Two weeks ago the husband and I along with two friends flew out of Washington Dulles to start our 2018 visit to Paris and London. For me, it was likely the 7th - or more - visit to Paris and like the 5th or sixth visit to London. My first visits to both cities were back in the 1981-1983 time frame when I was in-house counsel working for an oil company handling various international matters. Our travel companions, a straight couple, but gay friendly, had never been to either city and were paying our airfare and accommodations in exchange for us planning the trio and serving as tour guides, if you will. The goal was to show them an amazing time and to also indulge our love for both cities, each of which is a world capital yet so very different in so many ways (both are very LGBT friendly and when we went by London City Hall today, a rainbow flag was flying)
If pushed to choose which city I love more, my vote would go to Paris. I love the architecture and the way in which the central city has been spared from modern monstrosities or soaring towers which are a total disconnect with the beautiful historic buildings. London, in contrast is often modern next door to 18th century buildings in part because sections of London were destroyed during the blitz in World War II. Paris escaped destruction due to the commanding German general's refusal to destroy parts of the city notwithstanding Hitler's orders to do so.
Both cities offer wonderful dining opportunities with London perhaps having more diverse offerings. But for the nearly 100 miles we walked over the last two weeks - the husband and our travel companions all had apps that measured the amount of their walking - I hate to think how much weight we would have gained.
In terms of getting around, both cities have amazing mass transits systems that make most American cities look very pathetic at best. In both cities we bought unlimited 7-day travel cards and we made extensive use of the Metro/Underground systems which make New York City's system look very poorly maintained in comparison. The train systems for travel outside the cities make Amtrak look positively horrible and the speed at which the trains travel - not counting the Eurostar which is in a class by itself - are amazing. America could learn a great deal from both the UK and France on how to build remarkable and cost efficient mass transit systems (they could do the same on the issue of healthcare, especially France).
Since this is an LGBT blog, I'd be remiss if I did not mention the local men in each city. Both being world capitals and deeply involved in the fashion industry, both cities have LOTS of handsome men (and women for female LGBT readers), but the men of Paris, in my opinion are the "hottest" - to quote the husband - and most style conscious.
If you have never visited either city, I recommend that you do so. There are economic ways to do so, including looking for discount flights, sharing an apartment with friends, using travel cards as we have to get around freely, and getting a "London Pass" or the "Museum Pass" for Paris which saves a considerable amount of money - the London Pass even got us free rail travel to Windsor Castle.
I'm not sure when I will return to either city, but I suspect I will see both again, especially Paris. As for blogging tomorrow, we head to the airport in the morning and then need to drive back to Hampton after we arrive in Washington Dulles International. Post will be sparse at best.