I already thought that my love for Paris had reached a peak. Then I visited in Winter. At Christmas. We travelled via fast train from Bruges to meet up with our English rellos. Finding a flat in Paris that could accomodate two families [with enough beds so that our gal didn't have to sleep on a pull-out sofa] was a challenge, but we found one on Boulevard Saint Germain - mere steps from Notre Dame.
Now, I've seen Notre Dame many times in the spring when it's surrounded by roses and beds of flowers, and the contrast of its stark gothic beauty with natural blooms is perfection.
However, I realise that true perfection is Notre Dame at night in the winter.
When I first caught glimpse of this, as we wandered over to Ille St Louis for dinner I actually held my breath in wonder. I have taken approximately 9 million photos of Notre Dame. All majestic.
I apologise for nothing.
Can you even comprehend the work that's gone into this creation?
There was a wee Christmas market beside Notre Dame that we wandered by on our way to the Metro each day. So tiny, so charming. I bought my sister-in-law a rather fabulous hand-crafted hat from here. Memories.
Wandering mere steps from the market we found THIS! My spiritual home - Shakespeare & Co. It's everything I've dreamed of and more. For some reason, I've never visited on our previous trips [quelle horreur!] but this time I had to step inside those magical doors. I bought a book for our gal on French Christmas stories, and a book for myself. When I purchased it the guy asked me if I'd like a Shakespeare & Co stamp on the inside. "WHO WOULDN'T?" I exclaimed?
Well, apparently some weirdos don't.
Attached to the bookstore is a rather delightful café with this view. Good coffee too.
I heart the metro so hard. Getting around Paris is so ridiculously simple. I adore the book of ten tickets [which I bring home and use as bookmarks - cos I always lose real bookmarks...]. These stations will never cease to make me swoon.
Oh, our apartment? Here 'tis. Again it was an AirBnB find. Our host, Claire, was an utter delight. My gal managed to leave behind a pair of spesh PJ pants, and Claire mailed them to us - no charge. Love her. Also love the decor of this place [and that view!]
Note the photogenic power of my cape combined with my gal's faux fir.
Never have I ever seen a Parisian kitchen this size. I feel guilty that we only cooked in it one night, but with so many cafés offering up three course meals for 20-odd euros - why cook! We did enjoy that lovely bottle of red though!
Galeries Lafayette. Already pretty much my favourite place in the world - and then decorated like this. Every hour, on the hour, music would play and all these sweets would rise and fall to the dome. Best viewed with a champagne in hand from one of the bars.
My niece Ruby loves ice-skating, so we promised her an outdoor rink in Paris. Here it was at the base of the Tour Eiffel.
Oh, and a winter fete? If you insist...
I am not the only one in my family with a love for this place. Have managed to pass it on to our gal.
You cannot stop me from taking photos of this structure. I love it so.
Oh look, it's the Eiffel Tower highlighted by bare branches. What a surprise!
There was wine. Red, rosé and Sancerre.
Bowie, a Parisian street light and a Paris street scene. Bliss.
There was a Degas exhibit at the Musee D'Orsay. It was utterly sublime. There were sketches alongside his paintings which really provided insight into his incredible way with form. I didn't take a photo of my favourite - woman leaning over a bath. It's imprinted on my heart though.
These sculptures. They challenge Rodin for form and fabulosity.
One day I will actually eat in this café. Next time for sure.
The place in itself is a pure work of art.
Again, Paris at night, does it get any prettier?
Just like Paris at Christmas.