Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paris by Margot Justes

Periodically, and lately rather frequently, I get a hankering to go back to Paris. I spent a year in that incredible city, and have gone back a few time, but it always beckons me back. The city is my first love, it was a time of my youth and extreme freedom. It was the stuff of dreams.

I write about art, travel and romance. My novel A Hotel in Paris is set in the most romantic city in the world, and since summer and the travel season is almost upon us, I would like to offer a few tips to the city of light and romance that may be a bit off the beaten path.

By all means go to all must see places, and there are so many, but save some time for the other-must see places-go to the intimate and magnificent Rodin museum, it was his home, and his presence can still be felt in every piece exhibited, inside and in his gardens.

It is by far my most favorite museum that I have ever visited.  His work is passionate, ardent, and profound. Every muscle strained, every sinew defined. Agony, joy, and in the case of the Balzac work, arrogance masterfully portrayed.  Walk through the gardens, stop in the café in the garden and savor your brew in quiet contemplation.  

Don’t neglect a stroll in the contemplative Luxembourg Gardens, find the Medici Fountain and the reflective pool, sit down on a bench and ponder…

For a taste of local wonder, lose yourself in the back streets of the left bank, start with Rue De La Huchette off Blvd St. Michel, pick a narrow cobble stoned street and start walking-do wear comfortable shoes. Aromas from many ethnic restaurants beckon you in, you can explore one narrow street after another.

For a romantic stroll do take the time to walk along the Seine, right alongside and back of Notre Dame, and the books stalls. Do so in the early morning, before the crowds and the stalls open, just when the city starts to wake, stop in a café and enjoy a respite. It is so quiet and peaceful and so incredibly romantic. It is equally enchanting late in the evening as the bookstalls start to close; a pervasive hush comes with dusk.   

You will see a different Paris, an enchanting Paris; different from the hassle of the tour buses and the rush to get from one point to another without ever savoring the essence of the city. Take the time, and savor the city of lights.  Don’t be afraid to get lost, carry a map with you. Paris is a walking city filled with treasures, and you will always find your way back to the next monument.

I had to share with you my favorite work of art at the Louvre-the Winged Victory. 

Margot  Justes
Blood Art
A Fire Within
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
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