"" Writer's Wanderings: Paris - Shopping

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Paris - Shopping

One final word on Paris before we move on to the cruising on the Seine, the Saone and the Rhone. Shopping! Ah, but first the laundry.
On our return to Paris from our trip down the Seine from La Havre, we spent the morning on a "laundry excursion." From our three days in Paris earlier where we stayed at the Hotel Eiffel Seine, we learned of a nearby laundromat and decided to skip the bus tour of Paris offered by Viking and get some clean clothes. While 4.50 euro (about $6.75) was a bit steep for a load of wash, it still beat the prices on the riverboat.
Instead of putting the coins in the machines, you put the clothes in the washer, closed the door, and went to a large panel on the wall that took the coins. Then you pushed the numbered button for your machine and you were good to go. The same with the dryer that was .60 euro/5 minutes. Clean clothes are a premium in Paris!

So are new clothes. Sticker shock became the norm. I expected high prices along the Champs Elysees, the premium street in Paris but in the afternoon, we trekked to another large shopping area--the LaFayette Galleria. We thought it was a mall but it appeared to be one large department store. There were eight levels but the top floor is numbered seven because in Europe, the street level is call zero not one as in the U.S. In the center was a huge dome with stained glass windows and on the top floor (7) was an observation deck where you could get a 1/2 panorama view of Paris and a great shot of the opera house across the street.
We explored several of the levels and stopped on occassion to look at a price on something. Always sticker shock. A pair of men's Dockers was priced at 91 euros (about $140). I couldn't help but wonder how successful Walmart might be here. There is a store similar to Walmart we found later in Chalon called Monoprix. It even had a grocery area in the store and prices were much more reasonable. We never did find a "euro store" though.

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