A Postcard from my trip to Paris 2022!
Paris is always a good Idea
It’s no exaggeration to say that Paris had always been on my bucket list of travels I must take! I have always been swept up by the whimsical notion of Paris. The fashion, the poets, the history and the love.
I’m that stereotypical hopeless romantic that believed that the city basked in a romantic low-lit candle glow was a journey
Living in the UK and always being a stone’s throw away from the city of lights, I am ashamed to say it took me 31- years to finally visit but I can tell you, visiting this festive season, it was definitely worth the wait!
In my recent trip to Paris, I felt I uncovered beautiful parts of the city, but also parts of myself I have longed to tap into.
Here’s a mini low down of my trip to Paris this December!
The Eiffel Tower
We stayed near the Eiffel Tower, a mere 12 minute walk away. When we first arrived in the evening, each one of those steps was filled with such anticipation – I couldn’t quite believe I was finally going to see this iconic monument.
The monument finally unveiled itself around a picturesque corner and I was momentarily breathless….I think the term may actually be Star Struck. A glowing emblem of sophistication and wonder, it’s so foreign in its surroundings that one cannot help but take a moment to marvel.
As it shimmers in the Paris sky line, there is some sort of magnetic force that just draws you in. Sitting beside the Eiffel Tower, just trying to comprehend the scale and structure, I found myself feeling extremely grateful but also open, to possibilities, to vulnerability and to a new sense of self.
I left a padlock with my name as a marker of my visit, and although it was not placed on Love Lock Bridge as I had once hoped, it bears so much more significance knowing what I had shed to be there in that perfect moment.
When the Hot Chocolate Hits Different
To give myself a break from the loo while traveling, I stayed away from caffeine my entire trip. Anyone who knows me and my coffee addiction, knows this was a pain to say the least. But my hot drink cravings were fully satiated by the rich, velvety and utterly decadent hot chocolates available.
I tried all 3 of the viral hot chocolates and Oh my! Did they enchant the tastebuds!
In third place…. Angelina: Bitter, luke warm and far too thick.
In second place….Carette: Warm, decadent but a little too sweet for my taste.
In first Place….Cafe de Flore: This hot chocolate was divine! Wonderfully thick, creamy and deliciously hot. The perfect accompaniment to a crisp winter day in Paris.
I’ve been craving this since getting back!
Armed with a rigorous itinerary, we were determined to see as much of the city as we could in our 4 days. Among my highlights were:
The Palais Garnier, a masterpiece of golden splendor with its dramatic grand staircases and breath-taking golden ballroom.
The Galaries Lafayette rooftop view, which afforded a beautiful clear sight of Paris’s iconic sky line – We were blessed with a beautiful blue sky which made the experience all the more enticing.
Place du Trocadéro, where you can find the most beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower glittering in the evening sky. Also where we left our padlocks and a piece of our hearts!
My one place we visited that didn’t quite manage to wow, was the Palace of Versailles. I think after the grandeur of the Opera House this just seemed to pale in comparison. Also, I don’t think it was worth leaving Paris for – although it was my first experience of a double decker train, which was kind of cool!
We also happened to be at the Champs Elysees when Morocco made their infamous win in the quarter final of the world cup! it was a little to crazy for me with crowds, horns blaring and even flares and fire works being set off, but a momentous moment in history none the less – But it did mean that I didn’t get my obligatory photo with the Arc de Triomphe.
Also, can we just talk about how underwhelming the Mona Lisa is – I may be showing my lack of culture but in comparison to some of the expansive canvasses depicting historical moments and injustices, I guess her impact was just as elusive as her coy smile.
Whilst on the train to Versailles, I was accosted with a view I hadn’t quite associated with Paris. I passed what could only be described as slums – small shack like accommodation with corrugated roofs. This image of poverty was the perfect juxtaposition to the chic and picturesque Paris that we know and adore, but this stark reality is crucial to address. Even in a quick google search I cant seem to find much information – why are these humans with their individual tales being blotted out of the perfect portrait of Paris? A question I endeavor to explore….
City of Love?
Paris is often referred to as the City of Love, and I think it remains true to its name – As odd as it is to say, this is the city that made me fall in love with myself….
I felt chic, alive and wide eyed to all the beauty around me. I afforded myself the empathy and kindness I struggled to give myself before. I allowed myself the fragility to feel everything so fully, the traumas, the freakouts and the wow-moments that ensued. I put myself in a position that pushed through any self-imposed limitations and I can just feel how much I have grown because of this.
I guess it really is true what they say…Paris truly is the City Of (Self) Love…