As one might expect, there are no direct flights from Miami to India. My flight to India was booked on Air France with a three hour layover in Paris. To the frustration of everyone else on the plane, the flight was delayed in Miami for a little more than three hours. I like many other travelers missed my connecting flight and essentially was stuck in Paris for 24 hours. To me this was a glass half-full moment. I could have been frustrated by the delay, but if you are going to be stuck somewhere in the world, is there a better city than Paris?
With only one day in Paris most American tourists will see the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. I decided to skip the main attractions and walk from my hotel which was near the Arch de Triumph across the city to the Pierre Herme chocolate / pastry shop on 72 Rue Bonapart. Pierre Herme is a God among men when it comes to pastry chefs. His pastries are not only visually beautiful, but amazingly taste better than they look (one would not think that this is possible). My walk from the hotel was a mere 2.5 miles and I needed it to be twice as long to come close to burning off the calories I would eat. But along the way, I did take the typical tourists pictures of Paris to confirm that I was actually in the city.
I’ll take a chocolate pastry from Pierre over visiting the Mona Lisa any day of the week. To me, Paris is a fantastic city highlighted not by its art and architecture, but by its bread and pastries. In my 24 hours period, I consumed several small baguettes, and ate most of the pastries in the picture above. It took me a couple hours, but Mr. Creosote would be proud.