I entitled my post “Goodbye Paris” because I was reasonably happy to be moving on to Stockholm, where I am sitting in my hostel writing this. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the City of Lights and Love, I do look back with fond memories, but felt it just wasn’t the city for me. Jase and I discussed this while sitting in a cafe watching Parisians walk by. You either are a Paris person, or you aren’t. If you are the type who loves to sit around, chat and watch the world go by then Paris seems the place to be. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing that from time to time too, but for me Paris was really just another big city. Maybe it would have been different in the summer…
We arrived at the Orly airport early evening before using the trains to head to our first accommodation venue, A Room in Paris. This was a quaint bed and breakfast managed by Peet Verrest. It was a nice room to stay in, in a beautiful old apartment. Peet and his partner Thierry made us feel very welcome and we enjoyed chatting to Peet over breakfast. The apartment was located in the 10th Arrondissement, which I think is meant to be trendy… but didn’t feel very comfortable for us. While down that side of town we saw the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, both impressive.
A change in location brought about a whole new outlook for us. I certainly noticed the difference in Jase after finding our bearings in the 12th Arrondissement (right near the Bastille), the area our hotel was located. The Hotel des Trois Gares was neat and the staff were very helpful, this was the charming boutique hotel experience we’d heard about. Actually, I have to admit that over our whole stay we really did not encounter the cliché rude Parisian that you hear so much about. Perhaps it was our persistence in starting all our communication with French (albeit pronounced poorly). “Bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?”
Ice skating (see Jase’s post here) kicked off the fun times in Paris. It was a nice walk from our accommodation, down rue St-Antoine and rue de Rivoli, to the rink. We did this walk many times over our last four days in Paris, which I really enjoyed, as it lead us to the various sites, eateries and shopping district. Becoming familiar with the walk made me feel at home and gave me more of a sense of belonging in Paris. The walk also led me past all my favourite things in Paris, which included:
- Looking up (to see the long lines of gorgeous old balconies on the apartment blocks)
- A beautiful florist shop (with the cutest floral arrangements)
- Windows full of pastries (although we tried to avoid eating them)
- Nutella crepes (which we only had on the last day but wish we’d had more of as they were so filling for the bargain price of 3€)
- Ice skating (a whole lot of fun)
So, all up, my views of Paris? It was definitely worth it to see all the major attractions. Notre Dame and the Louvre were purely amazing (and as a bonus the Louvre was free since it was the first Sunday of the month!) You can’t take away from the sheer magnificence of such old buildings that are so detailed and ornate.
Would I go back there? Maybe, but probably not.
So au revoir Paris, thanks for the memories.