J'aime Paris de tout mon coeur!!!
Oh my gosh, this city.
Paris is completely fabulous and unexplainably mesmerizing. I can not even name specifically what enamored me the most about this city. Beautiful, nearly ancient, H.U.G.E. With a lofty 10 million people floating around in every direction, speaking god knows how many languages, off to the next stop. The place just sort of scoops you up and carries you along. Like a leaf in the wind.
From the light 70 degrees with a breeze to the endless most darling bakeries with their endless amounts of bright, delicate pastries to the perfect undersized $5 latte your mouth could taste. It was every little thing that I fell in love with. Being a tiny, little speck winding down road after road of beautifully erected Parisian buildings with their bright, boldly painted 300 hundred year old doors. The essence essentially takes you by the hand and wisps you away... everywhere we went and everywhere my eyes landed upon I fell completely in love.
We did all the mandatory touristing with stops for croissants, eating the perfect french fries, taking the metro then hoping a bus then getting lost on the metro line and back onto a bus. We read the maps and we still got lost. But it didn't matter a bit to me because I WAS IN PARIS and that was all that mattered. I soon found out my husband didn't have quite the same affinity as I did and was kindly appeasing my every whim instead and less interested or enamored but that didn't matter either cause I WAS IN PARIS and I WAS IN LOVE.
I have to say I am very thankful for the Parisians love for all things carbohydrates. I felt very at home in their endless street cafes dripping with glass cased delicacies and mouth watering deliciousness. And Nutella!! Don't forget the Nutella. I could have just eaten for three days and not at all cared cause you can walk twenty blocks to the next restaurant and have legitimately earned those next thousand calories. It was bliss. We ate lots of meals that contained French fries. When in Rome... or Paris, I mean.
Did I mention that everything was tiny? Like Parisians must be half the size of most Americans because all the tables are TINY and all the elevators tiny, too. The cars, tiny. The beds, tiny. Showers, no space there. I suppose it's a European thing because when we traveled to Italy it was compact everywhere we stayed as well. Anyhow, it makes for some pretty interesting moments when your hubs who doubles as a rugby player squeezes in these tiny spaces. Below was the lovely elevator that made this quite a reality within our first hours there.
The first day was the Eiffel Tower and you would have been mistaken that it was the only thing to see in the entire city by the masses of people gathered under it's gigantic beams. We explored nonetheless. Ate french fries and stalked the owners of sweet furry Frenchies. Well, I stalked them. John Robert watched.
We did the boat tour of the city and chose the bottom deck to hear the history over the top for seeing it. Well that allowed for me to fall deeper into the Parisian Love Rabbit Hole. The Seine was magical and I would never have thought I would have gone nuts over any place in the world over a river but- check, done.
The riverbank just screams romancing as it is strewn with cafes and walkers and onlookers and history. History everywhere you can possibly see. Nothing is under 100 years old unless you count the snack carts. You can't help but to fall into it's mystic ways and let the city keep carrying you away.
Love was EVERYWHERE. Not just a little here or a little there. No. There were lovers absolutely everywhere. It was not uncommon to turn around and see couples holding bodies (not just hands) and be in the midst of hundreds or thousands yet no one was concerned in the least. They were all just madly in love and loving it. We saw weddings being done, lovers chasing each other, boyfriends holding girlfriends, and everything in between.
I believe we stopped at about 27 or so of these gigantic doors. They were all over the city, on every building imaginable and they were magical. Everything about the architecture wooed me. It was massive and beautiful and endearing. I could have spent days just wondering the city and looking at one concrete building after the other. My travel photography little self was in pure heaven!
John was less amused as you can see as I asked him to stand here or there and look this way or that way. This was the street corner in front of our darling hotel, the lovely Best Western, we went real American there. And just behind Johnny was the best, little Parisian bakery one could ever lay her eyes on. And we went there all three, almost four, days.
And the Lourve. The reason for my trip. The apple of my eye. The beat in my heart. Oh, how I adored the apartments of Napoleon. How expansive the entire structure was, it just swallowed you up and spit you out on the opposite side of town. It was remarkable and lengthy and breathtaking and I would live in it's basements and wash windows if I could.
Where Lisa resides. I was blown away at the masses that flocked to her. Unimaginable. I had to elbow my way to the front and then weasel through with my hand held above heads in front of me to even get this close. All for an 2'6 by 1'9... that's literally 30 inches by 21 inches. That's quite a masterpiece. And she wasn't even smiling!
And the bike riding... My favorite thing to do in all the whole world. I wish Johnny Robert would have appeased me some more and let us rent some bikes to do some exploring but to no avail. Can you believe they had random bike racks with rental bikes throughout the city that you could use and return to other bike racks throughout the city?! My love for Paris grew at just that. Goodness. As I said, everything about the city was fantastic. And we honestly didn't meet one rude Parisian. Not one.
The lock bridge was our next stop. Which there were three of not a just one. Hmmmmm. The city is actually deciding what to do with these infamous bridges that are causing massive riverbankment issues. At least they are pretty for now and covered with people's declaration of love for another.
The open air markets. Swoon!!! Everywhere, might I add. Cheese, fresh meats, veggies from gardens!!! And we walked there because they were in every nook and cranny of the city. Goodness... I have to stop. If I think on it too long I get this deathly bitter jealousy.
Gypsies singing on street corners. Not so envious of this but it was quite charming.
Men playing their instruments and hearts out for hours at a time.
The meters, the street corners, the metro, the hundreds of languages all around you... The all of it!!! I can't take it. The whole dang city was magical!!! I hate that it's an ocean away.
We got our share though. Indeed.
But we did all that we could and saw all that we could see and I pray that one day I will be able to return and spend twice as much time and eat three times as much food and walk half a dozen more blocks than I ever did this time around...
Loved the Museum De Orsey. An old train station that was converted into a museum gallery in the 18th century. It was fabulous and not so overwhelming as the Lourve. I saw Van Gogh's Water Lilies (or one of his many) so that made my little heart happy.
And of course we finished off our last day with crepes and fries at the open air cafe behind the museum. And then a twenty block walk back to the hotel and then another 20 block walk to our dinner spot for the night. At 9pm, in 70 degrees of breeze. In the greatest city in the whole entire world.