Trips ‘n Travels: Paris in January

In today’s travelpost I take you to my beloved Paris…

I have been in love with Paris for like forever. In this post I share with you when this love began and what my favourite places are.

I go to Paris quite often… well normally… In these corona-times I haven’t had the pleasure to visit my favourite city for more than a year now! Let me take you back to days I could still travel to Paris… let’s go back to… January 4th 2020.

The purpose of our trip was to visit the Vincent Van Gogh immersive art exhibition at Ateliers des Lumières. I had actually promised my daughter to visit this very same exhibition in Les Baux de Provence during our holiday to the Provence in April 2019. Since there was a gigantic queue, we decided not to visit the exhibition then and there and she really was disappointed… Disappointment turned into ‘jealousy’ when my husband and I saw the exhibition in Les Baux when we were there a couple of months later (a holiday when she couldn’t join us because of school). So when I found out that the same exhibition would come to Paris, I promised her I’d take her (any excuse is good enough for a trip to Paris!).

On that very cold and very early Saturday morning at the beginning of January 2020, we took the bus in Antwerp to Paris. Slangen Reizen is a Dutch bus company who does daytrips to Paris and since we only live a 4 hour bus drive from the city of lights, we take the opportunity to regularly go on a daytrip to Paris. My other daughter and her partner and my sister in law and her eldest son joined us.

I must say that this day is marked in my smartphone as a record as I did nearly 30.000 steps that day! The bus dropped us off at Bateaux Mouches and we walked all the way up to Atelier des Lumières. We walked besides the Seine, passing Musée d’Orsay, Saint-Germain des Prés and Quartier Latin. We passed L’Isle de la Cité with the destroyed Notre Dame, had a fabulous lunch in an Italian restaurant (Ristorante Caruso in the Rue de Turenne, nothing fancy, but the food was to die for!), crossed Place des Vosges and did a little detour to pass le Bataclan where there was a terrorist attack in 2015 (I must say, it felt very strange walking in the same street we saw on television on that dreadful night!).

After walking for about 10k, we finally reached Atelier des Lumières! The immersive art exhibition was a hit… but as I was the only one to be able to compare it to the Lex Baux version, I must say I preferred the one in Les Baux! It was less crowded and the interior was much more appropriate for this kind of exhibition. But anyway, we all had a fabulous time being immersed in Van Gogh’s paintings!

We actually wanted to take a bus or a métro back, but since there was a strike and we still had enough time to catch our Slangen bus back to Antwerp, we decided to walk all the way back.

In a little café near Hôtel de Ville, we had some tapas, drinks and a good laugh before walking towards Bateaux Mouches again, where the bus would pick us up at 10pm…

We had a looooooong day… but so rewarding, so heartwarming to be able to spend it with loved ones, so exhausting, yet so relaxing!

If you would have told me then that it was to be my last Paris trip in a very long time, I would have laughed and said ‘yeah right’… Oh how I long for days like these to come back, but we must remain hopeful that they will very soon!

Love, Kathleen

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