France: Day 1


Hello the internet! This will just be a quick, picture-heavy post to say we arrived safely in Paris yesterday afternoon, narrowly avoiding the Icelandic volcanic eruption to locate our Montmartre flat by about 4pm. It's small but super charming; located at the end of a mews in which two little boys were playing a game involving a toy ironing board and some bottle caps, and an assortment of French adults were having an extended lunch/dinner/wine-drinking session and teasing stray Americans who happened by (us).


Our place is four floors up with a view of Montmartre Cemetery and the dome of Sacré Coeur. David and I really enjoy being able to grocery shop and make our own food when traveling, so it's nice to have a real kitchen (more than one burner!). They even left a bottle of white Bordeaux and some lovely roses.


After showering and grabbing some delicious baguette sandwiches at the boulangerie across the street, we set out in the dusk and walked up to Montmartre, with the dome of Sacré Coeur to guide us. Our neighborhood, which feels comfortably lived-in, quickly gave way to a sleeker, more restaurant-heavy area with lots of appealing sidewalk seating, and wine shops with tempting window displays.


I liked this twee graffito:


We strolled past the former home of Picasso at 13 Place Emile-Goudeau, to the pleasant sounds of a busking guitarist in a cobbled, leafy square. Eventually we arrived in the center of Montmartre, with its postcard and poster stands and its many packed cafés.


The night was extremely pleasant, around 65 degrees with just a hint of a breeze, and all of the outdoor courtyard seating looked immensely appealing.


By this time the dome of Sacré Coeur was tantalizingly close, offering a different perspective down each narrow street.


Lack of sleep, though, was beginning to catch up with me, so we made our way back down the steep Montmartre steps, past the diners in the now-darkening cafés, and back to our welcoming flat.


I had a great night's sleep, although I still have that slightly hung-over jet lag feeling. We plan to take things easy today, explore our neighborhood, which includes excellent tea and cheese shops, the graves of Stendhal and Degas, and a rather thrilling fabric store. A bientôt!

Cross-posted to Family Trunk Project.


  • My goodness, that little grafiti character is cute! Great pictures. Glad to hear you arrived safely. Did you trade flats with someone or is it a flat that someone rents out to visitors? Lots of people do that with their homes during the summer around where I live. It's great that you are going to have the chance to settle in and really experience Paris. Have loads of fun today!

    • Isn't he cute? I've realized since then that he's a take on the Little Prince, but when I took the picture I just liked him for himself. :-) Our flat is one that folks rent out to visitors by the week - it's so nice to have a home base to come back to with the capacity to house/cook a few meals!

  • Good Morning Emily & David,
    Exactly what I hope to wake up to this morning. A blog and beautiful photos of your lovely home away from home. I've already shared the first few pictures with others and will send out the alert that the blogging fun has begun. Have a wonderful day or, by the time you read this, I hope you had a grand time. What does it say above the Twee character?

    • Thanks, Mom! Entry 2 is up for your enjoyment. :-) Above the Little Prince character it say "Je me sens pas / à ma place comme / le Petit Prince sur terre." Which means, roughly, "I feel out of place, like the Little Prince on Earth." (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince, who left his beloved rose on his home planet to fly to Earth.)

  • So glad you're having a great time! When I stayed in Paris years ago I used to love to go look at the vineyard on the north side of Montmartre, early in the morning. I hope it's still there?

  • I'm too jealous to leave an extended comment, but keep those pictures coming if/when you can, you lucky pup!

  • Glad to hear you arrived in one piece and before the volcano started erupting. Loved your photos! so pretty.

    • Yes! So relieved to have missed the volcano. It had just started erupting as our plane was lifting off from Seattle, but the sky was still totally clear around Rejkavik when we touched down (we were only in Iceland for about 45 minutes; it was an extremely quick turnaround). Thanks for the nice words on the photos. :-)

  • looks great love france ,just reading a book on lit walks in Paris ,all the best stu

  • Sssoo jealous. It's been too long since last I saw Paris. Amusez-vous bien!

  • vous vous êtes déniché un petit coin qui parait super sympa.
    je suis désolée que le volcan s'arrête de cracher bientôt; je rêvais et espérais que vous seriez bloqués 2 mois en France!
    je n'aime pas ce Petit Prince; ce n'est pas le vrai par Saint Exupéry. On en parlera de vive voix.

  • I love your pictures! Some day I'll get to France...

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    link to Wolves 2011 reading list
    link to more disgust bibliography