Joking aside, when your 50/50 French/Norwegian cousin invites you along to the city of cities, you should be prepared (mentally and physically ofc) to see and experience as much as humanly possible, within the given time frame. Oh yeah! 😀
We, the marathon team, can be seen below, eager to begin!
We arrived late at night (from the airport) in the apartment belonging to Johanna’s family, situated right in the middle of ‘everything’! What a luxury! Here is a photo of the backyard:
Early next morning, (or, pretty late if you were to ask the other two, lol), we went out and got ourselves some fresh croissants (and my favourite, pain au chocolat) from a local bakery. Note: Breakfasts doesn’t get any better than this. Really.
Warning #1: Quite a lot of architectural photos were taken on this trip, and consequently, the subset of images shown here, maintains that same proportionality. Sorry?
Warning #2: A new reader of this blog – if such a person exists – might think that we quite recently visited Paris. No, – no no no. This was 2 years ago, which, by the standards of this blog, is quite recent. What I am trying to say is: the level of detail describing the whereabouts of this trip, encompassed in the bank of memories called “my brain” has shrunk somewhat. Fear not, any memory of activities related to “food” and/or “eating” are still vividly alive.
Another thing I distinctly recall is a visit to the Jewish Quarter (Rue des Rosiers, as can be seen on the street sign below). Johanna, our lovely, local tour guide and travel companion, gave us an excellent tour of the area; the narrow streets, the small shops and best of all, the bottom left corner of the collage below:
Later that day, or maybe it was the next day. Who knows, maybe this happened previous to the visit to the Jewish Quarter, the point is, I can’t remember lol…
…anyways, we had a nice break from sightseeing on foot by jumping onboard one of the “tourist ferries” going up and down the River Seine (never underestimate the joy of stretching your legs!). From there this view presented itself:
We got to know the Paris Opera (fr: Opéra de Paris), at least from the outside – absolutely beautiful of courrrrse. (Yeah, btw, that’s right – the one below spelling “Academie Nationale de Musique”, haha, quick fun-fact: after looking at its Wikipedia-article, it became clear that this place has changed its name more times than you can count!)
…and again, from afar:
Next morning, clear blue skies with the moon peeking out from behind Notre-Dame (might need to enlarge the image to see it)
We boarded an early train to Versailles to avoid spending hours waiting in line at the entrance. We then went on to spending hours in line at the entrance. Also, on a side note, good thing a whole bus load of tourists didn’t cut in front of us, even getting the guards to side with them. Good thing…yeah
Not much needs to be said about the garden(s) around/behind Versailles – sumptuous! …and large, over 800 hectares (8 km²), filled with sculptures, pathways, fountains and tourists: around 4 million each year come visit.
A hyperlapse-video of a walk around the “Mirror Pool” can be seen below. The video was captured on a phone which unfortunately resulted in it being very shaky – and kind of unwatchable… luckily, modern video software has excellent stabilization filters built-in. For your entertainment – to see just how shaky the video really is, I have left the video uncropped:
We lost track of time in the huge labyrinth-like garden, but still managed to sneak into Versailles right before close. This gave us a completely new view of the palace – suddenly the dense crowds were gone, and all we could see in the mercury mirrors were ourselves. What a stunning view both inside and outside (the palace, that is – well, us too lol)!
Later that day we went to the well-known restaurant, La Coupole, that has served traditional French food since 1927! A walk back in time…
As the sun went down, we strolled through the streets of Paris, enjoying a mild breeze and pleasant summer temperatures.
This one guy also stayed up this night:
Next day – woke up with sun burns 😦 Meh! That’s what you get for staying out all day…
We went to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a varied park with POIs like a large cave, kilometers of pathways, cherry trees and a temple on top of a cliff – surrounded by a lake. From the summit you can see all the way to Sacré-Cœur:
But Paris has more to offer than just, “pfft Versailles” and its large, lush parks… it has the most interesting waterways leading right into the hearth of the city.
But first, a photo of this smiling guy standing in front of some mildly disturbing graffiti:
Canal Saint-Martin, ordered built by Napoléon himself in 1802, is a fascinating sight with its locks that are still in use. I might even have a timelapse with a retro-twist to show later…
As promised – video!
And now, rain. Lots of it. I loved it, my two companions, not so much… haha
…I mean, I have seen her happier than this:
We ran home, then used the (warm) shower as a means of resuscitation…
That same evening, we went to an intimate concert at Sainte-Chapelle. This was a wonderful experience and something I’d highly recommend if you ever have the opportunity! Saint-Chapelle is in my opinion the prettiest Gothic-style chapel in Paris; simply a must-view:
More evidence of just how picturesque Paris is, ensues:
Marit et moi, vis-à-vis de Notre-Dame:
The picture above, (and below), is from a close-to 5 km long, partly elevated walkway known as Promenade plantée or Coulée verte René-Dumont that was built on a railway that no longer were in use. It starts off at the Bastille.
A birds-eye view of the walkway can be seen here (link to The Guardian) – I even think the apartment building is the same one as above(!).
When in Paris, do stupid stuff in front of the Eiffel tower. This is the law.
I don’t even…
On a more serious note, let’s end this blog post with the most well-known landmark in the world, – and without me. Paris, we love you! …and we will most surely return.
Oh look, more Eiffel tower AND the French flag! Woah! Thought this blog post were finished already??
This just doesn’t end.
Oh well, it did. SO LONG, have a delightful summer!