And that no one cares if it is 10 am and you find yourself drinking a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in a public park.
I've also learned that this city is obsessed with all the views. Everything is about the view and the sight line and the spot to see this and see that and marvel at it all. And of course, they would be a little vain--after all this is the city of light.
But, all views are not created equal. Here are my favorite views, so far:
1. The Top of the Arc De Triomphe at Night
I think this is my favorite view in all of Paris. At night, the Eiffel Tower sparkles on the hour; the city glows and you can see all 365 degrees of Paris and all its beauty.
2. Sacre Coeur
We hiked up stairs and inclines to get this spectacular high point above all of Paris. Paris is laid out before you, while the dome of Sacre Coeur looms behind you. This is worth every step--it is magical! Especially when the moon is full.
3. The Eiffel Tower (First floor)
Okay, don't hate me, but I don't love the views from the Eiffel Tower. It is something everyone must do once or twice; but the thing is, you cannot see the Eiffel Tower, because you are on it. The viewing area is crowded and chaotic and it seems to be either very cold or very hot. But, once you get to the top or the third floor, make your way down to the First Floor. It is less crowded, there is a bar and a snack bar and an ice cream stand. There are chairs that are swings and beanbags and seating areas and it is so nice to sit and appreciate the tower all around you.
4. The Roof Terrace at Galerie Lafayette
Galeria Lafayette is a marvelous department store full of all amazing things. On its roof, is a beautiful terrace that offers amazing views of the Eiffel Tower and the Paris Opera. Plus, there is a photo spot with a "Paris Je t'aime sign.
5. Champ de Mars
The Champ de Mars is a park on one side of the Eiffel Tower. It is less chaotic than Trocadero Square on the opposite side of the Seine and offers so many spots to view the Tower. We found the best picnic view to be off to the left side on the green grass, under the trees. For photos, you can walk right up the middle of the park until you reach the perspective you want for your photo.
6. Every single street.
My favorite views of all are when I stop to look at where I am and notice all the gorgeous buildings and terraces and architecture. Then I see my wonderful family in Paris! The best view, friends, is the one right in front of you.