The Louvre clearly needs no introduction. Really anyone visiting Paris simply must visit it, even if you’re not ‘into’ art, it is a spectacle in itself. Again I was swooning over this incredible architecture – made all the more awe-inspiring as it is contrasted with the modern glass pyramids, that turned out to be the roofs of some of the exhibitions. Old-worldly with a dash of modern. And anywhere with fountains/water features gets a big thumbs up from me. Especially enjoyable to dip your feet in on a hot day! And, like everything in Paris, is magnificent at night. We spent some time there another evening before venturing up to a set of very special steps… More on that later ; )
The museum boasts some of the worlds most lucrative art and statues – though I won’t pretend to know a great deal about this, or even understand the appeal of some of them, I do appreciate their significance and influence in the creative world, and also the scrupulous detail and work that has gone into each exhibit.
Saint-Germain is another favourite of ours, and is perhaps our next neighbourhood of choice to stay in for our next visit. We pottered around (I managed in heels this day!) and visited Notre Dame, plundered through books in Shakespeare & Company (purchasing a few books including Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’, very appropriate for the occasion) – I loved the higgledy-piggledy shelves from floor to ceiling, and getting their famous stamp on books you purchase. We also had to check out Café de Flore – the famous gathering spot of literary greats. After this, we got a bite to eat locally (Café de Flore’s menu didn’t tickle our fancy) and made our way to the lovelock bridge – another must :)
Can you spot ours? SJGC – it’s our initials ‘woven’ together. We got hooked on to the bridge (determined to get a space on the actual bridge, instead of locking onto someone else!) and dropped our key into the Seine below. Our love is now sealed in Paris forever :) … I know, #cheesy #beyondcheddar hehe.
Bateaux Mouches is the number one river-tour operator in the city. Jamie and I liked this boat tour so much, we done it twice! Both times by night, as we just love how the city is illuminated – the colours, the softness – it’s obvious why it’s been dubbed the city of light. We caught the last boats of the night both times; it was quieter and it felt more magical, seeing the city so late.
Perhaps one of the nicest parts of the boat tour was the insight we got into the city – not just the sights we were being presented with, but the culture – crowds of Parisians were gathered along the riverside, socialising, sharing picnics of wine, grapes and cheese in woven baskets laid out on gingham cloth, dancing to music blasting from a little stereo that someone had brought with them. People were enjoying wine, but there was no trouble or rowdy behaviour. Crowds were waving and cheering at everyone passing on boats! Further down the river, there were crowds dancing to old 1950s records, old-fashioned dancing in pairs. I couldn’t believe it – the dreamy stereotypes of French life are true. And it’s the way things should be… if only culture in the UK was like that.
To anyone considering visiting the Palace of Versailles, it definitely deserves a full day of your time. It’s outside Paris, but it’s a must-see; whether you are interested or not in the history, the gardens are magnificent, and the Chateau is just incredible. Unfortunately we only arrived in the afternoon, but made the most of the time. We completed the tour inside the Chateau and walked around some of the grounds; though with the heat on that day and extensive walking in it, we couldn’t feasibly go on! Though we done quite well I thought! I’d certainly go back and explore the grounds we didn’t see.
Midnight in Paris…
Now, those steps I referenced earlier… for anyone who has seen the magical Woody Allen flick, Midnight in Paris, it was firmly on our ‘to do’ list to find the exact steps where Gil was whisked away every midnight to the 1920s! We went at midnight (the only time to go, obviously). Unfortunately the old Peugeot didn’t appear for us, but we enjoyed sitting on the steps all the same. We met a nice group of Americans who had came to this spot with the same mindset as us :) We looked at them, they looked at us: “Woody Allen?” we said, and laughed! We chatted about the film and the city. Many thanks to them for taking our photos – this place is special to us.
Hemingway was right, Paris… you really are a moveable feast. Til next time… au revoir! x
Above image from hipparis.com