Autumn in Paris: Day 2

Paris is beautiful anytime of year and I wonder if there is ever a day when the city is not filled with tourists.

Everywhere, every moment of the day you are almost bound to bump into a tourist, me included. I’ve been there so many times on and off yet I can never seem to have enough of this eternal city. It’s vibrant and filled with art to stir your senses and soul. There are also quiet corners and parks for you to grab a little bit of quiet time.

Our second day in Paris we continued our walk along the banks of the river Seine towards the Louvre. We walk to the Champs Élysées and pass the gardens. (I forget what it’s called) but a particularly beautiful maple in all its autumn colours stand out amidst the fallen leaves and the gloom of a sunless day. We stop for awhile and take in all the colours listening to the rustle of the leaves on the ground. Then as if emerging out of hiding, a pair of police horses appear from the trees. Large and majestic I wonder what Paris was like in the day of horses and carriages. It must have been quite the place to be.

We continue on to the Place de la Concorde (formerly Place de la Revolution) where now stands an obelisk from the Egyptian palace of Karnak. It reminds me of my trip to Egypt and a time when all the world was encaptured by it. On one side of the pavement there is a plaque that mentions how this is the square where Marie Antoinette was guillotined during the French Revolution.

Crossing to the Jardin des Tuileries, I smile. Parks are peaceful and refreshing places to be. Once part of the Tuileries Palace, it became public after the revolution. Its beautiful even though only fragments of summer remain. Chairs surround the large pond and fountain and a sculpture bows and swirls in the wind like couples dancing. It’s a beautiful park to walk through especially with sculptures of modern art to tease your senses before emerging in front if the pyramid and the Louvre.

Lines and lines of people wait to gain entrance so if you go, I recommend to go early and buy tickets in advance if you can… it’s definitely worth it if you love museums like I do.







Autumn in Paris: Day 1

I like autumn. I especially like autumn in Paris with the crisp autumn air and the sound of leaves rustling as the wind gently blows through.  The rich golden red of the maple tree confirms that autumn is here and contrasts sharply with the green grass.  Parisians have all taken out their chic jackets and leather booths, fashionably beautiful. This trip, we’ve kept it simple without planned itineraries or to-do lists (which I usually can’t do without) and I discover that it really does make the trip somewhat more enjoyable.

There’s no hopping from point A to point B and missing all in between. Instead we look at the map, see where the Eiffel tower is, check out the Arc de Triomphe, and just walk. Its awesome. You really get to see life.  Along the way we get some sandwiches from the local bakery ‘Paul’ which can be found at almost every corner and I have to say it never fails to disappoint.  Upon reaching the park by the Eiffel, we find ourselves a spot with a full view and just relax.  We’re lucky we got unusally warm weather in the mid twenties  for a day or two.  The eiffel never fails to put me in awe with its sheer size.

After people watching and bird watching, we walk towards the Trocadero, opting out of going up after seeing the long lines. We make it to the Charles de Gaulle Etoile and find another spot with which to just sit and take it all in. The french really do a wonderful job of having benches everywhere for you to just sit and enjoy the view and life.

Champs Elysees comes next with its grand boulvlevard and grand buildings. Coming from quiet charming Lisboa, you see the contrast. Lisboa is a remnant of former glories, of a city by the ocean with grand ambitions.  It has now fallen on harsh times and the differances in wealth between the Lisboans and Parisians stands out clearly.  No chic bags or fancy smartphones can be seen, life is simpler in Lisboa.  Slower paced.   I must say I miss quiet Lisboa and the local pastelarias that can be found everywhere offering you a ‘bica’ for less than a euro. A price unimagineable in Paris.

We keep walking the entire length of the Champs Elysees and find ourselves looking at an egyptian obelisk taken from Luxor. It reminds me of europe’s former fascination with egypt. It stands beautifully in the middle of Place de la Concorde, the former revolution square where Marie Antoinette was quillotined. How different life was then.

We end the day walking up to the Opera then the Boulevard Haussmann for a little shopping at the Galeries Lafayette and check out their supermarket. I love checking out supermarkets wherever we go. There are always so many kinds of food.  The Musee de Louvre and the Notre Dame will be for the next day…