Ah! Ce Paris! I want to stay for months. Watch people come and go while sitting in a bistro on the bank of the Seine. Spend days lost in the corridors of the Louvre. Wait for hours to get up on the Eiffel Tower. Buy myself a real French baguette… You shouldn’t visit Paris like this. On the run.
But, all I could do on that January 19th was to run through the city. I had a few hours between flights and decided to make the best of it!
14:40 Gare du Nord
The big metro station. I’m so excited Off I go!
15:00 Notre Dame
Of all the sights there are in Paris I wanted to see the Notre Dame the most. Because of my obsession with gargoyles. There was no time to get inside and talk to one of them though, but hell, it’s no big deal, I know I’ll come back one day.
15:42 Pierre herme
OK. Maybe my boots have high heels. And maybe the boutique in Rue Bonaparte is 1,9 km far. And maybe the metro is no good in this case. And I can’t say that I’m a fan of macarons. But none of these things can stop me from going there. Even if it’s the last thing I see in Paris. To come to Paris and not visit the king of macarons is a sacrilege.
Was it worth it? Of course it was. Well, my hand did shake a bit when I payed 7,5 euros for the Pierre’s famous macaron, but the feeling I had while I was sitting of the edge of a nearby fountain and nibbling on Ispahan was priceless. I did not eat the rose petal. Tried it once and it didn’t go well at all.
Btw, Ispahan is probably the most famous of all Pierres macarons. It tastes like lychee, raspberry and rose. So good that even those of us who don’t like macarons love it!
16:02 Sadaharu Aoki
Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki was just around the corner. Well, almost The idea of combining french pastry with Asian flavors amazes me. Matcha cakes, wasabi filled chocolates, candied yuzu… A piece of cake I wanted to try costs 8 euros, but it’s well worth it.
Aoki is zen, not a fashion statement. You shouldn’t miss it.
16:43 The Eiffel Tower
We all have an image of how a place we travel to should look like. Blame it on the movies, music and postcards. I, for example, have a hard time digesting hordes of tourists. And in the foothill of the Eiffel Tower there is so many people all day every day that it looks like there is a music festival or something. Taking a photo of the tower? Mission impossible…
Oh, well, I just went away. On the way to the metro, standing on Trocadero terrace, I managed to catch a perfect view!
17:24 Arc de Triomphe
Been there, passed it, saw it. A big concrete block in the middle of an even bigger roundabout. I was so hungry so I just moved on.
17:40 Moulin Rouge
What would Van Gogh and Lautrec say if they could see the Moulin Rouge today? Would they, like me, think it turned into a circus? Or they’d think that our flashes are fairy dust? Would they think that the girls look like the green fairies?
I didn’t stay long. There was this Arab guy stalking me down the street trying to convince me to have a photo together. Pulled mu hands, kissed me on the cheek :S As I was running down the street trying to get away from the guy I remembered how everybody told me that a woman should never walk the Paris streets alone at night. And now I know why.
Pigale was close by, but I was too tired so I went up the street behind Moulin Rouge towards the Montmartre. All the good food is there.
18:00 Zebra bistro
There are so many bistros on Monmartre and you probably wouldn’t make mistake if you’d eat in any of them, but I’m pretty happy I chose Zebra in Lapic street.
– Are you alone?
– Bien. What would you like to eat?
I had baked Camembert with spinach and honey. Came with a bowl full of sliced baguette for soaking into the melted cheese. Beautiful! Beef Lyonnaise for main. The meat was melting in my mouth, and a portion was quite big. I also got a bottle of water so I didn’t have to pay for the wine All in all, a lovely meal.
– Would you like a dessert?
– No thank you, I have my dessert in a bag with me – and I show my boxed up piece of Sadaharu Aoki Bamboo cake.
With an approving nod the waitress complimented my choice and brought me the bill. 23 euros. Well, not bad for a Montmartre bistro. Not bad at all.
It was a good day!
This was published in Mezze magazine, February 2014 issue.
Also, check out my interview on HotelsCheap.org