Pamela MacNaughtan

Stairs are not the only things I did in Paris – I know, I had you thinking I was totally obsessed with the stairs, and my lack of agility – but I can totally understand why you would think that way. Paris sparks a passion within my soul and gets me aroused about travel, discovery, and exploration. When I walk around Paris, my mind takes a journey through the past and revisits things I enjoyed when I was younger. I recall lessons in art history class about specific works of art, or architectural styles. I remember lessons from history class, or from books I’ve read. For me, walking through Paris (and most of Europe) is like walking through history, and it makes my skin tingle with delight.

Naturally, the Eiffel Tower was on my hit list of things to do in Paris. I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower before, but my last trip was 5 years ago, and I owned an incredibly crappy camera, which took batteries!! This time I was equipped with my Nikon D3100.

I met Edna (and awesome expat, who I met on twitter) outside the Trocadéro metro station, and we walked to a square by the Musée national des Monuments Français, which had an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. It was beautiful, and when the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle at midnight, my travel soul swooned.

The Louvre is awesome but crowded. My go-to option when I’m not into crowds is usually a park (or gardens), and I loved walking around Jardin des Tuileries, which is behind the Louvre. The sun was shining during my stay in Paris, and as I sat on a bench, under a tree, I just had to take a picture of my view and share it. Ah, Paris, sometimes you are crazy busy, and sometimes you are a model of serenity.

I had a list of things to eat in Paris – stop judging me!- and Laudrée was the place to go – in my opinion. I loved walking into a patisserie in older parts of Paris. The moment I walk in the door I feel as though I am indulging in a better life. The crystal chandeliers sparkle, the walls are corniced, and white, the counters are bright, and I feel like I need to show a pedigree chart before I can place an order. It. Is. Sublime. At Laudrée my dessert of choice was macarons, and damn, they were good!

When the day gets away from me, it’s usually the sight of children playing that brings me back. It doesn’t matter how worried I am about something, children playing never fails. I was sitting on a curb, hot and sweaty, and contemplating my next move when I spotted this girl playing. I watched as she tiptoed on the stones, then running back to the curb, then doing all over again. As I watched, I totally forgot that I was hot and sweaty and that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. Thanks, wee one!

Lunch with a view. Paris seems to be all about spectacular views – Eiffel Tower, Louvre, La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre – and this view is one of my favourites. The hostel I stayed in was in Montmartre, and about a 10 – 15-minute walk from Sacré Coeur, so I stopped at a shop, bought some snacks, and headed over to enjoy lunch on the steps.

The steps were busy with tourists (one tourist complained that the presence of tourists ruined the La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre experience for her, which I thought was absolutely hilarious), and as I sat there, I relaxed and took in the view in front of me. Paris. I had the laziest lunch, and walked away with a pretty good tan as well!

The La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre stand over Paris, guarding, watching. Getting from my hostel to Sacré-Coeur was fairly easy, until I hit the tourist streets, crammed full of people – that is how I knew I was close – and I had to squeeze my way through. It seems as though my obsession with churches and temples continues – remember The Dom in Köln – in Paris, as I took a crazy amount of photos, from every angle I could think of!

Paris continues to seep into my soul, deeper, and deeper. When I sit down and think of Paris, I am warmed by memories, and my tastebuds dream of the day when I can return. Paris is full of history, culture, food, art. Paris is always in my dreams, and maybe someday soon I will return, and study French and the art of living like a Parisian.


  • Edna

    July 6, 2012

    Had a fun time meeting up with you at Trocadéro! Next time you’re in town, I’d recommend Pierre Hermé; I find their macarons much better than those at Ladurée.


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