Saturday, 23 February 2013

I Love Paris in the Winter Time

I finally made it to Paris last weekend. Beautiful, beautiful city of lights. I was lucky enough to live in Paris for a year in 2000/01 when I was a student. Going back 12 years later brought back a lot of good memories. I managed to fit in a lot of sight seeing as well as visits to some of my old haunts and met up with two friends I hadn't seen in years.

On Friday evening I did a lot of walking. My colleague was keen to visit some of the main sights, so we started off at the Eiffel Tower. I had never got to it from Trocadero before, but the view was brilliant. It does look amazing at night.

We walked over the bridge and under the tower.

After some dinner in a traditional little bistro we decided to keep walking through the city and headed towards the Champs Elysees. By this time it was 11:30pm and I was amazed that a lot of the shops were still open. I resisted the temptation and we walked up to the Arc de Triomphe. It was actually really nice to do some touristy things, as when you live in a capital city you often avoid such crowded places.

The next day the sun was shining brightly - really perfect weather to head to Montmartre. I hadn't been to the cemetery there before. It was like a little town for the dead with road names and even rubbish bins. Although, I don't think the deceased use those.

The tombs were incredible. I found this row under the bridge, which carries the road above, particularly fascinating.

Lots of famous people are buried in the Montmartre cemetery - mainly writers. Degas is there somewhere too.

We walked on to La Butte Montmartre and scaled the many steps to Sacre Coeur, dodging the myriad bracelet makers and handbag sellers.

I don't think I've been to Sacre Coeur on such a clear, bright day. The views out across Paris were breathtaking (as was the trek up there!).

After the obligatory croque madame in a nearby cafe, I headed off on my own to do some shopping. It was so busy at Boulevard Haussman though, that I didn't stay long and instead went to one of my favourite places   - rue Mouffetard for a wander round. I used to spend a lot of time here when I was 20. I love the little shops, cafes and restaurants. It was much the same except for the price of my grand creme. I did gulp when I looked at the bill and saw €5.20.

I'm pleased to say it was a very good coffee and I had a table on the terrasse with overhead heaters. I wrote a couple of postcards and watched the world go by. Ah, Paris...

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