I’ve realized that I haven’t written a post or shared any photos from last year’s trip to Paris and Rome that wasn’t about/of food. And although it seemed like it, I didn’t just eat and eat the entire time I was there. I saw the sights, too.
So I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures from my trip to Paris last year, and none of them features food that I actually ate, imagine that.
I love the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. It takes an exhausting climb to get there, but what’s 284 steps to see what is arguably, the best view of the City of Lights? I like that it’s high enough to get a breathtaking view of the city but but still low enough to see structures and buildings in detail. Plus, from this vantage point, you get a bird’s eye view of the craziness that is the Place de Charles de Gaulle.
I have to admit, my mouth was hanging a little open in disbelief as I stood here and took this photo. This (unfortunately vandalized) plaque marks the spot on the Place de la Concorde where Marie Antoinette of France, my 2nd favorite historical figure, was beheaded during the French Revolution. I simply could not wrap my head around the fact that I was standing there, where history took place, where Marie Antoinette’s life unjustly came to a grisly, violent end over 300 years ago. I felt the exact same wonder and awe when I stood at the Traitor’s Gate where Elizabeth I (my #1 favorite historical figure) entered on her way to be imprisoned in the Tower. I swear, both were practically religious experiences for me. And yes, I know how incredibly nerdy and geeky (and creepy?) that potentially sounds. I don’t care.
I remember seeing this building and thinking, “God, I want to live there.” I guess I could say that about almost every other building in Paris, but there was something about this particular one that made it so memorable to me. Maybe it was its proximity to and view of the Eiffel Tower? Or that it was about five minutes away from Rue Cler? Or that its style and architecture is so distinctly Parisian? Whatever it is, I want to live in this building (although one on Avenue Foch would do just as nicely I daresay. Haha.).
Now this one for me is a head scratcher. While this woman with the baguettes in her backpack is, in all likelihood, a tourist, what she’s doing here, exposing her bread to all the elements is very Parisian (very French? Is this practice a nationwide one?). I cannot, for the life of me, understand how you can carry your food around uncovered, exposed to dust, smoke and viruses and bacteria floating in the air and still eat it afterward. I. Just. Can’t. Why don’t they make bags big enough to cover the whole baguette? Haven’t the French ever heard of airborne diseases? As a germophobe, I just don’t understand.
L’église de la Madeleine looks nothing like a church from the outside, since it was built like a Roman temple. Inside though was one of the most beautiful and solemn churches I have been in. Yes, it is not as colossal as the Notre Dame or as grand as Sacré Coeur, but I daresay Madeleine has an aura unlike the other cathedrals’. With its Roman columns and muted lighting, there is something understated and stately about L’église de la Madeleine.
And, another one from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Just because.
Sigh. I love and miss Paris (and not just its food).