SPRINGTIME IN THE CITY OF LOVE
Paris. As I say it out loud it tastes like crème brûlée in my mouth. Edit Piaf is suddenly singing in my head. I see flowers and a Notre Dame lit up for easter celebrations. I also think of Charlie Hebdot. The famous words "Paris je t'aime" now lives side by side with "Je suis Charlie". It is a city of great contradictions. As we walked through the streets there were more police officers than before. They were guarding the synagoges with big guns. But we also passed beautiful buildings and history on every corner. The city experienced a drop in tourism right after the terrorist attack. But Paris is way too beautiful for tourists to stay away.
The parisians had been longing for some sunshine, just like me. Only the restaurants with shade had available seats.
What strikes me the most about Paris is that it is so big and vibrant, yet still has so much charm.
If you have never been in Paris, or you feel like going again, here are some advice for the City of Love.
WHEN TO GO:
You can go here all year around. But my favourite time of year is spring. The trees are green, the flowers are blooming. You can people watch in nice cafees without being too hot. In summer there are a lot of tourists. And winter can be quite cold, with the river running through the city. But Paris is a place where something is always happening, and you will have a good time any time of year.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Paris has two major international airports: Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly. The budget airlines like Ryanair etc fly to the airport of Beauvais. This airport has a shuttle bus service that takes you to the center of the city.
WHERE TO STAY:
According to the website of the French Government Tourist Office, www.us.franceguide.com, prices for a budget and economy hotel in Paris per night average 52 euros and in the rest of France 28 euros. The more central you want to stay (which I recommend if you want walking distance to the highlights) the more expensive it is.
I think you're really asking what is the lower end of dinner pricing in Paris I would say 18-24 euros for a two course meal without beverage. You can eat for less than that at informal places. At the 30 euro point, there is lots to choose from.
You can't go to Paris without going here. I have been to Paris two times before but I still had to go again. Everytime you go, you see it in a new way. Like this time, with easter eggs!
When the Eiffel Tower was ready, it was called "useless and monstrous" by artists, painters and architects. They said it would ruin Paris´untouched beauty. The same goes for the Centre Pompidou. An article about the Centre Pompidou in Le Figaro declared "Paris has its own monster, just like the one in Loch Ness." Now it is one of the most famous museums and buildings in the city with over five million visitors annually. Gustave Eiffel didn´t give up his dream, and I think the world is happy about that today!
The most beautiful lady in Paris
This lady must be the most beautiful among the beautiful french madames. They can compete with their long legs in high heels as much as they want. Notre Dame is in the middle of the city, on Île de la Cité.
The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. In 2013 she celebrated her birthday - she is now 850 years old! And still so beautiful. Impressive!
People watching at Les Deux Magots
Order the hot chocolate and have a sip of the thickest, melted goodness you have ever had. Do like the Surrealist artists and intellectuals like Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre and Ernest Hemingway and enjoy the athmosphere at Les Deux Magots in the area Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This is also a place where Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and Bertolt Brecht spent a lot of time. Maybe you will be inspired to make your own masterpiece from a visit to the famous cafe?
Louis Vuitton Foundation
It looks like a flower opening up to the sun for the first time in spring. Frank Gehry who designed the museum, wanted to make a building that looked like a transparent cloud sitting at the edge of the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne.
"We wanted to present Paris with an extraordinary space for art and culture, and demonstrate daring and emotion by entrusting Frank Gehry with the construction of an iconic building for the 21st century."
"To reflect our constantly changing world, we wanted to create a building that would evolve according to the time and the light in order to give the impression of something ephemeral and continually changing."
Fondation Louis Vuitton opened last year and is now presenting an exhibition entitled Keys to a passion, which will be held from April 1 to July 6 2015. It includes works from artists such as Mondrian, Malevich, Rothko, Delaunay, Léger, Picabia, Munch, Dix, Giacometti, Matisse, Kupka and Severini. I was happy to see the Norwegian painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, for the first time abroad since it was stolen from a museum in Norway.
Here are some other highlights that I recommend!
Centre Georges Pompidou
If you want to see modern art that is different, and in my opinion can make you laugh too, go to Centre Pompidou in Marais. The giants of 20th century modern art are represented in the permanent collection: Chagall, Kandinsky, Miro, Mondrian, Picasso and more. The panoramic view from the terrace is outstanding.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a popular landmark, located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.
Locked to "The City of Love" near the river Seine
The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Garden
Enjoy the surroundings in Luxembourg Garden, located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. It was created in 1612 by Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France.
Napoleon´s grave in Les Invalides
Want to see the burial site for some of France's war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte? Les Invalides is the place to go. Napoleon was a short man, but his burial site is far from small! Small man with a big ego = huge grave!
"The Thinker" in Auguste Rodin´s garden
The famous "Le Penseur" in Auguste Rodin´s garden.
Byebye beautiful lunch view. I will miss you!