24 hours in Paris11:29 AM
I close my eyes. It's 8 am and I am on Rue d'Alesia in the 14th arrondissement on a sunny spring afternoon. Just like in the m...
I close my eyes. It's 8 am and I am on Rue d'Alesia in the 14th arrondissement on a sunny spring afternoon. Just like in the movie J'aime Paris, I find myself strolling down the hidden passage ways of Paris, covered in greenery and lilacs. The birds chirp and the quiet residential neighborhood begins to come to life as the window shutters open up with the sound of jazz music playing in the apartment above.
My stomach grumbles, so I turn back onto Rue d'Alesia and hop onto the metro. I am on the platform waiting for line 13. I hear the sound of a woman come onto the intercom announcing that the train will be arriving in two minutes. People push back forward in anticipation as the green and white train jitters to a halt. It's 8:30 am so the metro is packed full of people. I squeeze my way through the metro and make sure to say 'pardon' to each person I on accident brush against. There is a man in the right hand corner playing the violin. He is singing in Italian. I become dazed by his music until I realize that I am at my metro stop. I swarm pass the lady who has her music on too loud and the couple that is furiously making out next to the doors and step off onto the platform. It's 8:40am and I find myself in an airport like structure. There are people walking in every direction, with their briefcases in hand, on the moving walkways. I am in the underground maze known as Montparnasse Bienvenue. I see a couple struggling to find the way out of the metro system and up onto the train station and give directions.
25 minutes later, I head into the fresh air. It's 9 am and I find myself in the luxurious Saint Germain Des Pres at my favorite restaurant: Laduree. The waiter sits me down next to a window and after a few minutes my hot chocolate and pastries arrive. I feel like a princess surrounded by all the delicacies around me. I look at the older woman across the restaurant from me who is also sitting by herself, covered in fur and this year's latest Chanel, patting her dog with one hand while sipping her cappuccino with the other.
I decide to grab some macaroons and head over to the Louvre. As I walk across Les Pont des Arts I can see to my right the Eiffel Tower in the far distance. I sigh in disbelief that I am in Paris for 24 hours. Couples on both sides of the bridge are holding their selfie sticks trying to get the perfect selfie with the infamous love-lock-bridge. I make my way past the Tuileries gardens and find myself inside the Louvre. Tourists look in every direction for signs pointing towards the Mona Lisa while I veer off to the Ancient Greek section. There's something about the statues and the grandeur of the pillars that fascinates me about this room. From the painted blue ceiling of the planets to the tiny gems that are encased in glass, I can't help but stare in awe. I continue to walk around the museum and stare at the giant paintings that are bigger than my apartment in disbelief.
45 minutes, and several metro transfers later, I find myself sitting in my favorite Asian restaurant, Le Sesame, next to the Canal- Saint Martin. The clock turns 1 pm as I finish slurping the noodles out of my vegetarian styled pho and head over into Belleville. This area is known to be one of the 'China towns' of Paris. Filled with colorful murals and street art throughout the area, I grab some bubble tea and walk up Rue de Belleville.
It's the grandest park I have ever been to in my life. The Park of Buttes Chaumont is filled with people playing with their dogs, having picnics, and laying to catch a tan. I walk into the center of the park and sit facing a fortress-like building. Bikes speed past on the road next to me and the aroma of nutella and crepes can be smelled in the air from the little cafe behind me. I sit for hours, reading a book and letting the world around me come to a still.
I find myself back by the Canal Saint Martin at my favorite bar,le Comptoir Generale ,with a couple of friends. It feels like a tropical paradise here and I order a fruity drink and sit at the terrace next to a pirate boat shaped bar . After a couple of drinks with my friends I decide to go towards Montmartre for dinner at La Petaudiere .
Nestled away in the windy streets by Sacre Coeur, this restaurant allows for you to receive the typical French dinner while listening to some of the best piano music you could ever imagine hearing in your life. As I finished up my ice cream while listening to la vie en rose, I decided to venture out into the streets of Paris at night and take in the 24 hour day I had in the city of lights.
* This post is a submission for the 24 Hour In... Competition with www.accorhotels.com. *
For more information on the places that I mentioned in this blog post check out the info below:
21 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris
14 Rue Bichat, 75010 Paris
Comptoir Général, Quai de Jemmapes, Paris
80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
La Petaudiere, Paris
+33 1 42 54 03 49