Paris je t'aime

Today, only one week ago, we came back from our trip from Paris. Four days of sightseeing, photographing and enjoying our time left us a gorgeous impression of Paris. Our hotel, a nice and neat small room in Le Marais, gave us a good starting point near the metro station St. Paul and ca. 10 minutes by feet to the city centre.

Arrival Day I

We arrived at our hotel at 10 o'clock, after a 1h long flight and 30 minutes by RER - without the time buying RER tickets and waiting at the airport - it's the same amount of time which I need for travelling to university ;)

Paris welcomed us with pretty good weather, blue sky and nearly 30°C - in the evening my skin was really sunkissed ;)

Our first activity, after having lunch at a nice bistro at Boulevard Beaumarchais, was a stroll into the city centre. I fell in love with all those lovely buildings, little brasseries and patisseries directly. So we walked, without any plan, coincidently direct to the Ile de la Cité, were we spotted Nôtre Dame. Big. Very big. The facade is pretty impressive. After a little rest we continued our exploration and followed the famous rue Rivoli, it led us directly to the Palais du Louvre, wow, another very big and very impressive building. You have to know... many places in Paris are very impressive. In the middle of the Palais du Louvre, of course, is the famous Pyramide du Louvre. Surrounded by water basins we followed the example of other tourists and take a rest and rewarded our feet with a little bath in the refreshing water. Oh boy... the best! Ever! After my feet found back to their oiriginal size, we walked through the Jardin de Tuileries straight to the Place de la Concorde. From distance loomed the Arc de Triomphe. But for the first day it was enough, so we went back to our hotel with a real parisian baguette , good parisian butter and jambon and feel asleep shortly after our little nom - it was a long day after we got up at 4am.

Day II

As an early bird my first action on this morning was to open up the wooden blinds to see the awakening Paris. The air was a little dusty but the sun was already shining and gave me a nice welcome to the new day. This, paired with the view of the Tour Eiffel, was very lovely - the only thing missing in this picture is a steaming cup of café au lait ;)
So we started our day by visiting Café Angelina for their famous le Chocolat Africain, the best and impossibly thickest hot chocolate I've ever drunk. With a buttery croissant was this the perfect petit déjeuner. Now we were boosted for our next target, across the Champs Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe. A very long walk and I would recommend taking the metro to Charles de Gaulles - Étoiles, because the Champs Elysées - at least by day - isn't that spectacular.
Besides the Arc de Triomphe, I'm impressed by the roundabout... there were no signs on the street and everyone drove like hell! How do they survive?
Next stop: Tour Eiffel. Wow. Very monumental. Many Tour merchandise vendors. After some minutes they made me agressive. Nevermind ;)
After a simple but good meal in the quartier latin, we strolled around and finished our day at the Louvre, which is open until 22h on fridays and it's free for european residents under 26. They have no air condition - bad. And I don't know why everyone makes such a great deal about La Jaconde - the Mona Lisa. It's a really small and boring painting. After 3 hours of culture and with a rather empty feeling in our stomach we said goodbye to the Louvre and went - more unaware - into the quartier japonaise. There we had a pretty big range of japanese restaurants available ;) The decision felt quite easy... for us looked every restaurant the same, so we headed over to Kadoya, were I finished my day with ramen... I love ramen! Good day ;)


Today, we went to the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur which is built in Montmartre, a quarter on a hill overlooking Paris. We had luck and could attend the worship. You know what? It was... impressive! Ha! And the view over Paris is amazing. Now we were at the point where my official "I need to see this amazing building of french history" list was completed. So I obliged Stephan to go with me to the Galeries Lafayette, the parisian answer to Harrods. My favourite level was the basement. Shoes. Many Shoes. Expensive Shoes. Love them. But I liked Harrods more, it seemed more exclusive and charming, with less tourists.
In the evening, we went for dinner to Café Ruc - pricey but very good food. In attempt to eat parisian classics, I chose for entrée the lentils verte and for main dish the croque monsieur. Very good. The wine is good, too. Paris + good food = happy me :)
After sunset we took our DSLR to try some night shots and had our fun while playing with the exposure time and our gorilla pod. Trying to get a good shot of the Arc de Triomphe was a real battle, but a funny one :) We tried to affix our gorilla pod (with camera) on a stoplight standing on a refuge. Very interesting experience ;)

Louvre, Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe... so amazing at night. Really romantic.

Departure Day IV

As a chocolate lover, it was inevitable to visit Café Angelina again. Mmmmmh!
Afterwards we went by metro to the station L'Hotel de Vîlle and took a last stroll through the narrow streets and rested at the Seine, where there is established a quay with deck chairs for everyone. It was a really lovely finale of our Paris visit.


So, this is my little Paris diary for you dear readers. I hope I find the time to write a second entry about Paris with some tipps and commendations :)


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Stuffed mushrooms

Easy and very delicious!

Stuffed mushrooms (serves 2 persones)

12 midsized white or brown mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
1 onion, finely diced
2 gloves garlic, finely minced
125g (4.4 ounces) cream cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup white wine
1 hand parsley, chopped
1 hand chives, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

In a small pan, sweat onions and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems and sauté over high heat, then add the wine (right after you take a gulp out of the bottle ;) ). Cook until the liquid is reduced, season to taste and set aside.

In a midsized bowl, stirr cream cheese, egg yolk, parmesan and herbs. Now include the cooled mushroom mixture and season to taste. Take a little spoon and taste, already deliiiiciiioous!

Transfer the mushrooms on a sheet and give a nice spoonfull of the mixture right into the cavity. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for about 15 Minutes or until the top is slightly golden. Lovely!

As a little advise, I think these little nom noms are a very good and savory covering in a sandwich, too. A tad healhier as a steak ;)

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