Exploring Paris, France
If you want to see a unique side of Paris, charming neighborhoods and cafes, secluded courtyards, ancient ruins, and discover the hidden Paris that usually only locals experience, I highly recommend the Paris Off-the-Beaten-Path Bike Tour with Blue Fox Travel. Paris has so much to offer off the main tourist track, and this tour is a great way to get a taste of that.
Here’s just a sample of what all we saw!
Our first stop was the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. This was such a beautiful bookstore with an amazing history.
The shop has beds tucked among the shelves and aspiring writers are invited to sleep there for free with just a few requirements asked in return:
- Helping around the bookshop
- Agreeing to read a book a day
- Writing a one-page autobiography for the shop’s archives
I only got one photo off before I realized no photos were allowed in the bookstore, but it really is a beautiful space and I highly recommending visiting if you are in Paris!
After the bookstore we went down a hidden back street to Le Procope, the oldest cafe in Paris. It was founded in 1686 and many famous historical figures were frequent visitors to the cafe, such as Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Napoléon, and Victor Hugo. Benjamin Franklin worked on the U.S. Constitution at a table here.
Legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte left his hat here as collateral when he could not pay his bar tab, and it is proudly displayed at the entrance to the cafe.
We rode through gorgeous, quiet streets and stopped for a quick lunch in a traditional parisien neighborhood.
We rode by the oldest stone house in Paris, built in 1407!!!
After lunch we went to Saint Sulpice, a Roman Catholic church know for its mismatched towers, beautiful organ, and recently may be more well known as the church from “The Da Vinci Code”.
Another fascinating feature of Saint Sulpice is the “gnomon”, a device designed to determine the summer and winter equinox. A brass plaque on the floor, an obelisk, and a window are perfectly positioned in such a way that on the summer equinox, exactly at noon, the sun shines directly on the brass line in the middle of the plaque, and on the winter equinox, exactly at noon, the sun shines in a certain spot on the obelisk. So interesting to see in person!
The last stop was just for fun! :) Have you seen the movie Midnight in Paris? These are the steps where Owen Wilson waits for an antique car to take him back in time in Paris. Kevin is recreating the pose here! ;)
We saw so many cool things on the tour that I’d never seen in Paris before. Our guide was funny, entertaining, and very knowledgable. If want to go off the beaten path in Paris, I highly recommend the Paris Off-the-Beaten-Path Bike Tour with Blue Fox Travel! :)
Until next time! :)