Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
May I introduce you to Geraldine? She is a true Parisienne: beautiful, open minded, pretty, young, in her early twenties to be exact. She is definitely the kind of girl who attracts a lot of attention. Strolling through Paris with her might provoke a collision. Although “strolling” is not exactly the right word. Geraldine is a car. Yes, she is. Cars are female in French language!
Geraldine is a 2CV, to be precise, the most French and probably most iconic car Citroën stopped making in 1990, and she’s ready to help you discover Paris, the real Paris. She and her copines: Louise, Simone, Amélie, Edith and all the others. They are 20 altogether in the posh parking under Place Vendôme.
On this late sunny summer day Geraldine is already waiting for me at Place Vendôme, just in front of the Ritz. She and Sébastien, co-founder of Paris Authentic, who had the brilliant idea of offering custom tours in a 2CV with two other friends, all lovers, admirers and drivers of the tin snail or duck or however you like to call her.
Whether you just want to surprise and impress your girlfriend with an one hour trip up and down the Champs-Elysées or you want go for the Paris Romantique , it’s up to you – and your wallet. You’d like to see Paris by night? A piece of cake. You need to transport all your wedding guests from the town house to the party? No problem. There is exactly nothing that Sébastien won’t organize for you. They pick you up at your hotel – or wherever you want – and bring you back after.
Basically the idea is to see Paris, have some fun and meet a local: your chauffeur. “That’s what you want, non, when you’re aboard?”, Sébastien says. And he’s absolutely right. Who wants to listen to the never-changing commentary of the never-changing bus trip? No one.
Paris Authentic employs around 50 chauffeurs, boys and girls, students, who speak all imaginable languages and will take you wherever you want; there is even a writer seeking inspiration; or simply Parisians who retired early and know Paris like the back of their hands.
I had a great time with Geraldine and Sébastien. She opened her sunroof completely and gave me this old nice cabriolet feeling I’d almost forgotten. But even on a cold day you will see the sky above Paris, Geraldine is what the French call “tête en l’air”, she is dreamy and her sunroof is completely transparent.
You don’t like limousines? I don’t either. Honestly, why would you drive around Paris in a car with tinted windows that is too big to wind its way through all that traffic? It’s much more fun in a 2CV: you’re where you want to be, in the middle of a lovely mess.