If it is possible to fall in love more than once on a trip, I’ve done it. Paris, my new, old, love. I had forgotten how wonderful this city is.
All of my initial fears have gone. I love my new little apartment on its slightly sketchy street. I am in a wonderful location. Central to everything. I spent yesterday getting acclimated.
Gorgeous late spring day. I needed this after all of the weather we have been experiencing lately. Perfect for walking. When I travel, I love to walk. I try to avoid public transportation unless I am stuck somewhere or have a time constraint. The metro here is wonderful, so I will use as needed, however, everything is so walkable and there is so much to see and explore down the little streets that I do not want to miss anything.
My long walk yesterday brought me first to Saint Martin, which is about one minute down my street. Walked through all of the cafes, ethnic restaurants, boulangeries, jewelry shops and arrived at the Pompidou Center. I did not go inside for this visit. Will go at some point. Just sat out in the piazza. (What do they call these in French?) People watched for awhile. Someone told me the weather hasn’t been so great lately here either so everyone was just enjoying being outside.
From the Pomidou Center, I continued on until I reached the Seine. A brief stop in an adorable park with a large ornate tower. I can’t remember the name but it was recently restored. Lots of people sitting outside eating lunch, relaxing, reading, soaking up the sun. Sat for awhile and then walked across the bridge to the flower market. Since it is nice listening to a description of it in a French accent, here is a link to a lovely little video depicting the market.
I left the market and wandered down over to Ile St. Louis. I had no particular agenda, just wanted to walk up and down the little streets and stop in shops that were appealing to me. Relatively quiet. Fun browsing various little jewelry shops. Found a couple of bracelets and practiced my (lack of) French with the shop owners. Gorgeous architecture lining the outer streets along the Seine. While photographing one of the buildings, a man stopped to give me a history lesson on what I was shooting. How wonderful!
Back over to Ile de la Cite to take a peak at Notre Dame. I like approaching from the back. Well, I’m not sure it is the back, but it is the spot with the gardens and tree lined paths with much fewer people. Spotted a couple taking their wedding photographs. They looked nervous and happy. Around to the front. Did not go inside. Too crowded and today was just about wandering around and finding my way anyway.
Over the Seine again and on to Rue Rivoli, busy street with lots of bigger shopping, heading to the Louvre. Walked through the square into the area with the pyramid and on through to the Tuileries Gardens. One of my favorite spots in Paris. I love it for not only the greenery, but for the people. Relaxed, happy. Couples, families, people like me by themselves. Laying on the grass, napping, reading, having picnics. Sitting by the fountains chatting. Just spending time. I love it. Makes me happy. Wandered around for awhile and then eventually back to Rivoli and the crowded streets to make my way back to my apartment. By this time I had been walking for hours and getting tired.
I felt like a little kid in a candy shop today. There is so much to see here and explore. So many little places to pop into or sit and relax. Cafes, parks. Beautiful. I am in love again. I do not love Rome any less. Two very different places and as I said yesterday, that is completely okay. Love them both!
Today I am going to wander around La Marais in other direction, hopefully finally pick up that falafel for a picnic at Place de Vosges, then head over the Seine to Saint Germain, pass the D’Orsay, eventually make my way to Eiffel Tower and then back my way via Champs Elysse. I have no idea how long this will take, but it is the general plan and I need to get going and see what this day has in store for me.