Our long weekend in Paris was perfect – two glorious sunny days, one cloudy and windy one and a final day of driving rain. It’s hard to do better than that for early November.
Of course, there’s never enough time to visit the favorites and see all the “new” places, but we did a pretty good job. Quick highlights:
Art everywhere – We unknowingly timed our visit perfectly. The Fondation Louis Vuitton had just opened, and after a 30-45 minute wait on a sunny day, we were able to check out the museum and enjoy the great views. On the other side of town, the Picasso Museum re-opened after a five-year renovation, and we were able to wander the gorgeous building after a 1 hour 45 minute wait on the first free Sunday. Not too bad.
Then after looking into the galleries ringing the Place des Vosges and jaunting through the apartment where Victor Hugo lived, we wandered to the Place Bastille for a huge four-day contemporary art fair extending along both banks of the Seine.
Great views – We managed to see the partially-rennovated stained glass windows at Saint Chapelle on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Then on a wind-swept day, looked out over the city from Montmartre where we hadn’t been since our first visit to Paris some two decades ago. And we enjoyed the fall vantage from the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Opulence – I’d never been to the Paris opera house, which is the Phantom of the Opera opera house. Not sure why, because it’s stunning. Man, it’s good to be wealthy. The Chagall ceiling, the plush boxes, the library that served as a smoking room, the Versailles-like side area for intermission. Pretty amazing. Note to self: must get tickets for a performance there.
And then there’s the food. There aren’t enough meals to enjoy all that Paris has to offer. We managed a mix of celebrity chef, newcomer/young gun, classic bistro and romantic old school.
We drank Jura wines, Loire wines and classic Bordeaux and Rhone wines. We drank cider – it was everywhere, served in a ceramic mug no less – beer, and of course coffee. We feasted.