Yes, I’ve done it again. Getting a 50 euro return ticket to Paris isn’t easy, but with the help of a super Thayls sale, anything is possible. And so I found myself, for the third time this year (smack me, I’m dreaming) whizzing through the Dutch countryside off to gay Pari.
I had booked us an apartment using the travel site Airbnb (www.airbnb.com) on the Ile de la Cite, across from the famed ice cream parlour Berthillon. The apartment was virtually as centrally located as you can get, and our host Sarah, was absolutely lovely. We much preferred the apartment stay to a hotel, as we had a kitchen (with lovely breakfast fixings included), along with plenty of towels, a washer/dryer and hairdryer and wifi. We saved a ton of money, and used the metro a lot less than on previous stays. Airbnb is truly amazing, as you get location, privacy, and so many extra amenities for your price!
Paris was wonderful as usual, and there were only a few dramas, which mainly consisted of my impractical wardrobe choices, because hey- it’s Paris! I say, bring out the fancy! (Caution: wearing 3 inch heels for a 40-minute post-club walk home is a bad idea..)
As for the sightseeing, we were able to visit the Rodin sculpture garden (& musee), the Victor Hugo house, the church La Madeleine, picnic in front of the Eiffel tower and visit the iconic Colette store. Though Musee d’Orsay is still my favorite Parisian museum, I found the Rodin sculptures to be some of the most provocative, sensitive and detailed art in Paris. The detail of the muscles, and the delicate emotions in his faces are exquisite, and to me, commemorative of a romantic by-gone era.
As a rule, our trips always tend to include art, but going shopping in foreign lands takes equal prominence. This is how Simon and I, the fashion obsessed couple, spent one full day of shopping on the Rue St. Honore. We discovered together that we love vintage shops for two reasons: 1) we can afford it, and 2) the stuff looks cool, and has a story behind it. The day ended with macaroons at Laduree (more on that later) with a new friend from Amsterdam.
On the return trip back to Amsterdam, I was reminiscing about how the trip would probably be my last visit to Paris for a long time, and thinking about what I love best about this timeless city. I believe that my favorite part of Parisian life, is just walking on the street. This sounds mundane, but I definitely wouldn’t say the same about Amsterdam, when walking on the street means dodging bicycles and stoners.
Walking in Paris is all about taking in the beautiful old buildings, the smell of fresh baguettes, and the sound of pleasant French chatter. The pleasures of Paris are actually quite simple, and to the dismay of the French, the rest of the world is in on this little secret. Paris remains the number 1 most visited city in the world. And I certainly won’t forget why.