So leaving Boursonne and catching the train to Paris from Villers Cottrets, there was a little excitement in the air. Looking forward to reconnecting with people from time spent here last year and also maybe, just maybe doing some touristy type things. This was a hope, as I had not yet seen the Eiffel Tower, The Arch de Triumphe nor had I set foot in The Louvrè or any other cultural spot in Paris.
I can’t complain about any of this as I have spent time in Paris with Parisians…..and they are very specific about being so. If you were born out of the districts then you are not Parisian, there is no argument about this at all, it’s simply just is the truth of things. Anyways, the trip was smooth, relaxing and quick.
Arriving at Gare de Nord we quickly wandered through to the main exit and off down the street. I felt a sort of comfort about this as I had been in the area once before. After a quick appointment we shopped for a little while. Nothing major, just a couple of necessities. We then headed to Montreuil to Jean-Jaques and Viviane’s place for the evening. JJ was in good spirits and happy to see us after our few months away. Viv arrived home late and we chatted and drank until late.
Next morning we headed off to a couple of appointments and walked across town via the Palais Royal and the main plaza of The Louvre. Crossing the Seine and seeing the brooding arches of Notre Dame off to the right in the distance sets the scene for many a movie and my real life adventure. I have never seen it, but there was the Eiffel Tower standing tall on the horizon. I was overwhelmed, in awe and I was in PARIS!!!!!!
Walking through the districts, getting an idea of how it all works and where everything is, is a wonderful way to discover this iconic city. You are walking through the living history of culture, cafes, cuisine and haute couture. The amount of people slowly walking around and just taking in the city is fabulous, others sit and just breath it all in.
Lunch with Gaelle and Manu at the Paname Brewing Company http://www.panamebrewingcompany.com/en was fabulous and the food was simple and delicious. This place is a “must do” on your “Things to do in Paris” list. The beer is not to bad at all if you’re into your Craft Beer Culture thingy.
We had to walk the districts again to get to Phillipe and Cecelia’s for dinner. Spending a couple of hours just hanging out in a bistro with a couple of “Ricard traditionalè” made the afternoon cruise by. We headed to a very well known local bottle shop to grab a bottle of Champagne for aperitif upon arrival. Dinner was “fais maison” (homemade) and very tasty. We laughed and chatted until late into the night.
Sleeping in only a little was just what we need after our late night. We had a date at 11:00am with Auguste Rodin at the Grand Palais. This was to be my first real exhibition in Paris. Super excited and totally clueless would sum up my state of mind. Not coming from an arts background, I had a vague idea of what I would be witnessing.
I can only say that it was truly beautiful and one of the most wonderful cultural experiences I have had in Europe. I was marvelling at the technical aspects of Auguste’s creations and the depth of spirit contained within each piece I viewed. Rodin was a genius and ahead of his time in technique and vision (in my humble opinion). According to history, he was also misunderstood…………..apparently 🙂
It was a quick trip to the city of lights and one of the worlds great cities, but I have to say it was truly sensational and I feel a lot more “at home” here now.