No, I haven't been back to Paris, well only in my mind. But as I was writing up a Paris homesickness post at synch-ro-ni-zing, it became evident that I needed to revisit this space. I had run out of digital photos to post, but I still have unposted film images, so let's see how far I can get from two visits captured on film.
In 2003 Don posed on the Pont de la Tournelle above, with the Notre Dame sitting atop Ile de la Cité, one of the two islands that float in the Seine like ships. The smaller island at the stern of Ile de la Cité is Ile Saint-Louis, behind Don out of view. See "Don is here" in the map, below. If you look at the Paris map at the top of my sidebar, theislands are on the blue Seine river line just between the 4th and 5th arrondisements.-
With its one central street - rue St-Louis en Ile - two streets on either coast, and afew streets perpendicular to them, there is a compactness about Ile Saint-Louisthat could feel claustrophobic - or cozy. I choose the latter. We stayed on this islandin an old, historic apartment. My only complaints were the darkness in the apartment,due to the narrow streets with high buildings, and how expensive the shops were,including grocery stores. But it was handy to be anchored in the center of the cityin our lodging.
One aspect of apartment rental that's wonderful (besides being more economicalthan a hotel) is meeting the owner, which we did, over wine at his place, also onthe island. He is a geriatrics doctor on the staff at Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris (founded 651!), on Ile de la Cité next to the Notre Dame cathedral. But our host had already gone beyond normal landlord hospitality and rather than just give us a key at a local watering hole when we arrived, he picked us up at the airport and drove us into the city (Don's first time in Paris) along the Champs-Élysées, just for the fun of it! (In my seven trips to Paris, I have had far more pleasant human encounters with the French than unpleasant.)
our host, with Don
rue St-Louis en Ile:
These two views, below, are of the Ile de la Cité, from Ile Saint-Louis. I believe the bridge in the first is Pont d'Arcole.
I took black and white film with us on this trip
because I'm drawn to black and white images of Paris.
On my second Paris trip (first one I was 19 on study abroad in 1975) with my sister Nancy in 1997, we ate a couple of times at
Brasserie de Isle St-Louis with its famous stork.
Even an omelette in Paris tastes like food for the gods.
We like the waiters here, who act like gods and have been around forever and whom I recognized on later trips.
Now that I've taken a few loved ones to Paris, planning the itinerary is a real pleasure. I always plan to arrive on Saturday, then spend Sunday, the first real day out, on the islands that float in the middle of the city, then branch out like spokes the rest of the week. A small chamber concert in the Sainte Chapelle in the evening is a perfect ending to Day 1 - its effect is like a lullaby.
I'll post more about Day 1 next week.
Day 1 of a week in Paris - Sunday
Islands: Ile de la Cité - Ile Saint-Louis
- Breakfast: Hotel? (not sure if la patisserie is open Sundays)
- Notre Dame; tour and climb tower
- Place Louis-Lepine - bird and flower market
- Sainte Chapelle; tour and purchase billets for evening concert
- Lunch: Brasserie de Isle St-Louis -- Look for the stork!
- Walk Isle St-Louis; ice cream at Berthillion; Square Barye
- Supper: Sandwich or omelette?
- Evening concert at Sainte Chapelle
this photo of
Brasserie de Isle St-Louis taken by Donica Detamore