In a city like Paris where everyone struggles to pick a side between the Left and the Right Bank, what someone wise enough should do, is stand in the middle of the Pont Neuf bridge and just admire the water floating along Seine River.
If you are not in a hurry to visit Eiffel Tower upon your arrival, go north and walk through the Tuileries Gardens, the oldest park in Paris. Pass through the Jardins de Carousel, the octagonal pond with the fountains and soon you’ll start feeling incorporated in a city where people know how to live every aspect of their life with style.
For a cup of tea, Angelina at 226 rue de Rivoli won’t leave you disappointed. You’ll find a huge selection of Paris’s most delicious desserts all served in a vast belle époque salon, among tourists and pure Parisians who are determined to maintain the habit of a pricey brunch in the most touristic yet authentic tea room in Paris.
There are so many wonderful museums someone can visit, but in case it’s your first time in the city, just limit yourself to the basic three. The Louvre, The Musee d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou, the last two are non-negotiable.
Don’t feel guilty if you can’t manage to get into the Louvre. It’s very likely and normal that you won’t have the guts for such a long queue. In any case try to pass through these emblematic buildings during the early mornings where everything is so peaceful or watch the sun going down behind the Glass Pyramid. Both will make you feel rewarded for missing Mona Lisa.
On your way up to Montmartre, you will pass the Pigalle area, known for its raunchy reputation and home to some of Paris’ most famous cabarets, such as the reputable Moulin Rouge whose red windmill stands still on the roof of the club and has become the landmark of the Boulevard de Clichy.
Montmartre, a hill, 130 meters high, in the 18th arrondisemment of Paris, became famous in late 1800ies with the arrival of of artists, painters and bohems.If you consider that this area has lost its authenticity, just forget you are holding a tourist map, and lose yourself in the steep streets and the secret gardens of this historical “village”.
Take a break, find some quiet steps to lay back and get inspired by the splendid views over the rooftops of Paris.
To gain powers, reveal the croissant you hide in your bag, buttery French pastries can stay fresh a couple of hours longer than the typical ones. Be sure to have with you a delicacy from Gontran Cherrier, at 22 Rue Caulaincourt.
Reaching Sacre Ceour means you’ve climbed to the top of Montmartre’s hill. Admire this white castle from every angle, and expect one more breathtaking view from the front steps.
You don’t have to travel with children in order to a ride a pony in an old fashioned carousel. Childhood memories may come up during a merry go round, a fascinating and touching experience you won’t easily forget.
Just in case you are lucky enough –like we were- to be accompanied by a real Parisienne be prepared for an all day shopping at the most exquisite shops in Paris.You’ll witness her restocking her pen pall kit, picking the best plant seeds for her veranda, choosing little lavender pillows for her closet, and carrying a brand new hat box back home to complete her collection.
She will definitely reward you for being patient during the day with an aromatic cappuccino at café de Flore at the corner of Boulevard Saint-Germain and Rue St. Benoit. She will reassure you that although many consider it touristic and cheesy this is the best place in town to meet the most interesting personalities!
At the way back home, she will buy fresh flowers, a bottle of French wine, rich flavored cheeses and she will invite you to enjoy a picnic dinner by the Seine River overlooking Eiffel Tower. She will talk about Paris, a city that’s worth living in and falling in love and you’ll wish you were born with a different nationality. And then, all of a sudden the lights of the Tower will be turned on, and who knows your wish may one day come true!
photography and words: Gertrude Gary Milk , post consultant: Tim Krag , special thanks to Nasia for keeping the best company
(post created especially for teapot.gr)