I’ve been back from Paris for a week now. The jet lag is wearing off and I’m starting to get on top of the email backlog. The whole month long Gallic experience is settling down in my mind, too, enough for me to write a little about it.
Paris. What an extraordinary city. We had a lovely little apartment in the Marais, near the Pompidou Centre. It meant that thousands of Parisian attractions were within walking distance, so walk we did. We also used the mighty Metro extensively, travelling to the far reaches of the system to see what we wanted to see.
Paris is the essence of what I love about these grand European cities. It’s redolent with combine history and culture, but it knows how to have a good time as well. In the middle of the city, there’s always a gallery or museum within walking distance, and on the way you’ll pass a dozen excellent eateries.
And everything is done with such style. From the pedestrian you pass who is wearing his scarf just so and thereby making himself the definition of chic to the little Christmas lights at Place Vendome that were managed to be almost anti-crass in their elegance, Paris has an abundance of élan.
Some of our best Paris experiences:
The Musee D’Orsay. So good we went twice. Not just the staggering masterpieces (‘Oh look, there’s another gobsmacking Van Gogh, next to that jaw-dropping Cezanne, which is to the right of that swoon-making Manet’) but the building itself. Light, airy, full of grace. What a renovation rescue.
Fontainebleau. You can keep your Versailles.
This is how you do a royal French palace.
Le Train Bleu. Our Big Night Out. A stunning, over the top restaurant distilling La Belle Époque, tucked away into the Gare Lyon. Magnificent!
The Sewer Tour. A walk through a working section of the Paris waste disposal network. An engineering marvel below the elegant streets.
Photos are still to come. I had a disaster in the last week of our time there when the laptop melted down. No warning, and I’d been diligently transferring all the photos from my camera to what I thought was a safer place. I have someone looking at retrieving them. Fingers crossed.
I’ll post more Paris highlights over the next few weeks as I read over my travel diary and relive the fun.