So we went to Paris…exactly a year ago. I know it’s slightly ridiculous that it’s taken this long to get our images up, but as soon as we arrived home last year we were in wedding season full force and put our own projects on the side. As May 1st approached this year, we found time to take a look back at all our images and relive those amazing memories. Although I’ve been to Europe before, Katherine hasn’t, but this was my first time in France. Paris seemed like a great place to take a much needed holiday and conveniently it aligned with Katherine’s 30th birthday and what better place to celebrate such a milestone.
Since my schedule is typically jam packed, she organized everything; all I had to do was pack my bags. My biggest dilemma was what camera and lenses to bring which I mulled over obsessively. Here is what I ended up taking: Nikon D3S body, 50mm f1.8 (of course), 45mm tilt-shift (for surreal dreaminess), 14-24mm f2.8 (to get the full scope of all that amazing architecture), vintage 35-70mm f2.8 (for all around street shooting), 70-200mm f2.8 VR (for beautiful portraits and as an expensive binocular). A little overboard? Perhaps, but I didn’t want to have any regrets. My equipment traveled with me in a compact backpack made specifically for cameras and I never felt my equipment was going to be ripped off except for that one time when in a more seedy part of Paris a guy jokingly “pretended” to grab my camera. A little obnoxious, but harmless overall. With a body as beefy as the D3S, you don’t blend in and have to come to the realization that people will occasionally stare.
Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be posting highlights from our France adventure from Paris to Provence so stop by to get a little Old World love. Without further adieu, welcome to our first two days in Paris, France. Jetlagged, disorientated, hardly knowing the French language (yes, we’re Canadians, but we’re born and bred West Coasters!), and coming all the way from Kelowna, BC we arrived on May 1st, 2011 (which was Labor Day/May Day – an official holiday in France).
P.S. – To have the full experience, go onto YouTube and play the music soundtrack from the movie Amelie as you read this post.
Once we landed we took a taxi from Charles de Gaulle Airport to our home-base in Paris: The Gentle Gourmet Bed & Breakfast. This is an all vegan bed and breakfast that focuses on gourmet, organic, and seasonally inspired food which is in a great part of town very close to the Champs-Élysées. This was a no-brainer and major score as we are both vegan. We had no problems eating vegan in Paris – there was tons of restaurants to choose from, so don’t let anyone tell you you’ll starve! Our hosts, Deborah, Paul, Alexander, and Caroline were AMAZING and fed us the best food while we stayed there. We look forward to going back to Paris just to visit them! Please note that as of May 1st, 2012 they are closing their B&B and opening a café/restaurant, called the The Gentle Gourmet Café close to the Bastille Opera House where they will be serving phenomenal vegan food, including vegan pastries! Yum.
When we arrived they had vegan brunch prepared for us and we ate looking out their very Parisian 1930s Art Deco apartment windows seen below.
After brunch we napped and then headed out to wander the streets. We saw so many young people making out in public and we later learned that this is a cultural norm; however, once you hit a certain age it’s a faux pas.
And then we came across Le Eiffel Tower in all her glory.
French hipsters hanging out at the Seine River.
Day 2: We took the underground tunnel from the Champs-Élysées to access the Arc de Triomphe (because crossing the roundabout would be a suicide mission). The Arc de Triomphe is a Roman-style monument commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to honour French armed forces. It’s big, beautiful, and took a long time to build.
Then we caught a bus to head to Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, but ended up in a totally different part of town and had to backtrack, but the bus driver was super nice and pointed to where we had to jump out. Merci Beaucoup!
We visited La Conciergerie which is a 14th century Gothic building and was a former prison which held thousands of people (including Marie Antoinette) before they were sent to be guillotined. This building definitely has some eerie vibes. We admired the architecture a bit and then were ready to leave.
Below are images from Cathédrale de Notre-Dame which is probably the most famous Gothic Cathedral in the world. Unfortunately, we were too late to climb the 387 stairs to reach the top, but we did manage to catch a bit of a sermon that we didn’t understand, but sounded beautiful.
Is it just me or does Notre-Dame look a little Steam Punk?
There are tons of these love padlocks on many of the bridges in Paris – they represent a couples everlasting love together…awww.
After replenishing ourselves with salad, baguettes and wine, we then randomly came across a Chopin concert just starting in a small medieval church.
A great way to end our second night in Paris. Bonne Nuit!