Time passes by too quickly, especially when you are having fun.
Today, being the last day of our trip, we went all out and packed as many activities as our schedule allowed.
After packing a simple fare from the numerous boulangerie, patisserie and fruit stores that lined the streets along Rue Dominique in the 7th arrondissment where we rented our apartment, we headed to the neighbourhood park- Champs de Mars for a picnic breakfast.
The grey Parisian skies that we had grown accustomed to the past few days were no where in sight that morning. The weather was perfect. We couldn’t have chosen a better time and place for a picnic. For how often do you get to tuck into freshly baked brioche, still warm crêpes and eat juicy strawberries and ripened plums under the watchful eye of the Eiffel Tower? Except for some big fat crows which were lingering suspiciously nearby (we adored the dog in the collage who had helped to chase away all the crows in the end!), the morning in the park provided a much needed respite.
Topped by the white-domed Sacré Cœur Basilica (middle of collage), Montmartre is the highest hill in Paris at 130 metres, and in my opinion offers the best vantage point of Paris unfolding beneath one’s feet.
Well-known as the place where then penniless but now world famous Impressionist artists such as Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso used to stay, these days aspiring painters still gather at Place du Tertre, where they will be more than happy to sketch a portrait for tourists in exchange for a fee. Despite the tourist hordes, Montmartre still retains a somewhat subtly unique atmosphere, quite unlike what you will find in the rest of the city.
It was easy and fun strolling randomly along the steep cobbled streets, discovering old houses and stopping by souvenir shops selling kitschy gifts. Along the way we spotted Cafe des Deux Moulins, the cafe where Amélie Poulain, the protagonist in the French film Amélie works, before rounding up at the famed cabaret theatre of Moulin Rouge.
Being tea aficionados, we tracked down the venerable Mariage Frères for our last afternoon tea in Paris. The elegance of the sky-lit tearoom on Rue du Bourg-Tibourg and the beautiful tea sets made for the most lovely (and costly but worth every penny if you are a tea lover) experience. Where tea becomes an art form. The intoxicating fragrance of their teas flavoured with a lush mix of flowers, fruits and spices was simply irresistible.
And here’s to 14 fun-filled days, to all the wonderful people we’ve came across, all the good food we’ve tasted, to all the awe-inspiring sights we’ve seen, to being safe and healthy throughout. That day, we celebrated the successful completion of the most amazing journey. Cheers!