Paris on foot: Don’t forget the spare shoes and the blister plasters!

The shoes in question seemed like the most comfortable, cushioned beauties. That was before walking several miles around Paris. My toes were so badly swollen that it felt like there were large marbles gradually grinding closer to my bones. Large blisters had burst on the backs of my feet, leaving me reeling in pain from the stinging – even walking in baby steps…

Instead of heading straight to Notre Dame Cathedral the following morning, we spent a couple of hours searching for shoe shops. This was no easy feat as it was Sunday and we were out of town so most of them were closed.

I felt like I had spotted an oasis in the desert when a market appeared ahead, which luckily had a selection of shoe stalls. With a nice new pair of backless sandals, our walking plans were back on track.

Moral of the story: Do not sacrifice comfort for chic, take a spare pair of comfy shoes (preferably broken in trainers or backless sandals) and stock up on blister plasters.

Once the shoe situation was sorted, walking around was great. We saw every building, the merging of the different districts, the cyclists and rollerbladers flying by along the streets, the people watchers sitting in front of the cafes, the flow of the River Seine.

The weather was perfect for walking – dry and not too hot. We only got on the Metro once and, predictably, it was horrible and like being in a tin of sardines.