13/05/2019

Bonjour Paris!


Blimey... this space seems to be turning into a travel blog! It's not my intention at all, but just a combination of me not bringing my camera with me every day, and a month where I went on three trips. I even squeezed in a very short trip to Stockholm between Venice and Paris, but I only took about 10 pictures, none worth posting here. Anyways, just before Easter I hopped on the train to Paris, whilst one of my favourite people, Z, hopped on a Paris bound train in Amsterdam, arriving 15 minutes apart in Gare du Nord. We were there for three days, just the two of us (walking over 83 000 steps!), seeing five exhibitions, eating lots of delicious food, taking hundreds of pictures and developing serious crushes on the French capital. It's been well over 15 years since I've been there properly, and so much has changed. It might be a case of me projecting here, what with Brexit looming and all, but Paris felt optimistic, buzzing, and full of life. There's also been a generational shift, so now pretty much everyone speaks English (and happily so), although I insisted with persisting with my now quite rusty French.

We stayed at Hotel Henriette, which was just as sympa as we had hoped it would be, so we checked in, dumped our bags and got our cameras ready.





On the way from the hotel to the metro we walked past a window into the past; hundreds of dusty lenses sitting in there, looking completely deserted. The shop itself was empty, but as I tried to look in I got a jump; there was a lady in there, sitting on a stool looking out, with nothing else around her. She stared right through me, and it felt really weird and so spooky, we quickly moved on.



In Le Marais we walked past this café - full of cats and customers. Maybe we'll stop by next time...



Salut! Ça va?





Apparently one of the must go to places in Paris is Merci, a three storey lifestyle shop in Le Marais, and had we been filthy rich or that way inclined, we could have shopped 'til we dropped. As it was, it was fun just walking around looking at things (and out of windows, because that's what we do), and I left empty handed. In fact, during the whole trip I just bought some postcards and a poster... For the past few years I've bought something ceramic as a souvenir from wherever I've been, but I couldn't bring myself to buy a very nice ceramic cup from Merci for 13 euros. Peak stuff is real yo!



Some things never change... I love how social the French are. I noticed that in cafés and restaurants people were not on their phones - they weren't even on the table. No one took pictures of their food and I only saw two people take a selfie the whole time we were there, and they were tourists. My kinda place!





On our way to our dinner we walked past this closed shop, that looked so cosy and personal. As we stood there looking in, one of the owners, Olivier, came back on his bike and told us off for taking pictures. Turns out he was only joking, and he let us in, and then told us all about how he'd gone to Japan for four months to learn how to make fresh buckwheat noodles. He served us some buckwheat tea, and showed us how he made them and how the buckwheat was milled in the shop with a turning stone mill. He was telling me all of this enthusiastically in French, and I couldn't take any more pictures as he was talking, but Z posted a little series of pictures on her instagram It was so nice to see someone so into their craft and passion, being able to share it, and taking the time to tell us about it - without trying to sell us any. 



After our little noodle chat we continued to Clamato for an insanely delicious seafood dinner, and the ambience was great, with super friendly staff and a handsome green wall that we couldn't stop looking at :)



And then, finally, we walked south across the Seine back to the hotel, glimpsing Notre Dame in the distance. The devastating fire happened two days after we left, and we didn't particularly look at it when we were there, taking it for granted - like one so easily does.



2 comments:

  1. It is SO good to catch up on your brilliant, funny eye! xx

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    1. Hey Philippa! It's so good to hear from you and read your lovely words <3
      Hope you're well! xx

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