Okay, so eating a croissant wasn’t really on my list of things to do in Paris. But I had envisioned a much different trip than the one I actually had.
In the trip I imagined, I’d spend a week in Paris, visit a few friends and all the must-see spots, the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc., then make my way to Bordeaux, the wine region, and Saint-Émilion in search of the Château Grand Mayne. (About 10 years ago, I discovered a Bordeaux with my name on it. I was so excited, I bought a case! Visiting a place that had my name was high on my list.)
At some point, I’d travel to Lons le Saunier, to visit ma petite soeur, Murielle, and her family. I was looking forward so much to seeing the French countryside that I’d sit at my desk when I was supposed to be working and daydream about it.
But life (aka work) intervened. Instead of spending two weeks in France and two in London, I had two weeks between London and Paris. I could manage only three days in Paris. It wouldn’t be enough — I like to spend my time, slowly peeling back layers and discovering a new place — but it’d have to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of my three days but it went by so fast, if I didn’t have photos, I’d think it had been a dream.
I’ve been reflecting on the dream and all the things I didn’t get a chance to see or do in Paris, and I made a list:
- Sunset Cruise on the Seine – Bateaux Parisiens offers dinner, nighttime and private cruises on the Seine that leave from the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
- La Sainte-Chapelle – I don’t consider myself a very religious person but looking at cathedrals always humbles me. Located at Île de la Cité, this Gothic Cathedral was consecrated in 1248. It has been a national historic monument since 1862.
- Église Saint-Suplice – The second largest church in Paris.
- Moulin Rouge – Home of the can-can, the Moulin Rouge has been around since the late 1800s. Artists from Edith Piaf to Josephine Baker have performed there.
- Montmartre – The bohemian place that played host to artists like Picasso, Dali, Modgiliani, Monet and others.
- La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre – The Basilica is located in Montmartre, the highest point of the city.
- Musée d’Orsay – I wanted to visit this elegant former train station turned gallery for Western art but after standing in line at the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t muster up the energy for another line.
- Montparnasse – I have created my own (highly romanticized) narrative about what living in Montparnasse must have been like for artists such as Jean Rhys, Madox Ford, Henry Miller, Salvador Dali, Jean Miró, Diego Rivera and many others who made it their home. I wanted to walk in their footsteps.
- Château de Versailles – One of the largest palaces in the world, it is the location where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.
- Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens – Built between 1615 and 1627 for Marie de Medici, the widow of Henry IV, the Luxembourg Palace is home of the French Senate. Wonder how difficult it must be to have to work there? I’ll never know!