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Presenter : Justine Shapiro

Paris City Guide

Justine Shapiro spends a week in Paris, the capital of France and one of the most cultural and romantic cities in Europe. Her first night in Paris is spent with an old American friend, who now lives in Paris. He takes her to a traditional café, where they enjoy copious amounts of traditionalimage: Justine goes sightseeing in Paris French fare and a few glasses of vin rouge before they join the other customers in their songs that go on till the early hours of the morning. The following day Justine attends a cookery class at the Ecole Cordon Bleu. Cooks from all over the world come here to learn a little about French haute cuisine. In the evening she takes part in an event that reflects a different side of Paris: she joins over 3,000 roller-bladers and their police escorts in their weekly night-time skate through and around the city centre.

The architecture of Paris provides some fabulous views, and after her trip to the Arc de Triomphein the morning, Justine spends the afternoon visiting and climbing some of the more contemporary buildings that Paris is renowned for, such as La Grande Arch de la Defence, L’Opera Bastille, and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. She also rides the the number 73 bus, which offers some of the best views of Paris for a fraction of the prices charged by official sight seeing buses. Later, Justine attends one of Paris’ most famous shows, the cabaret at the Lido.

Justine goes shopping in the markets which cater for Paris’ ethnically diverse population. Here she is shown around by a Ghanaian gentleman, who explains the uses and properties of various African foods. Later, she shops for the goods that Paris is more famous for: with a professional designer she is taken to some of the designer boutiques, although in the end she save her francs and picks up some bargains in the popular store, ‘Tati’.

image: Justine catches up with an old friend over dinner Paris is famous for its galleries and museums that represent both the traditional artistic movements of France, as well as some of its more avant-garde elements. On her way to the Picasso Museum in Paris’ fashionable Marais district she comes across a drama group who have squatted a building, and an actor engaged in quite a hair raising performance. Later in the day she visits theLouvre – home of the Mona Lisa. Although many are put off by the scale of this museum Justine certainly recommends a tailored visit.

After a day of such traditional French culture, Justine visits Disneyland Paris. The Park is only 15 miles east of Paris, and, although seen by many French people as illustrating the decline of French culture in the face of American, it is still the most popular tourist attraction in Europe.

On her last evening in Paris Justine employs some of the skills she developed attending the cookery course by preparing a good-bye dinner for the friends she made on her stay in Paris. Before leaving the following day, Justine visits the Eiffel tower – a monument which has come to be closely associated with Paris and an experience which will stay with Justine for a long time.

Places Mentioned - France

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