Month: May 2014

Paris Exploration 10, Part 1

Blog #4 is finally here.

I was inspired to write this morning about visiting Paris, presented in a different style than my first posts.

I hope you like it!

I’ve discovered that:

  1. When you order un café from just about anywhere, more often than not, when you ask for a (free) verre d’eau (glass of water), I have been surprised at this cup of water arriving perfectly chilled, and clean tasting. This is not the case of tap water here in Paris. So I’ve decided that I’m going to ask these establishments about this delicious, almost seemingly Whistler tasting water! In the meantime, remembering to always to ask for a free glass (or two), of cool crisp water…yum, and perhaps figure out their secret!
  1. Although there are many, many parks here in Paris, the garden at Musée Rodin is beautiful and incredible. You can spend just about all day there, walking around, appreciating all the art and beauty. Sitting on a bench feeling transported back 100 years, it’s fun to people watch, or even observe artists sketching out the many statues placed around the fountain, in particular. For 2 Euro a day, or 15 Euro for the year, you can visit the garden as much as you want, and just be. A friend of mine and I have plans to have artist dates there!
  1. One of the most impactful 1st stops when visiting Paris is getting off at Metro “Charles de Gaulle Etoile” and following the underground toward the Arc de Triomphe. When you come up the stairs to street level, you will be blown away at the enormity and exquisiteness right there, just like in a pop-up book. Many a breaths have been stolen by taking in the vastness of this significant monument in this unveiling kind of way.
  1. The Eiffel Tower is under-going some renovations right now, and I can not tell you the shameless contractor advertisement that has prime real estate in the middle of the structure. I can’t image the disappointment some may feel coming here to take their clean, perfect shot of the Tour D’Eiffel to find more than just scaffolding. Perhaps visitors can over look that once visiting the top of the Eiffel Tower to see Paris from a birds eye view.  Similarly to visiting New York, it’s great to visit the top of the Rockerfeller building to get a great view of the Empire State building. Here in Paris, it’s great to walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe or go to the top of Montparnasse to get an great view of the city, which also includes the Eiffel Tower among other treasures. Doing all three seems like a great plan if you time! Of course, I’ve taken some great pictures of the Eiffel Tower from Pont Alexandre III also!.
  1. I’m about to share an incredible secret. Want to know when the best time to go to the Louvre is? Perhaps you are dying to see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo…without dodging, and maneuvering a want-to-be mosh-pit mob in front? I’m doing it, I’m going to tell you…Go to the Louvre on a Friday night, after 6:00 pm…That’s it, that is the secret. You won’t regret it! You will get up close and personal with famous and rare works of art.

Side note, once more: learn a little about the architecture of Louvre itself. The history, inside and outside, can only enrich your mammoth experience at the Louvre.

  1. If you only have time to visit one museum during your visit, head to Musée D’orsay. It’s impressive housing structure and famous impressionistic art will leave you feeling cultured and in awe.
  1. Palais Garnier, one of the homes to L’Opera Nationale de Paris, and more, is a spontaneous concert spot. The last two times I was passing through the massive intersection near Palais Garnier, I saw an upright piano outside, street level, near the exit of the Opera metro station being played by a beautifully trained pianist. Yesterday, it was 6-member Marching/Jazz Band rocking it out in front of the steps of Palais Garnier. Their sound was reverberating and permeating for blocks and their music was pulling a large crowd listeners for this impromptu concert.

Music can be heard via buskers everywhere in this city for free, mostly good, and some not so good. Musicians are always in the metro station and in the metro themselves. Of course you will hear the expected and traditional accordion players and small ensembles always gathered around L’ile St. Louis which makes being and visiting Paris, a multimedia experience.

8. Paris underwent a massive reconstruction in the mid-1800s as commissioned by Napoleon the III. Although controversial at the time, Parisians and visitors benefit from the design, the typical architecture we love and adore to the feeling of being in a moveable piece of art, if you sit and ponder that thought. I’ve had many a Mona Lisa smile moments when pondering being a subject in the real-time piece of art in the city.

9. I’m definitely not a French foodie, but I have experienced a few traditional flavours since arriving. However, I have had some amazing Sri Lankan food, as well as killer vegetarian falafels in the Marais, both delicious, and extremely easy on the budget. I did also try a jasmine peach sorbet around Montmartre that topped the famous Bertillon glacier experience. My life might be in danger for saying that. There is no lack of any cuisine your heart desires and I hope to continue sniffing out some more gems as I go along!

10. And, last but not least (I had no idea I was going to 10 points today). The Macaron. I’m sure many Macaron aficionados could deliberate and argue who makes the best Macaron in Paris, or maybe of all time, in all of eternity. However, I’m delighted and happy to share that you can not go wrong with any macaron from Pierre Hermes. They are delectable treats that melt in your mouth with gusto and supreme texture. There are also some seasonal surprise and unusual combinations that you can try, for example macarons with olive oil, or truffle. My choice at the moment: sea salt caramel.

Well, there you go, a top 10 list created out of inspiration without deliberation. Gotta love flow!

Sending my love to wherever you are.

Go to it, Go for it, Go live it!

Allison

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