perfect. I enjoyed plenty of people-watching and compared and contrasted the obvious Parisians with the obvious tourists making their way down the sidewalks. From what I saw, I was the only person in Paris with her slip around her ankles that day.

With plenty of time to spare before I had to catch my flight to Morocco, I treated myself to freshly-baked macarons from the world-famous FauchonDélicieux!

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A rainbow of fresh macarons at Fauchon in Paris

Paris layover mission accomplished.

Are you a Francophile? What would you do on your perfect day in Paris?

2 thoughts on “Paris in a Day: Eiffel Tower Escargot and Inadvertently Undressing in the Street

  1. Recently friends of our lost luggage on a French river cruise and we all ended up in target 🎯 (or tar’ja). For under wear. It works!

    Like

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