Destination: Paris, France
In case you win that trip to Paris mentioned in my review of the Marc Levy book, All Those Things We Never Said, you may need a good solid guidebook to help you plan. Enter No Worries Paris.
I had not heard of the Trailblazer guides by Jerry and Janine Sprout until they contacted me with their new photo-filled walking guide to Paris. They have their own publishing company, but are a perfect example of why I should not totally ignore self-published books. If the guide to Paris reflects the quality of all their books, they run a very professional operation. Before talking in detail about Paris, let me fill you in on their previous books.
The Sprouts have produced five guides to the Hawaiian Islands. The first is a general planning guide for the state as a whole. The other four are subtitled: ” Where to hike, snorkel, bike, paddle and surf” and cover the islands of Kauai, Maui, Hawaii the Big Island and Oahu. The other two books in their list are Alpine Sierra: From the Tahoe to Yosemite; and Golden Gate Trailblazer: San Francisco and Marin County. If you’re heading in the direction of any of these, you can find out more about them at the website, Trailblazer Books. Most of the books are available in digital editions as well as in print.
The new No Worries Paris: A Photographic Walking Guide represents their first venture outside the United States, and one hopes that it is merely the beginning. Janine Sprout’s photographs draw your attention to high points of Paris, and also give travel photographers some ideas about how to get good travel photos, while Jerry’s text gives you all sorts of tidbits of information to enhance your walk through Paris.
The purpose of this guidebook is clear and consistent. As they say in the opening section: “The idea of No Worries Paris is to get to know the city by actually seeing it on foot, using the most photogenic routes possible.”
When I look for a guidebook, I check out a few things.
1. Last things first: Does it have a good index, so I can quickly find information on a particular site?
This book has four pages of indexed place names and people names that should help any traveler find what they are looking for.
2. Is it organized in a format that is easy to follow?
The Sprouts get high marks for organization. The book opens with a section called “How to Use This Book, explaining the division into Walking Tours (1/2-1 day); Promenades (shorter walks); Postcards (high points of each area); Thumbnails (summary of the atmosphere and character of the walk.). Then comes the Walking Tour, which includes photos to show you visually why you might like this walk and a tour map followed by street directions and a background and brief histories of the place.
Another point in its favor is that each walk starts and ends at a Metro station, making it easy to get to and fro.
3. Are the maps usable, clear, abundant?
Here the book falls down a bit since frequently the colored line denoting the walk overlays the name of a street, and you will need (as they recommend) a separate city map to follow their route. I’m picturing myself juggling both a book AND a map, and don’t like the picture.
Even if you haven’t booked a trip to Paris (or won the Marc Levy trip) you’ll enjoy looking at the photographs, and will glean lots of fascinating history of Paris if you get this guidebook for your travel library.
Other guides to Paris that we’ve discussed, with links to the original review:
Markets of Paris (Outdoor and Indoor markets all over the city)
Forever Paris (Famous people who lived here)
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World (Expat resident leads tours with many literary references)
Ten Places to Eat Cheaper in Paris (My own little e-book)
That should keep you busy for a while!
(Note: The authors provided a copy of this guide book for review. That does not affect my opinion. I include affiliate links in my articles for your convenience in shopping, and because it earns a few cents to support A Traveler’s Library when you choose to use those links.)