Revamping the checklist.
Today while flipping through channels, I stumbled upon the 1995 film, Sabrina. While the sum total of Paris seen in this film comes to about 25 minutes of the two hour film, it is one movie which has cemented itself as my quintessential image of the city. I couldn’t help but sit and watch Julia Ormond wander the familiar Paris streets and think back to all the sites I’ve been able to see and all those that I still hope to explore.
Which brings me to my trip out to Paris last February. After that trip, I made a list of all the things that I wanted to see and do next time I landed in this lovely city.
Just as predicted, this list was a phenomenal way to pick out what I wanted to cover when mom, dad, and I visited the city during my graduation week.
My dad hadn’t been to Paris in about 30 years so while we hit all the key ‘must see’ places – Sacre Coeur, Eiffle Tower (which I got to the top of this time), Notre Dame (which I also got to climb up and all over) and the Arc de Triomphe – I also got to cross a few of my own off the list.
The Musee Jacquemart-Andre is one of the museums feature in Audrey Hepburn’s How to Steal a Million. While I really wanted to run through the outer courtyard featured in the film, my parents and I were so happy with this stop. The museum is a converted mansion home which houses the old owners collection of art. Walking around this lavish house was amazing and I loved the final section where all the portraits were painted by the lady of the house. Again, a great experience: quick and inexpensive.
The Paris catacombs was just as amazing the second time around. After walking through again, I have one piece of advice: go quickly (meaning now, not rush through the site) and behave yourself. Despite the rigorous patrolling, this walk through showed that not all the bones – especially those in the design features – are holding up. So, if you can go in, do it before they either stop general walk throughs or it’s beyond recognition.
When it comes to the Moulin Rouge, I guess the third time is the charm. A few things you’ll need to know if you are going to the show is the dress code which includes no jeans or street shoes. They seem to be a bit lax in the non-peak seasons, but not following these guidelines could keep you out of the show despite having paid for tickets. You’ll also want to arrive early – more than you’d think. We arrived just before the suggested entry time and were pretty far back in the theatre. Seating is first come, first seated, so early is better.
So what’s left to see?
I want to finally manage a river walk along the Seine. I love river walks and, bringing back the Sabrina reference, this walk will give a new kind of perspective of this city.
And if you’ve watched the past two seasons of Vikings, you’ll know that we’ve covered the siege of Paris as well as the beginning of Rolo’s time living in the city. Seeing how vital the river and its surrounding area where in these events, I’m (still!) desperate to see the city with this in mind.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to travel back alone (or with companions willing to stick to my schedule) to do this bit of my wish list unencumbered as well as hit other French cities – I loved Lyon and Normandy so I’m thrilled to see what else this country has to offer!
But until I make it back, I’ll just have to keep planning and traveling along.
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.