A few years ago, lets say four…. I turned 50 and planned a trip of a lifetime. In saying that there were more to come in later years but this epic holiday was for six weeks!
I had been to Europe before, firstly on a Contiki trip back in my mid 20s where I learnt to drink (having alcohol never touch my lips previously), learnt not to drink sangria in abundance and thanked the Gods that they had bidets in Europe as well as toilets! My first taste of Europe was a blur but left me with a sense of “I must do that again” and remember it the next time.
A few years later when I turned 30, I took off again (I can see a pattern forming here) and left the sunny shores of Australia, this time to Canada where I put down stakes for about two years. On my way home I stopped off in London, Greece and Turkey before returning back. I didn’t quite make it to the rest of Europe this time.
Finally at 50 I decided to go back again and retrace some of my steps. We started off in Paris and it was love at second sight. This was my home away from home. Everything was pretty, even the dirt! People looked so sophisticated even if they weren’t. They certainly sounded so. Beautiful aromas assaulted us on the sidewalks at every turn. I was in love. Oh and all the shutters….
We discovered one of the restaurants at the Eiffel Tower (Tour De Eiffel) and I was in 7th Heaven. I could hardly sleep knowing I would be sitting in the tower looking out over Paris having a wonderful meal. It was fantastic. The meals were meted out with precision and quite remarkable but it could have been a sandwich and I would still be in raptures. I was “IN” the Eiffel Tower having dinner. Tick one off my bucket list!
Of course tours of the museums was a must even though I had visited the Louvre several years earlier but it was all a haze then. This time we took our time looking at the beautiful artwork and magnificent statues. No organised tour here. My favourite I have to say was the Musee D’Orsay, an old train station, magically transformed into a museum of fine art. Just having lunch in The Restaurant was special with a painted and gilded ceiling taking centre stage. Such style.
Second most favourite gallery was Musee De L’Orangerie which houses Claude Monet’s “Les Nympheas”. I am not an art fanatic but these places are just classic and must be visited at least once when in Paris.
I simply just loved wandering the streets of Paris snapping like a turtle at everything that took my eye. Parfait!
So much to see and do in Paris that I did have to return again and again … but that’s another story.
Next Chapter Giverny & Epernay, France.