I had some great travel tips from my friend Sylvia, so on our arrival, we got the RER train straight into Paris. I had been practising my French, but unfortunately the monsieur at the ticket office misunderstood my request for ‘deux billets pour centre ville’. In the end I had to ask in English, but never mind. My French will get better!
The train is super fast and very clean. Soon we were in the centre of this amazing city. We’d managed to get a beautiful and very charming boutique hotel close to the famous left bank of the Seine and near to Notre Dame. After checking in, we explored the Ile de la Cité, where Notre Dame is situated. It’s iconic and known the world over, but we couldn’t help shouting out ‘the bells! the bells’ and screaming with laughter!
When looking for a place to eat if you're anything like me, you just have to follow your nose. We had our lunch in a small café, overlooking the cathedral and the river. A bowl of moules et frites (mussels and chips!) set us up for an afternoon of meandering through the left bank – well that and the bottle of wine we shared with our food!
Later on, we visited the house where Picasso lived. It’s now a museum, jam-packed with his amazing paintings and artworks. I was a great fan of Pablo during my younger years, and it’s often easy to forget what an absolute genius he was. When you see his artworks up close, and see the many films that there are in the exhibition showing his intense skill… well I remembered!
Not to mention having a little break in one of so many amazing coffee shops where you can watch the locals and have one of those Amélie moments (if you haven’t seen the film Amélie, put it on your list! It’s a must see!)
Got lost among the vintage bits and pieces in here
I love it when the sun is shining - the best time to explore!
The next day we actually visited that café from the film! It’s called Café les Deux Moulins, and it’s in the Montmartre district, close to Sacre Coeur. There’s no real fuss to the art deco cafe but just to be here, you can be easily transported to the film. It’s on 15 rue Lepic at rue Cauchois and is well worth the visit. While we were there, we walked up to the Sacre Coeur church from where you can get a breath-taking view of the hole of Paris, from the futuristic skyscrapers of La Defense to the Eiffel Tower.
There’s really too much to Paris to cram into one quick visit. We dipped our toes into the Louvre, but there were so many crowds around the Mona Lisa that we left them to it. There’s other Leonardo’s in there including the famous one of John the Baptist, but the millions of tourists walked past in their rush to have a selfie with Mona. Nearby is the Museé de l’Orangerie where Monet’s famous Water Lily pictures are housed. And that did it for me. I was in heaven looking at those pictures. It was late in the day and it seemed as if we had the entire space to ourselves, leaving use to lose ourselves in those most sublime of pictures. Glorious!
The evening meal was a grand affair. We went to this most amazing Art Deco restaurant, La Fermette Marbeuf, near to the Champs-Elysees. The inside has some brilliant original paintings that haave to be seen to be believed – they were covered over when Art Deco went out of fashion and then re-discovered. What a find! And the food? Formidable! Another Euphoric moment!