Thursday 31 March 2016

Paris Dispatches: Notre Dame, Nutella crepes and the evening baguette

J'adore Paris.  It was one of my first loves.  In high school I already had mapped out where I would go on my first trip there.  By the time I finally visited, I had been fascinated by the French Revolution and Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Company in university studies.  I am delighted to be here again.  I will try not to gush but it is a city of such beauty around every corner. 

Firstly I am delighted with our little first floor apartment in the Marais.  But perhaps I will write more about it another time.  For now, the top photo is our view out the window.

We arrived last night and snacked on bread rolls from Edinburgh airport.  This morning Sylvia and I headed out for brunch.  She had chocolate croissant and I had a baguette with brie and lettuce.  It reminded me of how much I love a French boulangerie (bakery).

This is our view while we ate our brunch.  Sylvia has spotted the gelati shop across the street.  Apparently the weather is meant to get warmer before we leave so perhaps we will be eating gelati.

Meanwhile today the weather was dire.  Wet wet wet.  The buildings are so stylish and gorgeous but it was not the weather to get out the camera.  I took a few of these buildings on the Seine before the rain got heavier.  Nevertheless it was a lovely walk past the Hotel de Ville across the Seine with a few detours into souvenir shops.

By the time we arrived at Notre Dame, it was quite wet and we just headed inside.  I was pleased it is still free to visit.  Strangely enough I remember feeling a little disappointed upon my first visit there.  I can't think why.  It is such an amazing place.  Building commenced in 1163 and it is still inspiring awe in the crowds.

We wandered around the building, with Sylvia asking me lots of questions about Christianity.  I regret that I don't remember as much as I was taught at school.  I loved the stories of the saints but they are not as fresh in my memory as they once were.

We chatted quite a bit about the stories depicted in the sculpted choir screen.  Some were familiar to Sylvia and some less so.

One of the most amazing ones is this nativity scene.  It is so different to the way we depict the navity these days.  Baby Jesus is hardly noticeable in the manger beneath the cattle while Mary is centre stage and far less modest than than in modern nativity scenes.

Afterwards we were unashamedly touristy and ate nutella crepes in on of the cafes overlooking the Notre Dame.  Sylvia loved it.  If I had known how big they were I would have ordered one between two of us.

We overlooked the queue for climbing the towers of the Notre Dame.  I did it years ago and would love to do it again.  However I don't remember such long queues and this on a rainy day!

We walked back by the Hotel de Ville where we found a double decker carousel.  Sylvia had to try it.  It was great fun.  Then we went to department store Le BHV.  We chose a few small purchases and then had a merry dance looking for a cash register that was open.  No wonder the few open cash registers had huge queues.

On the way home I bought a baguette, some fruit and veg and a chunk of cheese for dinner.  Though once we met up with E and I looked at the one baguette, I decided to head back out for another baguette and a few croissants.  Dinner was magnificent.

Now I must turn to the links to Paris eating places that I have been sent and think about where else we might go.


  1. Paris and me, we don't agree, at all :-)

    It is 3,5 hours travel from here (with TGV - wanna drop by for a coffee? :-)) and I have been twice but the only reason I may return are a few museums.

    Otherwise, London wins, in all the relevant categories, most of all the food and the interesting bits.

    But I did take beautiful photos in Paris - I hope the weather gets better so you can, too (it says it will be better at the weekend here, so maybe ...)

  2. Sounds amazing. I've only been to Paris once and would love to go back. Look up Chambelland Boulangerie for delicious gluten free breads or Helmut Newcake for gluten free patisserie. Post more of your foodie finds and enjoy :)

  3. Ah it poured with rain when myself and D went for our late honeymoon! but we loved it still and made the most of it - yes cheese and baguettes and croissants can be a magnificent dinner, bread and cheese at home never tastes as good. I have returned back to the Wales today, have been away at my MIL longer than had expected.

  4. Paris is always beautiful, but I hope for your sake you get to see more of its beauty in full sunshine! I am looking forward to your description of the apartment and neighborhood in the Marais.

    best... mae at

  5. Yum - the crepe looks devine.

  6. "Meanwhile today the weather was dire. Wet wet wet."
    Makes for lovely pictures though! Gloomy skies always make for nicer pictures. i'm glad you're still able to enjoy a beautiful city despite the weather.
    I once was lucky enough to travel to Paris for a class trip in high school.
    Although it was a wonderful experience, I feel like I didn't properly appreciate it like I would now. I like seeing your pictures.
    The nutella crepes sounds amazing!
    Notre Dame looks beautiful. And the double decker carousel looks fun =)


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