After crossing the beautiful Vazhachal (here and here) and reaching the
, where did I catch a flight to? Any guesses? Some people who came across my another blog Fashion Panache, know where I went. It was the beautiful, heritage city of Kochi Airport Paris in . It was a shorter trip to France Dubai in Emirates and a really long haul flight to . But on an upgrade to the Business Class, the journey was more than comfortable. Being a vegetarian, my food options were not so great. But the only option, Italian Vegetarian served in-flight was pretty delicious along with original Paris . Champagne
As I reached
, the temperature dipped and I had no other option than to take out my jerkins. It would have been roughly below 5˚C. Though there was no snow, there was severe wind that made the temperature feel lesser than actually it was. From a part of Paris India, where the winter minimum temperature is around 22˚C, I was now at a part of Europe where the summer maximum temperature was 26˚C. Ha... But, thank God. I did not have any jet lag. Being a cold blooded creature, the temperature too didn’t take the hell out of me!
There was something in the air of
that made me fall in love with the city. Each and every one of the buildings was a heritage building. There was art and architecture in every street and nook and corner. The Renaissance art period seems to have not left Paris yet. There was a grace in every building. And love was in the air. Apart from the actual loving couples with PDA (No guys, not the Personal Digital Assistant. It’s Public Display of Affection!) who walk hand in hand and head on shoulder, in general people were affectionate. There was a smile in everyone’s face on every eye contact and every stranger was greeted with a ‘Bonjour’. Paris
After a heck of business dealings that ate up the whole day, the evenings brought with it, its breeze of freaking out. I went to Bazar de Hotel de Ville. Errr… Ok. Even French may not get that. Lemme put that in simple words. I went to BHV. Now many would get that. BHV is one of the leading departmental stores in
. When I came out of it, the dusk had started and the darkness had begun to fall. Not much, the time was just around 5:30. France
Just a few steps from there took me to Hotel de Ville. A monumental building it was. (Now, got the reasoning behind the full form of BHV?). The French word Hotel de Ville means City Hall. This building was the administrative building of the municipality since 14th Century. Earlier it was called Place de Greve.
In 1871, Franco-Prussian War, this building was set blaze. The fire almost engulfed the whole building leaving just a little bit of ruins. It is said that the underground tunnels used during the War, still are present and still connect Hotel de Ville with the nearby soldier camps.
The reconstruction after the fire took place for 20 years. From the outside, the building was built the same way as it was before the fire, in a very Renaissance style. The building has several human sized statues of important people flanked on all sides. It is protected with a sheet of net to prevent the birds from making the spaces in the statues as their home.
The lighting was exquisite as the sun began to set. As usual on venturing to these places at late evenings (just like I missed out Sun Yat Sen Memoral Hall), I missed out on entering into these buildings, coz of the timing. Can’t help it though. Business comes first in a business trip, right…
without skiing, that can’t be. Opposite to Hotel de Ville was a ski ground. The ground was filled with hard ice and people were skiing so well. Some costumed like Michael Jackson etc. Paris
I know what’s on your mind now. No, I did not try it out. I didn’t wanna make a fool of myself in front of my boss!!!
Our walk towards the station brought us in front of the St. Gervais
et St. Protais Church. This was the place in which the French Musician family Couperin lived during 17th and 18th C. This church houses the several musical instruments used by them. This is one of the oldest churches of . This church has been mentioned in documents since 4thC. Paris
The night was falling and the air was getting cooler and cooler and I began to shiver. That shiver made me opt out of actually getting into the church and exploring more. I wanted to get back to the hotel’s heated room. We got back in the
metro back to our rooms. Paris
TO GET THERE:
Metro lines: 1, 11
Nearest Metro Station: Hotel de Ville (next to Chatelet)