Well everyone, I made it in one piece! After a long flight (with the person in front of me reclining fully) and an extra long train ride (delays due to rush hour) I arrived in Paris ready to take the city by storm. I broke my one cardinal rule today: Don’t try to do too much on arrival day (oh, and also my other, “don’t go to chains in another country. I hadn’t slept in 24 hrs. I needed Starbucks, it was there, and yes, I paid 2,50 E for a Tall coffee) Please ask tell me one part of this city I haven’t seen. I basically went crazy, to put it bluntly. I walked for as long as my legs could carry me and then I bought the Navigo Découverte (an unlimited metro, bus and inner city train pass) and I’ve been unstoppable since.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I arrived at my hotel, humble but friendly, and even though my room wasn’t ready they offered me my complimentary breakfast. I wouldn’t call it a ‘breakfast’ by my standards; it consisted of 1/2 baguette, nutella, canned fruit, orange juice, and hot chocolate. But, I needed something, fast and it did the job.
After tossing all of my belongings in my itty bitty room, I was off! I will happily write more detailed reflections on the sites I saw when I actually take time at each one. For now, a teaser.
First stop, Notre Dame. The sight of that monument honestly took my breath away.
Then, off to explore the Marais district. I forgot my ‘walking guide’ so I sorta just winged it. But I stumbled upon a lot of beautiful spaces and shops, and I’ll definitely be going back with list in hand.
I took a brief tour through the Latin Quarter before finding my predetermined lunch spot, Pre Verre . As I sat down I was immediately asked “Formule”? (the prix fixe) “Si, I mean, oui!” And thats all I said for the rest of the meal. I started munching on the bread as soon as I got it and an older Parisian woman started at me and blurted something in French. “Je ne parles francais” I muttered. “Where you from?” she says. “Je suis americaine”. “Ah. The bread comes after. You don’t eat it now.” Needless to say, I through the bread on the table and didn’t touch it again until she gave me permission.
The meal was very good, but not as great as I was expecting. However, for 13,50 E I got a starter of Lentil Tartine, a Main of Fricasse Poulet over house made fettuccini in a glorious sauce; a glass of damn good wine, and an espresso (cafe). I would highly recommend this
restaurant for a true Parisian atmosphere. It was packed for lunch.
My afternoon? Well, that is sort of a blur ;) I hopped a random bus and ended up in Bastille. I hunted down E. Dehliren. What is it about kitchen stores that can make even a jetlagged American with no table manners (and is reminded of that fact) light up inside? It was gritty, charming, and I loved it. I wanted to buy every single copper item in there.
After, I found my final ‘planned’ destination, Repetto. My lovely friend, Gill, as well as a woman I met on the plane (who I’m supposed to meet with for a drink this week) highly recommended checking out this store. I walked in and fell in love. They have the most beautiful ballet flats you’ve ever seen (but they start at 13oE…the pair I want are 185E, of course).
Then I got lost… again and again and again. It’s ironic that so many people asked me for directions today… IN FRENCH. I guess my little blending technique is working (aside from when I was inhaling a crepe from a street vendor on my way to the metro. Don’t mess with a hungry woman in Paris.) Here is a little photo journey of the places I discovered while lost. It makes you look at following a planned route a little differently, huh?
Click on any of the pictures to be directed to my Flickr page so you can browse the other pictures I haven’t included here.
Since I have successfully been awake for more hours than a person should be in a row, a bientot!