Paris by night
My Paris
I will not bore you with another typical introduction to Paris... there have been thousands of books written and much more travel advises and tips over the internet.

So what you will get to know is my private tête-à-tête with the "City of Lights".

My first encounter with Paris happened when I was just 8 years old. My parents and I had to fly back from Saudi Arabia, where my father had been working for 2 years for the company of Augusta Pinta. In the 70's there was no direct-flight from Jeddah/Saudi to Frankfurt/Germany. We had to fly over Egypt to Paris, where we had a 24 hours lay-over. I do not remember a lot about our stay. Just that the hotel room was tiny and my parents shook their heads over the rate (some things never change) and my first visit of the Eiffel-Tower.
I still can feel the cold wind in my hair, when my Dad climbed with me up the stairs to the second level. It was wonderful! (You can't get up there anymore, too many people commited suicide from there, so it is closed to the public).
My second visit came almost 10 years later in September of 1985. Off-Season is the best time to visit as there are not so many tourists. I had 3 days off from my job as an Aupair-girl in Trouville s. m. (only 2.5 hours by train from Paris). Together with another Aupair-girl called Anja, we wanted to explore the town. We had just started to be able to communicate in French (Yes, No, Help, Theft and a few more) and have never been in such a big city in our life.
Gare du Nord + Metro
We locked our luggage in the lockers of the Trainstation "Gare de Nord" and walked outside to catch the local "Metro" to take us to our first sight-seeing point: Le Marche aux Puces St-Ouen, on Paris's northern boundary (Metro-Station is Porte de Clignancourt). In 1986 it was "the" place to find cheap Leather-goods, old prints, antiques and African artifacts in a century-old Labyrinth of booths and junk-stalls that spread more then a square mile. We were to hunt for a nice leather-wallet and then wanted to head off to the "Louvre".

Well, I write wanted, because we had the more then questionable "honor" to get pick-pocketed! One second I was bending over a display of wallets, the next second I was stumbling and my purse was whirling around me like a "Hula-Hoop". Three zippers were open and my wallet gone! I yelled my "Theft, Theft" in French, but got just pityfull glances from the folks around me. The Thief was already way at the far end of the market and there was no chance, that I could ever catch up with him with all the people in the way. ... Poor Thief... Little did he know, he risked so much for nothing but a Wallet with around 5 $ in Francs and a some family-pictures. I have a habit never having my money or credit cards in my purse when I travel, but always in a safe neck-wallet. But... to my chagrin... the thief got our locker-key to our luggage. Anja and I were "flying" back to the trainstation and after a lot of confusion, finally could explain things to the train-police. Fortunately the thief had not come to the lockers to rob our luggage and we retrieved it- Even if it has been a while, I hold those police-officers in high regard, how they managed to understand us girls and calm us!

The rest of our visit went smoothly. We enjoyed a two days in the Louvre... until our eyes burnt... having fun in the coffee-shops and hanging out in the evening in the little clubs. I loved the little Crêpes-Stands on the corners, where you get the yummy French Pancakes.
to my 3rd and 4th visit of Paris
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