Saturday, April 25, 2009

Paris as promised...

Here I am, back at my computer, to finish my tale of Paris in the springtime. First of all, I do not want to rewrite all guides about Paris, there are plenty of good ones out there. Personally, I can recommend Tommy's guide as a great resource on the blogosphere... I bumped into many, many more while planning our trip, but I did not bookmark all of them. Next time I will think ahead like a real blogger, and I will keep track of all my clicks!

This is just a tale of our experiences in this beautiful city during five gorgeous days in April.

Here is my Nicolas, jumping for the joy of it. I think he was really happy with the trip. We all were, but I can't jump like that anymore, so I keep behind the lens where I know I can do a good job!

As I said before, I wanted Fernando and Nicolas to discover the city on their own, without any of my previous experiences changing theirs. The Eiffel tower was number one on Nicolas' list, followed close behind by getting his hands on as many pains au chocolat as he could. Like mother like son! I managed to go to Lauderée to get my macarons, which was one of the highlights of my trip...

The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. Trees were blooming everywhere, and the city was open and inviting. We arrived Easter Sunday morning, which was followed by a holiday on Monday. The streets were not as crowded and many stores were closed, which was fine with us, as we strolled through the city at our own pace. We walked to Montparnasse and Sacre Coeur, had crepes on the street, and a delicious lunch at one of the few cafés open on Sunday. Montparnasse was in its permanent state of crowdedness, with your regular street artists performing on the steps, as well as devoted catholics trying to get to Easter Sunday mass. On the way back to the hotel we stopped at Pylones for some fun.

We walked everyday from the hotel, and we did not stop until dinner time. We were busy crossing out all the fantastic sites from our list. We had time to stop and smell the roses too... well the coffee, and the tea, the wine and the food... walking is a good excuse for eating, isn't it?

I recommend taking a bateau mouche, anytime! These boats let you see the city from a different perspective, and if you want you can hop on and off at your will. A great way to get around and to enjoy the view. Another highlight of the trip was to go on the Eiffel tower, you have to wait in line for a long, long time, but it is all worth it once you are up there. We managed to get there in the late afternoon, watched the sunset, and then we enjoyed the night view of Paris. Beautiful! I highly recommend to go to the Marais and wander in and out of the little stores, such a feast for the senses. If you have time, the Pompidou is a must, with great restaurants all around, street artists galore, great art, and fine views from the terrace.

Some things we wanted to do and did not. We managed to get to Rose Bakery as they were closing, so we missed trying their delicious food. We went to L'as du Fallafel, but it was Passover, so no bread, no grains, no fallafel! We tried their kebab with some fried eggplant and their SPICY sauce... not bad, but not the world famous fallafel! We would have rented bikes to do some sightseeing, but the system was somehow difficult to understand, and when we finally found a place where we could register to get credit for the bikes, it was our last day. No ride for us. I also wanted to buy "This is Paris" by Miroslav Sasek, in French... It was not to be, as it was sold out in every single bookstore we visited. I am buying a copy of it in English, it will do. Art is an universal language, is it not?

I guess, we will have to go back to ride bikes and eat fallafel, don't you think?

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