Welcome back, Europe!
A Paris fling lasting two nights is simply not enough to explore the city’s inspiring grandeur, despite visiting twice previously many years ago. After each visit Paris becomes more appealing, I become more appreciative of its breath-taking architecture and heritage buildings, highlight after highlight – endless intrigue.
Did you know that it’s free (yes, free!) entry in to the Notre-Dame Cathedral? A top tip when faced with a ceaseless queue of overheating bodies trying to penetrate the imposing cathedral. Look for a gap, nonchalantly fill the gap and pretend to be with the people in front of you, not looking over your shoulder, and mind your own business. Obviously this needs to happen as far in front of the queue as possible. And… la magie…
Resistance becomes futile when Paris presents the opening night of Rigoletto at the Opera Bastille. What an exceptionally powerful performances by all, and such artistry and precision of symphony by the orchestra. Three acts later, I still yearned for more. I feel a humming session about to attack… In English, of course.
‘La donna mobile’ Rigoletto by Verdi
Woman is fickle
Like a feather in the wind,
She changes her voice — and her mind.
In tears or in laughter, — she is always lying.
When you are all shopped out from Avenue des Champs Elysées and desperate to recharge, escape to Jardin des Tuileries, a public garden offering lush pockets of greenery, located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. A simple lunch at Café Des Marronniers, in the heart of the garden, does wonders for the batteries.
A Paris fling wouldn’t be quite complete without experiencing a meal at (at least a one star) Michelin star restaurant a few streets away from the Eiffel Tower.
How does an already noteworthy table become the stuff of legends ? Is it the chef, the cuisine ? Certainly ! Or the décor, a backstory ? Equally ! But upon occasion there is that rarer, more touching surprise of a simple address, the magic of a signboard. Suddenly the map, the restaurant as it were, regains the land. Among such legends in Paris, at 18 Rue Fabert, Esplanade des Invalides: the Divellec.
The City of Love and romance! Ascending the Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars at sunset; a night stroll along La Seine with the tower’s blue light reaching in to the black sky; a glimpse of the impressive Louvre brilliantly lit all made it apparent why it’s called the ‘city of love’; and isn’t French one of, if not thee, sexiest accents in the world?