On my Dreaming of Paris Pinterest board (basic alert), I once wrote, “If I can’t find The Shire, I will settle for a weekend in Paris.” I collected candles perfumed with the scents of Versailles’ gardens and tiny, dangling Eiffel Tower earrings. I spent lazy weekend mornings combing through Paris in Four Months and Paris Patisseries, drinking in the pictures and the pastry reviews. My impressions of Paris were half fantasy and half cautionary tales: it’s beautiful, you will hate the Metro, the food is to die for, cigarette smoke everywhere you go…back and forth, and always in the back of my mind, that unrelenting desire to experience it for myself.
And so, spontaneously, we planned a trip and set off from King’s Cross St. Pancras to the Gare du Nord. My friend summed up the too-short trip best of all: “I would expect you to experience the Blair version of Paris, but this was very Serena.”
My best friend, who is miles away in sunny Madrid, messaged me after he finished laughing at my stories: “This is not the side of Paris I expected you to find.”
It goes without saying that an iPhone 5 cannot capture the beauty of the city, but this series of low-res snapshots will hopefully give you at least a taste of its timeless magic. Below, our first day in Paris, and Days 2 & 3 to follow later this week…
Day 1: Arrive, figure out how to buy your Metro tickets (hint: they are single use), hop on the train to tour the majestic Versailles, re-energize at Angelina (the velvety hot chocolate is compulsory), pop out to the palace gardens, return to the city to climb allllll the way up the Arc de Triomphe, head out to Montmartre for dinner at Le Refuge des Fondues (accept that your stomach is going to hate you for the combination of baby-bottle wine/jacuzzi of cheese & just enjoy).