Paris, je suis arrivée!
I blink in the bright sunlight as I step out of the plane at Charles De Gaulle airport early in the morning. After the darkness of the Atlantic it feels even brighter. What a perfect welcome; Paris, je suis arrivée!!
My “Parisian home” for the next 10 days is on the hill of Montmartre (the Bute), mecca for 19th century artists, writers, poets and painters. How appropriate; this trip is all about finding some inspiration.
After a quick nap, I take a picturesque walk thought old winding streets, the vineyard, quiet gardens, artists’ studios (Renoir, Lautrec, Van Gogh). I stumble upon the place-du-Tertre, a buzzing little square with its artists and the Sacre Coeur Basilica.
There is La Mere Catherine, favourite eating place of Russian Cossacks in 1814. They would bang on the table and shout ”Bistro!” (Russian for “quick”) – hence the bistro was named.
As I roll down the hill, I get lost in another shop, nurturing all of my senses with smells and aromas of freshly baked artisan breads, croissants and crepes on rue Lepic. I continue on rue des Abbesses and pick some cheese, a country pate, charcuterie and a still warm baguette for my first dinner in Paris.