Tis the Season...in Paris

I've been fortunate enough to be in some different areas of the world during the Holiday season.  So for the time leading up to Christmas I plan to do some posts on celebrations and decorations in some of my favourite places in Europe.    Being as it has been on our minds lately for very sad reasons I thought I would start with Paris.  I have been there four times now and three of them have been during the Holiday season.  The City of Light knows how to put on a good show!  Paris and I have not always gotten along.  I first visited Paris at the end of a "if it's Tuesday it must be Belgium" sort of tour back in the fall of 1976.  I opted to skip the visit to Notre Dame ("another cathedral?  I don't think so"!) and didn't go up the Eiffel Tower...hell to this date I haven't gone up the Eiffel Tower...(hint:  go to the Tour Montparnasse where the lines are barely there, it's cheaper and you get to see a view of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris.  Magnificent!).  My whole attitude towards Paris back in 1976 was "meh..." and I swore never to go back. Of course I was tired after two hectic weeks and was more interested in finding a cafe with the friends I had made on the tour.  However never say never...oh boy have I learned that! On my second trip in December of 1999 (en route from Germany to London)  I fell in love...okay...in deep deep like....and I've been back twice since.  Recent events there have weighed heavily on all of us but I think for those of us who have been lucky enough to visit Paris it is more personal.  I think as a traveler I can speak for most of us when I say that when something tragic and profound happens in a place you have visited, even if it's some place that maybe didn't resonate with you (and I am NOT talking about Paris here) it still leaves your heart wounded somehow...it's definitely more personal.  With Paris being a short train trip under the chunnel from London I am sure I will be back again someday.  After all there's still April in Paris....

So being as I am in a lazy mood this will be a photo diary of my last two seasonal trips to Paris...I got some great shots in 1999 as well folks but I am too lazy to scan photos....in fact I think 1999 was the BEST trip ever to Paris because it changed my mind so completely about that city.  I wandered the streets and fell in...deep like....(I can't say love because then I would be "unfaithful" to London right?)

Hope you enjoy!  Oh and sorry but my expertise in night photography is sadly lacking....



One of the many side streets with lights.

 The Eiffel tour is lit up every night but I thought having the stars made it so lovely

Champs Elysees at night with Arch de Triomphe in the background


Nutella crepes - yum!  My face was covered in chocolate like a kid's but worth it! 
The Giant Wheel at Place de la Concorde 

One of the hundreds of beautifully decorated shops

This is taken in Galaries Lafayette, a very posh department store in Paris.  I quickly took a photo as I walked through.  As a budget traveler I can't afford to even look at things there!


I loved this cafe and I did have a meal there.  Don't ask me what though!


Cafe au lait and a pastry - typical breakfast in Paris....for me anyway! Well you knew there had to be a food photo...

Hang on Santa!  These are very popular decorations in Europe.

Ooo la la!! 


This is just your typical Parisian street but they do subtle so well...


The Christmas market along the Champs Elysees which is fun but an absolute zoo.  This is where I got the crepe made earlier..all sorts of food and trinkets for sale.  Not a patch on the real German markets which you will see in upcoming weeks..

A drizzly day on a quiet side street lined with cafes - many of the outdoor cafes are sheltered with plastic and I had lunch in one of these.  Token dog photo as well!  Parisians love their dogs!

Sorry, can't remember where this was...anybody know?  But it was lovely!


Skating in front of the Hotel de Ville (city administration; not a hotel!)  I love watching people skating in front of iconic buildings and it looks like so much fun but as I haven't been in skates since the early 80's I resist the temptation.  Don't want to end up with a broken ankle and on the first plane home...noooo thank you!!!

This "tree" is made from recycled pop bottles - so cool!


Recycled window decorations as well


And I leave you with the Christmas tree in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral...

Stay tuned for more Christmas scenes from Europe (because they do it so well)...next up will be...well all I will say is The Hills are Alive!!

Comments

Junebug said…
Thanks for those beautiful photos and stories, Laurie. As you know I returned from my first visit to Paris only two weeks before the horror of the attacks. That city does get into your heart. I will return !

June