Paris by Accident – Maika Crampton
I happened to be in Paris on a Papercouture job and didn’t make any plans about what to see in this beautiful city during our very limited time off. In a way it is a bit scary not really knowing where to go because there is always the possibility of a big disappointment for not “getting it right” but then on the other hand I have experienced on numerous occasions that every city is like any city, really, and sometimes when one is rushing around trying to fit in as many ‘worthy’ sights as possible, one is in danger of overlooking the many little magical moments that make a place special! So when we got on the B train from the airport we spontaneously got off at Champs de Mars just to have a peek … and got hit with this…
If it had been the only thing I saw in Paris on this trip, it would’ve been enough. I reckon. But there was one other thing that had been losely on my mind to go and visit which was the cemetery Père Lachaise with its fabulously decadent tomb stones and to stumble across a famous grave which we did … the great French novelist and playwriter Honoré de Balzac, a rather handsome grave, as resting places go.
After our little excursion into mortality we didn’t really know what to do so we just meandered along the Rue de Roquette back towards Voltaire Metro station which was rather uneventful other than we popped into an electrical shop to buy a phone charger which was rubbish and didn’t work we found out later back in the hotel … the guys in the shop must’ve had a right laugh.
From the Place Léon Blum we followed the Rue de Roquette further on and stumble into a brilliant little area full or fascinating little eateries and vintage shops … the perfect combination if you ask me. Next to the rather abundant presence of Patisseries and Boulangieries in Paris (only surmounted by Pharmacies … go figure) there were all sorts of little cosy places that looked sometimes a little run down but were utterly intriguing and unpretentious so much so one could have spent quite a few hours just ‘bistro hopping’ and ‘vintage shopping’.
There were numerous little hotels, too, that I am sure are worth checking out and from the Place de la Bastille you can walk everywhere: Notre Dame, The Louvre, Les Champs Elysees, Le Palais, Les Tuileries Gardens. Or just stroll along the Seine, Paris is very relaxed like that.
My daughter asked me what one does when visiting another country. The answer is: See. Eat. Shop. Done.