This postcard has been a long time coming. Would you believe it got lost in the mail?
When I opened up a map to see where we would be living in Germany, our proximity to France did not escape my notice. With four free days over the Easter holiday begging to be filled, we called some friends and booked our train tickets. After much anticipation, I was finally in Paris.
I know I'm not the only person who has put this enigmatic city on a pedestal. As someone who engages in travel-chat with almost everyone she meets, I can think of no place more likely than Paris to elicit a sigh and a far away look as if remembering first love. My mind swirled with a collage of impressions from art, literature and history, not to mentions runways and lifestyle blogs.
It can be tricky to be a tourist in a destination city. Paris has so many compelling attractions but checking off guide book must-sees amid herds of other tourists can feel stressful rather than leisurely. And holiday weekends don't make those museum lines any shorter. I'm always seeking a balance between my inner sightseeing nerd and the me who prefers wandering strolls and hanging out in cafes.
More than anything I just wanted to feel like a Parisian for a few days. With so little French and such ordinary footwear I'm sure I wasn't passing, but that didn't stop me from feeling like I belonged.
The most beautiful thing about this visit was staying with Alain and Dominik. Acquainted years back via Couchsurfing, Stephan and Alain spoke prior to our trip and they welcomed us with open arms. I was really touched by the experience.
Sharing meals and stories with the family was a joy. Alain was our host for an incredible walking tour of his city, complete with historical and personal footnotes. Dominik put on a beautiful Easter supper and we had the chance to share the meal with their family and friends.
On Monday before catching an evening train, Alain and Dominik's daughter Caroline and her boyfriend Renaud spent the afternoon with us. The two live in gorgeous Montematre, a picturesque hillside district with sweeping views and some of the most charming architecture in the city.
Thanks to our friends for making it such a rich experience.
Internet notes on Paris
Are you heading to Paris? Looking for daydream inspiration? Check these out:
12 hrs A thoughtfully curated itinerary for the gourmand/fashionista
On the Grid A guide by locals for the design-minded
Nomadic Matt Budget tips from a backpacker extraordinaire
Dreamboat Sleeps 5-10. Who's with me?