France; Paris to Giverny!

2016-07-25 17.53.522016-07-26 10.15.392016-07-26 11.44.302016-07-26 11.47.302016-07-26 12.52.212016-07-26 19.04.132016-07-26 19.31.012016-07-25 21.39.272016-07-25 22.51.442016-07-25 23.38.41-12016-07-26 09.43.242016-07-26 19.58.452016-07-26 20.10.482016-07-26 21.50.282016-07-26 15.35.192016-07-26 16.12.022016-07-26 16.07.102016-07-26 16.47.052016-07-26 16.39.192016-07-26 16.18.56

Choosing which photos to share with you was my biggest dilemma post my 5th trip to Paris. I now endeavour to be like a Parisian when I visit and I have so not yet finished with you Paris yet.I was blessed to reunite with my AFS sister in the city of lights. Now a resident European, she has come to know Paris well and our combined efforts led to exciting new finds. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in St Germain; one of my fave areas of Paris. This was a great location, with good size rooms, service, buffet breakfast and close to shops and Gare Montparnesse. Next time I will visit the cheese and pastry shops.

We took the metro to Cour St Emilion to discover the beautiful Rue Cremieux; in a quiet street of beautiful colourful houses. Thanks to TripAdvisor, we ate at a delicious and affordable lunch at Pause Café in Bastille. Boy do the French know how to make a kick-ass salad. They’re huge and healthy. Sitting outside mopping up the ambiance was delightful. We then headed to another new area; taking the metro to Villette, to take a barge tour along Canal St Martin and the Seine. The 19th arrondissement is an up and-coming neighbourhood and we’ll definitely return to explore, particular Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The trip was slow but interesting and it was great to see some lovely colourful boutique shops along the way, go under caves, see riverside plages (beaches) with their colourful blue umbrellas and then the Louvre etc. Men BTW seem to be very intrigued with the mechanics of the locks opening and closing along the way.

We later walked past the Eye and Tuileries gardens and the gates will still up from the end of the Tour de France, along the Champs-Elysees. It was lovely to see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe again from a distance.

Day 2 our itinerary completed changed as we decided to visit the Rodin Gallery which was going to be my next visit. This was fantastic, reasonably priced and set in the most stunning gardens with beautiful views of Les Invalides. It’s so worth a visit. My foodie nose later led us to the most amazing low-key bistro on the corner of a street, which ironically was called Cafe Resto Au Coin de la Rue (on the street corner). This bistro was busy with all types of clientele from tradies, to Parisian ladies who lunch to businessmen.. We were the only tourists and given our French was good, we just tended to fit in nicely. Our salads were amazing and such a great portion size.  A lovely group of French businessmen were having a café gourmande which is an expresso with a dessert degustation. They kindly let me take a snap as I just couldn’t resist honing in on this.

The afternoon we took a bus tour to Monet’s house in Giverny. This has been on my bucket-list for awhile as I studied Impressionism at university. As you can see from the photos, it’s drop-dead gorgeous. Need I say more?

Our last night in Paris, we had a reservation at the second most famous restaurant in Paris; Café de Flore. While sipping on an aperlol spritz, the menu didn’t speak to us so we left in search for better. We ate at the other famous Les Deux Magots last trip and that was excellent. Voila- Café St Benoit. This was sensational and hubby got to have his snails, me my duck confit and sis her bouillabaisse. Happy campers. Coffee was divine and sis loved her mousse au chocolat. We strolled back hitting some lovely night stalls and discovered some trendy streets full of bars and restaurants, off the main drag. Sigh. Next time.  Turning the corner, we were struck with the beauty of the College of Fine Arts lit up in the colours of the French flag. Magic. This was also opposite a beautiful church and fountain. Wow Paris we have just fallen deeper in love with you. A bientot.


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