Where to Get Free Drinking Water in Paris

After the Franco-Prussian War in 1972, the English philanthropist, Sir Richard Wallace financed 50 cast-iron drinking fountains, known as Wallace fountains, to the City of Paris (and to Lisburn).

The fountains with their free drinking water were a welcome gift to the poor in Paris, and new ones kept getting installed until the beginning of World War I.

Paris has more than three hundred fifty fountains, with the oldest one dating back to the 16th century.

Wallace Fountain in Paris

Wallace Fountain in Paris near Notre Dame

water – a public service

L'eau de Paris

L’eau de Paris

The sign also comes with a list of the water’s components.

Drinking water content

Drinking water content

Look out for these free water supplies along the most popular tourist walks. Drinking plenty of water while touring the city is a must. Yes, you may add some wine to that list, too. 馃檪

What I Saw in Paris

There is nothing better than strong French coffee, a newspaper, and sunny weather.聽 We took it so easy on our first day in Paris. One of the things I wanted to do in Paris was to take an afternoon nap, which I did, but I spare you the photo. Napping in Paris is one of the best things to do.

DB and Parisien

We only took a walk around the neighborhood in Suresnes, where we stopped at a bakery, supermarket, and a little park. It’s great to eat croissants on a park bench in the early morning sunshine. When you’re done, you brush off the flakes, and you have instant bird feed.

We passed this little bistro with the biggest onion display I had ever seen. They were almost the size of cantaloupes.

onions

I love French chairs and聽 usually buy one or two on every trip to France. That is when we go there by car. This time, we went by train, so I didn’t buy any. My husband was pleased.

chairs

Getting married in Paris must be any young bride’s dream. The wedding couple lucked out as well, since we had 14掳C聽 – 18掳C that weekend (at the end of February!).

Wedding in Paris

Wedding in Paris

These wooden store fronts look so much better than what we have in Germany. Of course, this is a personal taste, but I find this much more inviting.

Le Navigator, Paris

Le Navigator, Paris

Along the Seine River, there are hundreds of vendors. When you get past the first ten, you realize they all carry pretty much the same merchandise – books, posters, cards, some souvenirs.

book vendors along the Seine

old books by the Seine River

Ah, these lock locks are quite an attraction. The vendors, lined up on the road聽 leading to that bridge, have them for sale at euro 5.

love lockets in Paris

love lockets in Paris

This happens on the Pont de l’Archev锚ch茅, a bridge which crosses from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Left Bank of the Seine. There are thousands of locks attached to its railings.聽 It looks very pretty in the sunshine – some come with colorful ribbons. One tourist asked me in broken English what they were for. I amazed myself by telling her what they were (common sense and being an experienced traveler) and where you could buy them (saw vendors selling them).

And no, my husband and I did not put one up – a strong bond does not need a lock.

Books, love locks, weddings, big onions, chairs – you can have it all in Paris.

Saturday Market in Suresnes, Paris

I could not find a boulangerie open on Saturdays (!), so I bought some day-old croissants at a small supermarket. And yes, I gave up quickly.

I am sure there are plenty of boulangeries open for business if you’re willing to search in an unknown neighborhood, but I was too hungry to continue looking for one. I thought about asking one of the locals on the street, but knowing how this would end, ” 脿 droite…. 脿 gauche…. encore 脿 droite….”, I chose the easy way out.

Around 11am, we went to the nearby market to buy roasted chicken with potatoes, seafood, and cheese for lunch. Here are some impressions of a French market on a Saturday morning.

What looked like cantaloupe from a distance was actually 36-month old Dutch cheese called Mimolette. You could have fooled me. Even when wearing my glasses.

Aged Dutch cheese - Mimolette

Aged Dutch cheese – Mimolette

Of course, the two Marylanders (my husband and his brother, a veteran Paris expat) had to get seafood for lunch.

Market in Suresnes, Paris

Market in Suresnes, Paris

And yes, the French do eat horse meat. The stand offered chevaline (horse meat) and it looked pretty much sold out at 11:30am.

Horse meat at the market

Horse meat at the market

 

At home, the big boys enjoyed their seafood lunch, while I had poulet r么ti and potatoes for lunch. Can’t get the farm girl out of me.

seafood lunch

So we saw some unusual cheese, the boys splurged on seafood, I stuck to the familiar poulet r么ti, and horse meat was sold out. I love Paris.

By TGV from Frankfurt to Paris

For our weekend get-away to Paris, we had decided to go by train when the Deutsche Bahn (DB) had one-way tickets for just euro 39.

We were really glad to have chosen Paris by train and not Mallorca by plane (we had briefly considered it), because the day of our departure, Frankfurt Airport was on strike all day.

We 聽boarded the S-Bahn from our newly rebuilt train station in Oberursel to the Hauptbahnhof (21 minutes).

Oberursel train station

Oberursel train station

I enjoyed a few minutes under blue skies near the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof exit, while my husband was across the street trying to locate a machine to charge his mobile phone. We could not find a place within the train station.

Frankfurt/Main

Frankfurt/Main

It is quite an adventure to travel by TGV (French: Train 脿 Grande Vitesse, high-speed train). At times, it almost feels like you’re on a flight. Also, once you get onto French soil, the speed really picks up. When other trains pass, your ears pop afterwards. The train conductor makes announcements like any captain on an aircraft would do.

TGV leaving Frankfurt

TGV leaving Frankfurt

And yes, after four hours of high-speed traveling, your legs might buckle a bit when you get off the train.

Then it was off by car, with a little tour through the red-light district Pigalle.

Pigalle, Paris

Quartier Pigalle, Paris

Here is my favorite photo, which captures the spirit of Quartier Pigalle on a Friday night.

Moulin Rouge, Quartier Pigalle

Moulin Rouge, Quartier Pigalle

We finished off the evening with a bottle of wine at my brother-in-law’s home in Suresnes. Paris, here we are!

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