So here we are at the last of my Paris posts. There have been more than I expected to write from a 4 day trip but the juice of the moments – the ones when you breathe a sigh and say to yourself ‘I can’t believe I am here: life is good’ – were far too good (I thought) to squeeze into less.
So how do I sum up such a fantastic trip? A break from the ordinary? Or immersion therapy of sorts?
The word pastiche emerged in French language in the late 19th century as a derivation from the Italian ‘pasticchio’. The Oxford Dictionary defines a pastiche as an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another artist, work or period. Paris is certainly that. But rather than being the imitator, the modern city holds quite a candle to its revolutionary past, the blood of hundreds of generations and thousands of iterations of itself embedded in its cobbled lanes and wide boulevards. So this post is my candle to the City of Lights. My Paris pastiche…
I had to be quick to take this but I’m glad I was. An unexpected ‘moment’ coming up the Odeon Metro escalator onto Boulevard St-Germain on a beautiful Spring morning. One of my favourite photos.This kitty had a bird’s eye view over the city from this window ledge in Montmarte. But it wasn’t the only one with a view…
I had a view too!Wide boulevards do not only exist in Paris’ road network. This stunning view was while walking through the Jardin des Plantes, also home to a 1000-animal zoo.A glass of mint tea in the gardens of Le Grand Mosquée was a delightful way to rest my weary legs on Day 2.This was my first trip to the Panthéon. I’m not sure exactly what I expected but it was different from visit to Rome’s Pantheon last year. Lots of beautifully painted walls as one would expect… with an army around the altar.Many notables are buried in the Panthéon’s crypt – Louis Braille, Emile Zola, Victor Hugo – but I found this statue of Voltaire, placed directly in front of his tomb, evocative and peaceful at the same time.There was an abundance of street performers wherever I went in Paris but particularly in Montmarte. I came across this trio playing with passion, energy and great fun outside the Abbesses Metro on Friday night.A wonderful discovery this trip was the Place des Vosges, a tranquil and leafy square enroute to the Bastille Metro from the Museé Carnavalet. Maison Victor Hugo is here (for visiting next time maybe?)
The best meal of the trip was definitely Bouillon Racine in the 6th arrondissement. It’s in a heritage listed 1906 building with gorgeous art deco interiors, great staff and really wonderful food. There was even a waitress who’d spent a couple of years in Australia. Good service and English speakers – oh how Paris has changed since 2002!Along the way I’ve been referring to Andrew Hussey’s Paris: The Secret History. I couldn’t have been reading anything more fitting (except perhaps my map to Montmarte) so a big thank you to Andrew for bothering to write this almost a decade ago and to my friends for loaning it to me.
So that’s it. My reacquaintance with Paris duly celebrated. The memories have been made fresh again by sharing these experiences with you so thank you for induging my many Paris posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed them and if you’re interested in dipping into Paris a few times more, here’s the complete list for you:
Merci et au revoir les amis!