When most people have an American dream, I have un rêve Parisien.
The main motivation for me to explore Europe was Paris and the reason why I targeted it to be in 2012 was simply because of the Mayan doomsday rumour. I didn’t want to die before stepping my feet in Paris.
Early September, the season transition from summer to autumn, I headed from Nice to Paris with the first class in Zen zone of TGV. I remember how excited I was to finally end my trip in the city that I had been dreaming of. I prepared some elegant summer dresses to be fit with the elegant Paris. I wanted to have my photo taken with Paris in a beautiful dress and to show it off to some closest friends to get them jealous. But what happened next was not what I expected. It was 3 degree Celsius, Paris was foggy. I didn’t imagine that it could be that extreme temperature difference between the cities I visited in Italy before Paris and Paris. As soon as I arrived, I tried to force myself wearing my nice red summer dress for a little orange juice time at Le Café Richelieu in the heart of Louvre, facing the pyramid, just before entering the museum. In fact, I couldn’t help myself from shivering with that dress. So my plan of being a chic girl in Paris was a total failure. I wasn’t prepared for this weather.
Mid-August, I landed in Charles de Gaulle airport and welcome by the 8 degree Celsius early morning temperature. I checked-in at my hotel in Nation and then started strolling around the city with my nice summer dress as the temperature was increasing significantly during the day. It was a fresh sunny day, a perfect time for climbing Le Sacre Coeur. The next day, I was a tour guide for my best friend who joined my trip. I felt like I already knew this city by heart. I took her to the main attractions of Paris, you know, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Louvre, Les Invalides and then ended our day by having bagels in Bastille. The night before we left for Barcelona, we treated ourselves for a drink in the vibrant Bastille area. It was a perfect summer in Paris.
Beginning of October, the period when the leaves turning to red making Paris looked even more glamorous than my previous visit, yes – it was autumn. This time I was prepared with the coat that I had carried around from the beginning of the whole trip. Since there were so many places that I had visited before, I didn’t have anything in particular to visit, except Shakespeare and Company – the book store where I found the second-hand Inferno by Dan Brown for only 5 Euro. The book store is the point zero of Paris, so it is quite interesting to have a book with Kilometer-Zero-Paris stamp on it. Other than book store, I only aimed to spend time with my Parisien friends and enjoy the autumn ambient in Paris, looking at the red leaves tree decorating the city and the exquisite night lights of Paris.
The day after New Year party, Paris was unquestionably cold, sans-doute it was winter. Paris reached below zero degree at night but there was no snow formed yet. The trees without leaves were enhancing the winter – identically Christmas and New Year – atmosphere. The air was dry-cold-windy, absorbing the skin moisture, giving me a cracking dry and itchy skin, that’s what they call winter itch. Despite this little physical issue during what the locally said less-cold-winter, I made it to finally visit Pantheon, the building in the Latin Quarter. Why I say finally? The reason is because the first visit in Paris, I was rather too late to enter Pantheon that received the last visitor 15 minutes before its closing time. Right after Pantheon, I drown myself in the smell of an old books in Shakespeare and Company with hope to find another good deals and that was actually a brilliant idea to get some warmth in an entertaining way, not to mention gratuitement – for free.
Now I am looking forward for the fourth season in Paris, spring, that will be soon in April.
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