Paris is Paris. It`s impossible not to like it and, from what I`ve heard so many times and occasionally experienced on my previous visit, not to hate it with the same intensity. However, as a guest, there is more room for positive rather than negative feelings.
Just being there and walking down its streets makes you feel you are becoming a different version of yourself, more sensitive, contemplative and, why not, more dreamy. That`s because the pursuit of beauty is visible in Paris as nowhere else. Details do matter and everything seems to point into this direction. From the meticulous adornments carved in stone on the façades of buildings to the self-conscious air of the Parisians, every piece falls into the right place, so that the general picture is one that requires admiration.
For me, Paris is a complete city, very diverse, thus very inspiring. There is nothing missing from the picture: the big boulevards with ridiculously expensive shops, the opulence of the buildings and the elegance of the people in the most privileged areas (such as the 6th or the 17th arrondissements) are in big contrast with the cobblestone streets flanked by all sort of local shops, the less adorned buildings and the more down to earth people – a cultural mix – populating the more modest neighbourhoods, which in fact represent the real/prevailing Paris (such as the 10th or the 11th arrondissements). It is actually said that you haven`t seen Paris unless you`ve been to this (Eastern) part of the city.
Overall, during these 4 days in Paris I saw happy people, talking passionately, laughing, and with the good habit of always making time for a healthy lunch and for reading.
Needless to say that we stayed again in a typical Parisian apartment in the 11th arrondissement, belonging to a French woman named Céline and breathing in her personality, which is very clear from the photos. This and the fact that we had the chance to dine or have drinks in the company of old and new friends now living in Paris made this experience even more genuine. I could even picture myself living there – wouldn`t that be nice? 🙂
This was my third visit – the second this year – and definitely not the last. With the Thalys train leaving you at Gare du Nord after a 3 hour ride from Amsterdam Central Station it would be a pity not to go there even more often.
We left the apartment on Rue du Chemin Vert at 6:00 AM on Tuesday morning, trying to catch the first bus to the train station. Although not yet open, it was smelling of fresh buttery croissants from the local boulangerie. A new day was starting in Paris and I wished we could have stayed there to enjoy it.
Here are some photos from the 10th and 11th arrondissements, where we liked spending time the most.I will come back with a different post to share the ones took in more pretentious (and known) areas.