If the French invented love and made Paris its capital than it seems only logical that even bread over there has an erotic vibrancy. This is what I just discovered during my last stay in Paris, Pentecost 2011.
L’Afrique est en Paris
No doubt – Paris is an eclectic city where the heritage of colonial era is still alive. The present head of state managed to ban the Burqa from the cityscape. Fortunately, he did not try the same with the colourful dresses worn by African immigrants at the Montmartre. When you leave the Métro at „Chateau Rouge“ you are already in the middle of the action. Surrounded by a flock of merchands (do not panic, nobody is going to drag you), a milling crowd and high spirits you are in the middle of Paris on the one hand, on the other hand you feel like being in the heart of Africa. Wigs, hair extensions and pedicure symbolize the big business at Chateau Rouge.
And that is exactly where we stayed: in a 15 sq „flat“, house no. 19 of Rue Feutrier, next to the former domicile of Rosa Luxemburg. Although the „1-room-flat“ was a little bit cramped, still it offered everything needed for a couple of days. And most of all it was only a stone’s throw away from legendary Sacré Coeur and nearby a few nice authentic cafés. That is all you need.
discovery tour: from Montamartre to the Tour Eifel
Unfortunately, Paris is like many other metropolises infested with tourists at the main sights. Well, why not trying alternative routs for a change? Starting from our neighbourhood we undertook diverse walks during our four-days-sojourn. We started off with the Marais quarter on the first day. Via Place de la République to the Place des Vosges. Marais is really nice with its narrow lanes, small boutiques and unfortunately in the meantime a whole bunch of tourists. However, a visit to the Hôtel de Sully in that area is still worth while. In the evening we climbed the mountain of Sacré Coeur just a jump away from our flat. From there we strolled to Place Clichy. Via Boulevard de Courselles (pay attention to the Parc de Monceau we walked to „Etoile“ and then along Champs Elysées. Regrettably that former Boulevard mutated to a „Pizzaland“ in the meantime. A forgettable “thing of the past”, you better try Avenue Montaigne! The way back lead us from Tour Eifel to the Metro station of „Bir Hakim“ then back to „Chateau Rouge“.
Off the beaten track through the city: Bancs public
Sunday morning was defined by the „Bancs public“ (park bench). The walk was recommended to us by a Frenchwomen and runs through rather fameless parts of the city. It starts at the metro station „Vaugirard“ and ends at „Parc Georges Brassens“, named after a French singer. A facebook page is dedicated to the park. It is a nice destination for a lazy Sunday morning! We undertook another promenade to and through the Jardin du Luxembourg in the afternoon. A 10-strong band was playing live Swing when we entered the park. The evening ended with a cozy final round at the Cafe Chambon on Rue Oberkampf.
Rich and beautiful
On our last day in Paris we visited the exposition „L’Art de l’automobile“ at the famous Louvre. The exhibition which displays cars of the private collection of the American designer Ralph Lauren is located at the wing „Les Arts décoratifs“. Too bad that not pictures were allowed to be taken. After four wonderful still exhausting days we left Paris and took the plane back to Germany.
To the Paris picture gallery