When I signed up for a tour of the city, I was nervous, because my French was not very good, and I only had one day to see everything. Helena was the perfect person for me to tour with. Not only is she able to speak both French and English, but she knows the bus routes to avoid traffic and crowds so that I was able to see every monument in such a short span of time.
We saw every monument listed on her page and some sites that only a true local would know about. We saw a seasonal band playing on the river, stopped at an art school (something I told her I was interested in), went through a carnival where I got my first crêpe, saw one of the oldest restaurants in the region, and even got drinks in a bar where the locals were outgoingly friendly.
I took eight years of French courses, and felt I knew a lot about the history of Paris, and I was still able to learn so much during the tour. Helana is one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met about Parisian history. She has a connection to the location that is evident in her attention to detail and passion for sharing.
Another part of my goal for the tour was to take photos for my social media pages. Helena was so gracious and helping me take both photos and videos. Everywhere we went. She even took reshoots to make sure I had exactly what I needed. Now I have more than enough contact for my social media posts!
The photos she took of me were wonderful! It was easy to give her direction and to receive advice on great poses. I already showed them to my family, and they are thrilled at how beautiful they came out. I already know which images I want to eventually have framed.
The tour also came with a meal. I was expecting to stop by a restaurant on the way, and quickly eat something that was considered French. Instead, I was greeted by a large, homemade feast of a variety of traditional French fruits. They were prepared and displayed better than, any restaurant I could have visited. I feel like I got to taste everything a native French person would consume.
Conversation during dinner was one of my favorite parts. Helana is very personable, and it was easy to feel like I was not on a tour, but connecting with an old friend. She shared so much of her life, and gave recommendations on how I can continue to enjoy the area before I had to leave. During the tour, she also let me know what was considered reasonably priced, and what engagements I should look out for.
Now I’m reflecting as I write this review. I already miss the sights, smells, and sounds I experienced from the tour, and all the laughter along the way. I am a digital nomad, and have been on several tours in the years that I have been traveling. I can confidently say that Helena is the best. If anyone has an opportunity to take a tour with her, take it! You’ll have a time that you won’t soon forget.