Published: March 6th 2011February 17th 2010
The Sacre Ceour under the very cloudy Parisien sky in winter
The whole Europe was really cold in February 2010. Back then, I was living in Nice and Kiki was living in Berlin. We agreed that we were meeting in Paris for Valentine's day, which last year fell on Sunday. We planned a long weekend getaway to Paris that started on Thursday. Kiki was already landed in Paris on Thursday morning as he flew with a very early flight from Berlin, while I was planning to fly later on the day, after a class I had that day. Just on that very special day I had been waiting for, the snow fell in Nice. It was snowing unusually hard in Nice, which was gonna be the start of the disaster we had. Nice was not Berlin, you know. It could have snowed harder in Berlin, but they know how to handle the snow better. Nice was not expecting snow. Nice was not used to snow. Nice was always warm. So a few centimeters of snow just simply canceled tons of flights to and from Nice, including my flight. The airline company did give me two options: to refund or to change to another flight time to Paris. I would have just refunded
if only Kiki was not already in Paris. So I decided to fly as soon as the next flight to Paris was available, which was unfortunately only on Saturday.
If I was sad, it was not because I lost 2 days of my chance being in Paris, since it was not my first time to be in Paris. It was my fourth already. If I was sad, it was because it was supposed to be a chance to see Kiki after a month being apart. To be worst, it was his first time to be in Paris, so he was very excited already like a month before. Anyway, I landed in Orly on Saturday morning, meeting him in the waiting zone with a rose in his hand. By my arrival, he had visited Louvre, Eiffel, Champs Elysee, and the Triumph Arc. I did ask him to enjoy those sites without me, so that he didn't waste his first 2 days. Instead, I had been in those places anyway. So we took the Orly bus to the city, and jumped into the Metro heading to our hotel to get the breakfast. We stayed in Andre Gill hotel in Montmartre, right
Eiffel at Night
across the Seine
on the foot of the hill. After two delicious real French croissants, we headed to climb the hill to the Sacred Heart, which had been always my favorite. For me it's kind of mosque-like basilica, which gives the peace feeling I can never get from horror-looking Notre Damme. No offense, personal opinion.
Montmartre was freezing that morning and flurries fell. The fog was so thick we could barely see the city of Paris from the top of the hill. There were still a lot of visitors though. I mean, spending Valentine's in Paris? Who wouldn't want that. We decided to go to Notre Damme right after that, taking the metro and walking along the Seine. There was a mass in Notre Damme when we got there, and we decided to stay for a while to warm ourselves up. Notre Damme was still as huge as I remembered it. The first time I went there, I climbed to the top of the cathedral where the great bell is. This time when I was there with Kiki, we decided not to climb, not only because basically the bell isn't that must-see, but also that Kiki was exhausting from climbing Eiffel by stairs (he didn't take the elevator) and the Triumph Arc the day before. I remember we ate warm paninis that we got in a booth close to Notre Damme. We then go to my embassy that afternoon because Kiki wanted to see one rehearsal of traditional music group playing in some concert in Paris, so we basically spent the rest of the day there. However, we saw most of the things, either Kiki went there while my flight was cancelled, or I was there before. We came back in the night to the Eiffel though, to see the sparkling light from Trocadero.
The next day we went early to Versailles. I was always amazed with Versailles, especially the massive garden. Later that summer, I visited Versailles with my parents and my sister, and we rented the golf car for 2 hours to go around the magical garden. Unfortunately, when I went there with Kiki, it was winter, so the garden was not as nice as if it were summer. The palace itself is also amazing. I always love to see the furniture and artwork collection of the medieval royal. It's tickling to go through all the bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, and knowing exactly that King Louis or Napoleon was once there. I love Paris for its detailed aesthetic architectures, and that also is why I love Versailles. I could just stay in its garden and admiring all the massive building that manually carved and piped like a wedding cake. While Kiki, was just being him, saying "OMG! The Treaty of Versailles was made here! Woodrow Wilson was here!" made me somehow irritated (I hated history so much since I was like in elementary). Later that day we made our "world Mc Donald's tour", you know, we agreed that in whichever country in the world we travel to, we'll always take Big Mac once, followed by Kiki's quest to visit Jim Morrison's graveyard (which was closed because of the snow).
Overall, Paris is always lovely. No matter how many times I have been to Paris, I will always still want to go back. No matter how many times I tell myself that Paris is an expensive city, I will always still dine in some authentic restaurant serving those lovely savory crepes with champignon and mozzarela. And the wine, and the cheese, and the runway in Champs d'elysees. And champagne under the Eiffel, and the men forcing you to buy the friendship bracelets. And its love, and its Parisian way, the towering heels, the walks, the talks. All you can't find anywhere else, just in Paris!