Today, I went on a walking tour of Paris to learn more about its history from the medieval times. However, the trick to walking tours is that it’s very helpful to have a clear understanding of where you’re supposed to meet your group.
I left my apartment around 9. I always add in an extra half hour to my commute because generally, knowing me, I will get lost. After I got off the metro at Hotel de Ville, my navigation disability came into effect.
First, I exited the wrong way. For anyone who hasn’t been to Hotel de Ville, there are about 6 different sorties to get out of the station. I knew which one I wanted, I just had no idea where to find it.
I ended up just picking an exit instead of wandering around the station. I’m not sure who decided to put a department store directly inside the station, but that’s the exit I took. I looked around Bazar de l’Hotel de Ville, trying to make my way through the various hardware and home furnishings. Finally, I found an exit.
Once outside, I had no idea where to go. I looked around for people I knew, but saw no one. At this point, it wasn’t terribly surprising because it was only 9:30 and the last time I checked, I was the only one signed up.
So, I started following signs. I’m not the best at that either. After walking around in several circles, I found a Hotel de Ville parking lot. Great. Helpful. Too bad I couldn’t find the actual Hotel de Ville. I kept walking, and then I saw a big group of people around my age walking.
I got really excited and inconspicuously joined the group, hoping the tour guide wouldn’t be offended I was late. After walking a few blocks with the group, I realized I hadn’t found my group…I had been walking along with a group of French high schoolers.
After crossing Pont Notre Dame, I decided to turn around and go back to the Hotel de Ville metro. On my way back, I saw a group of 3 classmates and a tour guide. What a relief! They were still standing waiting for people to join.
We saw Hotel de Ville and went all the way down to Notre Dame, where we went inside to get warm. After talking about the history of Paris and ending at the famous cathedral, our tour guide let us go because we were absolutely freezing. Yesterday and today have been the coldest days since I got here.
From there, we went to eat before class at Le Depart in St. Michel. While the tour may not have been as long as planned, it still helped me get a better feel for the area and I got soupe à l’oignon…good day.