I came across a blog post about a young woman who quit her day job and started a business selling hand-written letters. She illustrated them in watercolor, telling about her time in Paris. Brilliant!
You can find her art in her etsy shop JaniceArtShip
Reading about her got me remembering my visit to Paris and post cards I sent to my friends and family. Maybe they've held onto some of them (even if mine are not beautifully illustrated letters).
I remember I made my way from Germany to France by train. Lindau to Strasbourg first, to be exact, and from there to Paris the next morning. On the train I met the nicest lady from Tibet, who lived in a flat in Paris. She invited me to stay with her! While I do not recommend this type of arrangement when you're on the road on your own (!), I was in luck as Tinley turned out to be trustworthy and so, so nice. Out-of-her-way nice, actually. She took me around Paris to see the sights, and gave me tips like only a local could.
I dug up some photos to show you. (Pardon the quality.)
I had boarded the train in Strasbourg at 6:08 that morning and arrived at Gare du Nord, one of the train hubs in Paris shortly after 9. From there a good connection by Métro to my stop La Chapelle, and a walk to Rue du Faubourg where I would stay with my new-found friend.
Canal de Saint Martin (photo by wikipedia)
When I think of Paris I see cafes and bakeries lining the narrow streets. I picture unhurried walks on the Seine and artists in the park.
I remember writing on post cards of our days filled with walks to the bakery, watching in amazement the artists at Montmartre, perusing an open air market, visiting The Sacre Cœur Basilica, Palais de Chaillot, and Moulin Rouge, and gazing at the Eiffel Tower. We took the metro to the Avenue des Champs-Elysées where cafes, theaters, and luxury shops line the wide street, and examined at close range the Arc de Triomphe.
We had fun experiencing Paris by Night! We took a look at Centre Georges Pompidou, I bought myself a pair of sandals, and we caught not one, but two Chinese movies!
Montmartre with watercolors, portrait sketches, and caricaturists
Sacre Cœur Basilica
Music on the steps :)
View over the city from Sacre Cœur
Palais de Chaillot, which houses several museums
This inscription by French poet Paul Valéry is on one of the sides:
"All men create without knowing it, as they breathe, but the artist is aware and engages everything he is, and his beloved pain strengthens him." (artistic freedom applied on translation) :)
L'Arc de Triomphe
La Tour Eiffel
Avenue des Champs-Elysées
My Paris experience included home-made dinner Tibetan style and relaxing teatime at the end of full days to digest all that we took in of this "City of Lights".