Sunday, December 16, 2012

Welcome to Paris Week


This post is the first of a week long Paris fest here on the blog - it is going to be a busy week in blogland. This year more than ever I am aching for a Paris fix, caused I suspect from reading a whole stack of books set in Paris. It has also been over two years since I was there which is such a long time ago Ed was much shorter than me, a big change as I am now the small one! One day I will get to Paris in December, I will see the Christmas lights on the Champs Elysées and I will find somewhere to sit and people watch as I drink some vin chaud.  Until then at least I can look back at our photos and virtually visit via my books.
Ed and I in Paris 2010


This week I will be posting about some of my favourite memories of time spent in Paris, reviewing books on various subjects linked with Paris like the markets, the architecture, cookery, romance and murder mystery, and mid week author Susie Kelly will be guest blogging, reminiscing of time spent on her beloved electric bike cycling through Paris.

Today I would like to share with you our first trip to Paris together. It was August 1998, we were newly married and we were both working in London. We met after work on a Friday at Waterloo Station and boarded the Eurostar to Paris. We travelled first class and supped on Champagne as we pulled out of London, then dined on a delicious meal of duck. On our arrival at the Gard du Nord we took a taxi to our hotel, the Ibis in Montmartre, where our room overlooked the famous cemetery and it’s population of stray cats. We found ourselves in a bar and sat on high stools in the window people watching. Pigalle is an interesting district, home to the famous Moulin Rouge and we enjoyed watching the coaches full of tourists slowly crawling down the road while hundreds of camera flashes went off inside. We did a lot of walking that weekend, despite the weather being a little wet at times, including walking to a different café for breakfast every day, walking up the Eiffel Tower and along the banks of the River Seine. I would have to wait another twelve years to experience a Seine river trip, but walking in Paris is always something we have enjoyed doing as you are able to see so much more than when you are down in the Metro. One of the meals we had that weekend I remember very well, a wood fired pizza, made and cooked by the chef in full view of the diners. Thin crust, wood fired pizzas have become one of our favourites and we have since sampled them all over France. It may have been fourteen years ago and we had both been to Paris before this trip, and have been back together since, but I remember this trip more than some of the others.
Waterloo Station 1998

It may not be a real trip to Paris, but even a virtual trip to a big city is exciting for a girl living in a rural French village. I hope you enjoy your virtual trip to Paris with me this week.