More than a decade ago, I spent an extremely wet Christmas with my Italian host family in Paris. And this time, when I was back, traveling with my Dutch cousin, Thomas, and his lovely girl friend, Calla, it happened to be the week that Paris was flooding! Yes, you're right, it was the worst since the Great Flood of Paris in 1910. The Seine River was brown and the banks filled up the walkways. Louvre Museum was close and so was the Apple Store at the Louvre (was totes upset haha).
Looking at the things I did (minus the Seine River), I had a wonderful time just exploring the many parts of Metropolitan Paris. There were many metro rides but I walked... a lot. Literally spent about 8 hours daily just exploring the Parisian streets, without much of a complete GPS map from my iPhone. Life without internet was pretty good when you're traveling.
A WEEK IN PARIS
For a whole week, I was wandering in Paris and I found Monmartre the prettiest place to be wandering about in Paris. On occasion, be prepared to scale the hills with super steep staircases. To the Parisians, Montmartre is a haven of peace and quiet. On top of the famed Sacre Couer (Sacred Heart), the view overlooking the city was just magical. And yes, surprisingly, there was free wi-fi in the cathedral, so I was happy to update my Instagram Story, haha.
From then onwards, with no Google Map or Lonely Planet to guide me, really. All I knew was I had to head North East to my AirBnb Parisian apartment. Any street that caught my eye, I explored. What could have taken me 1/2 an hour on foot, I took 3 whole hours wandering around, looking up at the facades till my neck hurts and admiring the beautiful louvred windows and balconies.
I happened to be passing by this cute street, as I walked away from Sacre Couer. Pink and white terraces with overgrown creepers and foliage. I couldn't help it, but I had to take a photo of myself walking, haha! Somehow, I used my handbag as a stand, propped my iPhone up and took a pictuee(LOL + also sad according to my brother).
The Eiffel Tower was a temporary installation in the 1889 World Fair. It was given a life span of 20 years.
There was apparently one "STOP" sign in Paris and since 2012, it has been removed. The sign was located at an exit in the 16th arrondissement. Today, there are no "STOP" signs to be found in Paris and that is very impressive.
If you love monuments, museums, parks and gardens, the city of Paris has 1803 monuments, 173 museums and 450 parks and gardens. The Parisian has also taken the task of counting the trees in the City of Lights. A grand total of 470 thousand.
I SMILE EVERYTIME...
For some reason, unaided by any maps or food blogs, I kept stumbling upon well known patisseries (and upcoming ones too). The thing that baffled me most was, back then, I didn't know the desserts I ate was one Parisian's best. I just happened to pass by a shop front, something caught my eye, and I went straight into the dessert department. Here are some of my favourites.
I ate so much, I think they were enough to sustain me for another 10 years.
MY FLATLAY FOREVER DAYS...
I've been eating out a lot, so I figure out to keep my sanity, I'll spend some days cooking in my little Parisian apartment. The kitchen is so tiny, and you could probably fit 4 person at a time. I did find some time to flatlay, hehe, and this dish is one of my favourite.
Just the sweetest cherry tomatoes and capsicum bought from the markets at a few euros. Cooked in olive oil in medium heat till soft. I added aubergines for extra yum. Basil, salt and pepper to taste. As I type this at midnight, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Boil some pasta, till al dente. And dinner is ready :)
And I love visiting supermarkets wherever I go. Carrefour stocks everything, and I love all the little finger foods, especially delicate proscioutto wrapped up in goats cheese. Yum!
How pretty are Parisian streets and the apartments that come with? I don't know about you, but I feel like I'm in Woody Allen's movie, "Midnight in Paris", listening to Bistro Fada by Stephane Wrembel.
I can't get enough. I was everywhere in Paris, took many metro stations which I can no longer remember. It was a labyrinth of a huge connected public transport, and looking back, I can't believe I didn't miss my flight. I'm always late, haha.
And the rooftops, don't even get me going. It was a dreamer's dream. A pretty city indeed for lovers and wanderers.