Side sights in Paris

By Don Kinser
This item appears on page 13 of the March 2014 issue.

Paris is still our favorite city, and my wife, Josie, and I still manage to find new things to see. One that surprised us in September ‘13 was how many people were riding those little, 2-wheeled, foot-powered scooters called Razors.  Adults, too! 

The scooters are small and lightweight enough to carry on and off the Métro, and they’re easy to stow away in small apartments.

This trip, we did a few things that we hadn’t taken the time to do before.

• We went to the top of the Montparnasse Tower (33, avenue du Maine; phone 01 45 38 52 56). Originally, an outside elevator ran clear to the rooftop. It has been “under renovation” for some time, and we were discouraged in the past because you could get to the 56th floor only by taking the inside elevator and climbing the rest of the way.

This time, we did just that. It wasn’t a bad climb, only three floors, and was well worth the effort. There is a true, 360-degree view from the outside roof area. We love the Eiffel Tower, but this is a great view without extremely long lines.

The 56th floor contains a café, gift shop, etc. I’m not necessarily recommending them.

• A great many years ago, we toured the Maritime Museum (17, place du Trocadéro; phone 01 53 65 69 69) and found it okay. On an impulse, we stopped in again. It had been rebuilt, and we found it extremely pleasant and interesting.

There is a free checkroom and FREE audio guides. Comfortable seating is scattered through the displays, which make it a good place for a rainy day and rather restful anytime. It was soon closing for another renovation, however.

• I appreciate the value of vaccinations and pasteurized milk, but I wasn’t really enthusiastic about touring the Pasteur Museum (25, rue du Docteur Roux; phone +33 [0] 1 45 68 82 82). My wife was, though, so you know that’s what we did. I really learned a lot and enjoyed it. It’s not the top thing to see in Paris, but I can honestly recommend it. 

The hours are limited (“guided only” at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.). As the museum is on the “campus” of the Pasteur Institute, you need to obtain a pass at the gate to get to the museum. The pass requires a photo ID, so be sure to have your passport in hand.

• The largest movie theatre in Paris, The Grand Rex (1 Boulevard Poissonniere), is really a “trip.” It’s hard to describe and not what you might expect. The two of us walked through a small, somewhat “Universal Studios/Disneyland” interactive experience. We got a kick out of it.


Hillsboro, OR