Photographer: Guillaume Cattiaux
Paris offers such a tantalizing menu to visitors that is easy to overload on all it has to offer. After a while, by doing too much, everything melds into a mismatch of attractions, in which you´ll say, “was I there?’”
Parisian moments can be embellish upon and savored. Do what I do and try to head off an over-stimulating experience into one of everlasting memories.
Paris of the arts
With literally hundreds of museums and galleries to choose from, I tend to focus on the smaller ones. My personal favorite is very intimate and happens to exhibit a preferred artist, Claude Monet. However, the other neo-impressionists are here from Seurat to Matisse.
Housed in a former hunting lodge, the Marmottan Monet Museum, makes me feel that I am in a warm home, where I can sit and completely immerse myself at the hangings on its walls. It is certainly a change from the overwhelming Louvre, free from crowds, less rushed and tiring. Not that the Louvre isn´t a grand museum, but I have a tendency to want to see all and it just isn´t possible at the Louvre.
Al fresco romance
Paris is a series of bridges that separates the Left side of the Seine River to the Right. The one I find the most romantic and sums up Paris is taking a walk across the La Passerelle des Arts. This bridge crosses from the Palais du Louvre to the Academie des Beaux Arts, offering dramatic sights on either side and activity of the flat bateaux tour boats meandering down the river´s middle.
I have often hit upon sculptures and art exhibits that stretch across the walkway, taking it in as an added bonus offering more elements of interest to my much-loved bridge.
Visit some notables
After seeing Woody Allen´s love song to Paris movie, “Midnight in Paris”, it only confirms that Paris during anytime period is great. My recognition towards this fantasy is almost a reality.
Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise can be considered an urbanization of the deceased in the 20th Arrondissement of Paris. This off the beaten path cemetery feels more like a park and has several notables that reads like a who´s who. Residents include Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Sarah Bernhardt, Colette, Chopin, Jim Morrison and hundreds of others
Photographer: Tar Valanion
Crepes in the afternoon
I sometimes get hungry at the most inopportune times, when I get engrossed with the sights and sounds of Paris. I happen to love crepes and a quick bite on the road is all I need. At 12 Boulevard Sebastopol, between Hotel de Ville and Les Halles metro stations, I discovered Les Enfants de la Cuisine. It may not be the most fashionable café around, but the prices and food are great.
A steady stream of regulars keep coming to Les Enfants de la Cuisine, myself included. Quiches, baguettes, as well as all types of crepes can be had for less than just a snack at most museums or sidewalk cafes. I am a chocoholic and when in Paris during the winter, nothing beats their hot chocolate.
A nice ending
Dress up a little and head towards The Ritz, on the Place Vendome. This is one of the top hotels in Paris. Join me in a toast at this fashionable part of Paris at the Hemmingway Bar.
Hemingway left his mark on the many drinking holes he patronized from Spain to Key West. The story behind the Ritz was that Hemingway ordered a drink and raise his glass at this trendy bar while Paris was being liberated in WWII.
As a regular hotel guest, he was not the only writer who hung out at the Ritz Bar, later named after him. James Joyce, Arthur Miller, and F. Scott Fitzgerald were patrons who indulged here too.
Yes, it is pricy but well worth saving those pennies just to say you have been in the historical hotel. For me it is a nice way to say “au revoir” to Paris until my return.
Helpful links when planning a trip:
Scheduled jet flights to Paris arrive at Orly or Charles de Gaulle Airports. Non-stop or connecting flights are available from all over the world.
A helpful hint for first time visitors; don’t miss out on any of the sights. Do the Hop On Hop Off bus to familiarize and discover Paris your way. Actually I still do this.
The Marmottan Monet Museum is closed on Mondays and open from 10AM. – 6PM except Thursday when it stays open until 8PM.
Hotels in Paris come in all categories, locations and price ranges; or live like a native in an apartment from holidayapartments.net . This is good sense for families or those wanting to taste the true Paris.