Thursday was amazing. Do you ever have those days which when you’re passing through them seem normal but afterwards they play back in your mind and u just think how wonderful they were and how happy they made you?
That’s how my Thursday felt.
We were off this past Thursday because of All Saint’s Day. This bank holiday is a solemnity celebrated on November 1st in honor of all the saints – known and unknown. It begins at sundown on October 31st and is also known as Hallowmas…aka the European version of Halloween. Although this isn’t as big a holiday in Europe as it is in the US, we did see a few people dressed up in the streets which was fun!
So the day started off very unexpectedly. It was sunny although colder than accu weather promised us. Just 5 minutes after leaving home we were caught off guard by an incredibly intense but brief hail storm that rained icy white pebbles from the sky . It was incredible to witness and we ran to find shelter in a telephone booth where we huddled from the icy cold bullets. A mere 5 minutes later the sun was back out and you could have never believed it ever hailed! It is this unpredictability that I love about being away from Dubai. As much as I love the 365 day-round sunshine, this feeling of the unexpected is exhilarating!
We made our way to Montmartre for a late brunch / early lunch of the yummiest pizza ever! It was an unassumingly small hole in the wall called Trattoria Pommodoro and packed to the brim with people! We literally sat 2 inches away from another couple. So close I could reach out and grab a Parmesan flake off the woman’s pizza if I wanted to! Nonetheless it was cozy and warm and very intimate and the pizza was delicious. I loooove a pizza without a burnt or crispy crust… So perfectly Italian-thin but chewy and with the perfect bite. The generous shavings of Parmesan in addition to the oozing mozzarella on my il funghi pizza made for a deliciously sharp surprise. It was excellent. This is another part of Paris I am loving. Dubai is not about little eclectic boutiques or tiny mum & pop restaurants…it is grandiose and trendy and you only need to be there for 2 months to know all the “in” places. In Paris, there are thousands and thousands of restaurants and stumbling upon tiny ones like this are like finding treasure. If you have an appreciation for excellent pizza and aren’t looking for a posh or pretty place to eat, go there! I have started to compile a restaurant list and this one is high up on the charts!
After lunch, we continued to wonder aimlessly through the adorable cobbled streets of Montmartre occasionally zipping in an out of little boutiques to admire their original pieces but also to search for a hat. N lost an easy bet last week and Im incredibly excited to cash in my prize…a snuggly hat to help me brave the increasingly cold Paris winds! : ) We also walked into this incredible chocolate shop called Maison Georges Larnicol that was old-fashioned in its displays of chocolate lollipops, salted caramels and lots of delicious chocolate covered nuts that you could buy by the kilo. In honor of Halloween, there were a few chocolate sculptures for sale…some very cute stuff!
I adore Montmartre. Nothing quite defines Paris for me as that area does. It’s cobbled streets, many artists, bobo chic, quintessential shops and budding musicians literally make my heart skip a beat. I do not kid when I say I was walking around with a stupid grin on my face and a bounce in my step. It was beautiful. Being so high up however meant that it was freezing and again accu weather had failed us in preparing to dress appropriately for the cold wind that whipped around us. My toes (despite my sheer Parisienne pantyhose) were numb and discolored a morbid white as they fought against the cold Montmartre wind tunnels but it was all SO worth it!
This is a must-do if you are ever in Paris. As cliche as it may seem to some…you must scratch the surface of touristy streets to discover a hidden Montmartre reserved for locals. It is quaint in every possible way and beautiful in ways that cannot be described. For me, this is Paris… the city of lights and love and everything in between. I hope my pictures can compensate for my descriptions that do this magnificent quartier no justice. Just seeing the Sacre Coeur Basilica takes my breath away every time and when there’s a street performer singing La Vie En Rose and the wafting smell of chocolate crepes from street vendors teases your nostrils, you cannot help but fall madly in love.
We ended the day at the cinema. My first experience of a VO (Version Originale aka English) movie in Paris where we saw Skyfall. Paris is starting to grow on me very slowly. I love that the French do not speak much English but choose a VO movie over a French dubbed one. In time I will decode the mystery that is the Parisian. Bon Soiree until then…or until next time…decoding that mystery may take a bit too long!