East of Paris Bookstore

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Paris When it's Cold

A friend is going to be in Paris in mid-November. I wonder if I should let her know about a few things ... like being prepared for frigid weather. I've been there in Octobers and Novembers and the cold and rain are unforgettable. Once in a pelting rain the wind blew my umbrella inside out and I had to get a new one with a string to keep it from being undone by more wind. Another time, when I was staying at a very charming small hotel near the Seine in the 6th Arrondissement in early October, the hotel would not turn on the heat until October 15 regardless of the onset of an early ice age. I remember having to toss my coat on top of the bedspread to try and keep warm during the night.

Paris is a city that makes one want to walk and walk and walk, the architecture and the parks are that lovely. So, if prepared for the weather [hat, gloves, scarf, raincoat with lining] and for the kilometers [serious walking shoes], here are some things to see:

The courtyard of the Louvre                                                                     
Boats on the Seine
L'Assemblee nationale (l.); Les Invalides (r.) housing Napoleon's tomb 
La Place de La Concorde near the US Embassy and near the Hotel Crillon [Thomas Jefferson stayed there according to a plaque on the wall near the lobby]
On the Île de la Cité the medieval looking Palais de Justice, which houses the fabulous 


Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris -- enormous, iconic not to be missed

Les bougies

Interior vaults
La Madeleine
And, if you get to La Madeleine on the right bank, it means that Fauchon and its fabulous chocolates is just around the corner and Hediard is on the next corner. Both are perfect stops for coffee, lunch, and shopping for delicacies. The prices will make US Starbucks seem like a bargain, but just grin and bear it: Paris has never been a destination for the overly thrifty. And, then, refreshed, there is time for more walking and window shopping ...

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