Walking in Paris is one of my favorite things to do. The City is perhaps one of the best destinations in the world to explore on foot and if you should get tired and need a quick lift, the Metro, RER and buses are easy, efficient and cost effective. I also learned to live off of a baguette, cheese and fruit in Paris when traveling with my sister in the 1970s and 80s as money ran thin and we needed to stretch every Franc as far as possible. What I also loved about Paris is that good wine was often less expensive than bottled water...and the rest is just history and lots of fond memories.
I was fortunate during my years as a travel agency owner to produce an Executive MBA program in Paris for 10 years running. During that time I got to know one arrondissement at a time and in just a few short years the ancient facades of the buildings, the magnificent boulevards and the monuments heralding things great from the past became familiar and personal. Paris has a way of making itself available and I think much if it has to do with the scale of the city. As a lover of great architecture big and small, I am moved by the way space or the illusion of space is created and in Paris you have at every step examples of how the human scale in architecture is so important to the wellness of one's mind, body and spirit. The absence of high rise buildings in Paris is part of its charm and a blessing to those of us on the ground as we can feel the heartbeat of the city with buildings and spaces that open out to the individual instead of shutting us out with walls of steel, concrete and glass.
There is something else that makes Paris a favorite place of mine and that is Gare du Nord and the Eurostar. With the creation of the Chunnel linking France with the United Kingdom via the English Channel, I can now travel between both city centers in a matter of 3 hours. This rivals my other favorite city center linkage between Tokyo and Kyoto in just 2 hours and 20 minutes by the Nozomi Shinkansen Bullet Train. I am a huge advocate for rail service as it is the greenest way to travel when compared with other modes of transportation and the USA has a very long way to go before high speed rail can even compete with these other systems.