David and I are no strangers to Paris, it’s something of a home away from home for us. In the early days of our courtship we vacationed in a tiny hotel hidden under the steps of the Montmartre, and we try to go back every few years.
We know the sites well enough that we don’t need to plan an itinerary. A few days of leisure, soaking in the weather and architecture – and of course the food – is all we need.
If the mood strikes us, we make the pilgrimage, a long, straight walk that starts at the Louvre, takes you past the Obelisk of Luxor, the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe and straight on down through skate parks and bizarrely futuristic bus stations until you arrive, with a whisper, in La Défense, the business district. It’s a fair few hours’ walk (although you can cheat by taking a few stops with the Métro), but it takes you through a vast swath of Paris’ history, and into its future.
This was our first visit in winter, though, and it was a wonder. The streets were lined with Christmas markets and enchanting lights. We marvelled at the spectacle, warmed our hands on chestnut fires and ate our first churros – not quite a French tradition, but delightful all the same.