A girl can predict the way a day is going to pan out when she has a good hair day.
The temperature lifted slightly and so did the air pollution, although I couldn’t tell by looking at the brilliant blue winter’s day sky.
In an effort to keep their clients informed about what is going on in Paris, Insidr provides a daily update on the city, similar to a twitter news feed.
It took me a while to work out what the pinging sound was in my apartment and combined with the hot water system that sounds like an inhuman breathing, I was sniffing around like a bloodhound.
I tried searching for an intercom but finally worked out that it was my rented smart phone trying to impart daily information. Some of it included a couple of strikes, a pop up market, some early sales but most importantly for me, the metro was free all day to encourage Parisians to leave their cars at home to combat the lack of air quality.
Feeling refreshed after a good nights sleep, sleeping in a bed is underrated after sleeping on a long haul flight, I headed for Opera Metro.
Call me a weirdo but as I surfaced from the metro to a glistening Palais Garnier bathed in sunlight, highlighting the gold accents, I took a quick look, and headed off for Square Edourad VII, in the wrong direction until I remembered that I am connected, I have data and no need to consult my ragamuffin styled ‘Paris Adèle Walking Tours’ and let technology lead me on my way.
Square Edouard VII is more like a number of elegant connected courtyards than one single square in the middle of a busy road. It features a car free zone of exclusive shops, theatres, cafes and the Fragonard Perfume Museum.
Despite being in the area many times, I have managed to skirt around the edges but had not ventured inside. It was a pleasant and gentle way to ease myself back into roaming the streets of Paris and has instantly become one of my new favourite places in Paris.
Square Edouard VII was constructed in the early 1900’s to honour Francophile and British King Edward the VII, the gorgeous architecture surrounds an equestrian statue of the King.
It was the home and private area of the Société Générale Bank’s headquarters until they moved out in the early 1990’s, after that renovations took place and the area was opened to the public. Imagine having all this beauty tucked away in private but now we can explore and admire, dine in the restaurants and visit the theatres.
There are a number of passages to explore and I felt like a child on a treasure hunt.
Feeling that magical sensation sweep through my body once again, made me want to stand in the centre of the square, twirl around with open arms and sing something at the top of my lungs like the hills are alive, or perhaps more appropriately Paris Adèle is alive, it truly is a quiet and wonderful spot to admire, elegant, opulent but understated. I guess I would liken it to Place des Vosges less the people and traffic.
And then I stumbled across this which made me very excited, I have seen the artwork pop up on social media platforms but never quite knew where to find it. Let’s call it a modern version of its neighbour.
The next adjoining courtyard features the free perfume museum of Fragonard, the gorgeous façade of the Athenee Theatre more cafes and a central statue.
My itineraries always put a smile on my face, the next item on my list read, photograph pretty café but once I saw the blue and white tiled corner and red neon lighting, I remembered exactly why I wanted to photograph this.
And what better place to stop for lunch. I still haven’t managed to buy food for the apartment, my local Franprix is closed for renovations and well, I am a bit lazy and I desperately needed to eat. The waiter was friendly and patient with my stuttering French and the food was quite good.
The architecture is stunning around this quarter and I even managed to duck into a few private courtyards along the way until I reached Madeleine Church. I had no intention to visit the inside of the church but when I found an odd entry amongst the renovations, I climbed a spiral staircase and had the sense that I was trespassing (not that that has stopped me before) but the sign did say entrance. I found a door, wiggled the knob but it was a locked, I rattled another and it was also locked but now I desperately wanted to get inside because I could hear music and singing from within.
Eventually I entered the way everyone else does through the front door and was relieved to discover that I was lucky the doors I had tried earlier were locked. Otherwise I would have made a very embarrassing grand entry to the top level balconies!
A concert rehearsal was taking place, so they were only playing and singing fragments but it was such a gorgeous sound that I decided to sit and enjoy for a while.
My true purpose to visit Madeleine was not to indulge in the fabulous food shops that surround the church, nor enter the church but to visit the toilets, not that I needed to use them but had full intentions to pay the fee and go inside all the same, only to discover that I couldn’t find them.
There was a method in this madness and it was to admire the heritage listed mosaics, I peered over a railing and there they were. A mixture of excitement at my discovery and disappointed that they were locked, full of rubbish and closed to the public.
We can only hope that they are scheduled to be renovated after they have finished with the church.
Another ad hoc, hand written note scribbled onto my itinerary said ‘doors at 51 rue de Miromisnel’. It was a bit of a walk away and I was starting to get tired. What could possibly be so great about these doors that I had clearly added this later as an after thought. Well let’s see.
Oh yes, I whispered quietly aloud. It wasn’t so much the doors but what surrounded the doors. Definitely worth the extra walk. Sometimes I should simply trust my scribbled notes, they are there for a reason.
The doors flung open but traffic prevented me for making a mad dash across the road to catch the door before it locked shut. Imagine gaining entry to this one. I could see a courtyard inside. Maybe another day. Wink wink.
The shots are not great but I think you get the picture.
After meeting Julien at Petit fer a Cheval for a glass of wine and a plate of rillettes, we performed yet another restaurant dance and ended up where we began at L’Etoile Manquante. My mates who work there gave me the warmest of greetings and although they hadn’t met Julien before, he was welcomed in the same manner. We were both exhausted but once again ate from one another’s plates, told one another about our day and wearily said our au revoirs.
That is how a day in Paris can pan out on a good hair day.