Mar 29, 2013

First Impression of Paris

The plane arrived at CDG on a chilly morning. Two hours later I finally found my living place on a quiet street Rue de Froment on the right bank. My dorm is a guest room in an apartment. The host is a journalist, originally from Italy but has been working and living in Paris for years. The clean and cozy bedroom immediately cheered me up. 

It was already 3pm and I decided to take a walk nearby. My lonely planet pocket book directed my to Maison de Victor Hugo, within walking distance from my place. The great writer Victor Hugo lived in this house and completed Les Misérable, but he definitely did more than that. Hugo has a great passion for chinese art, and designed a whole room called Le salon chinois. He collected a wall of china including plates, vases and other decorative objects. Even the light above was imitating that in the palace. The three most attracting things to me were wallpaper, lights and frames. I can see how much effort Hugo put in decorating this room- the choose of wallpaper and their corresponding lights all reflect his meticulous design. Coming out of the maison, I headed to Café des Phares, a famous philocafé where people engage in philosophical discussions. Apparently nobody would check the authenticity about its authenticity, since it does not look any different than other cafés. I ordered a tiramisu du jour, which is indicated specifically on the menu that the quality depends on the chef's mood. The tiramisu came in a jar and it was neither too greasy nor sweet - I guess Monsieur chef was in a good mood!

I went to bed super early that night due to the jetlag. Nine hours later I woke up freshly (the queen-size bed totally made me sleep like a rock)! I went to the two islands on the Seine, which are still within walking distance but a bit further. Île Saint-Louis is home to gourmand and art-lovers. There you can taste the famous Berthillon ice cream and the authentic foie gras. Craft shops dot the island, and you have to decide which side to walk along because you would miss the view of side anyway - a serious trade-off :/ I resolved this problem by walking back and forth, which worked out just fine! After a river-view lunch, I walked to île de la cité where the Cathedral de Notre Dame situates. Seeing the long line waiting outside, I decided to sit on the steps in front of the cathedral and look at this magnificent architecture with reverence.

On my way back home, I saw someone playing the piano on Pont Saint-Louis, the music pieces are those that you can think of without a think.

I was not as excited as I thought I would be. Maybe I still need some time to figure out how I am going to get around this city. The beauty of Paris is not only these tourist attractions, but also the visiting people and other intouchable things.

street corner

again, street corner

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