Warm weather means touristy adventures in this beautiful city!
Springtime in Paris has a magical connotation to it: cherry blossoms blooming against rows of Haussmann apartments, afternoon strolls through the perfectly manicured Jardin des Tuileries, balmy bike rides along the Seine. All of these images fed my desire to study abroad here, especially when I compared them to the ever-lastingly dreary weather (I mean, winter wonderland…) of Saratoga this time of year. But I was informed early on that these romantic visions would go unrealized until early April, when Paris typically begins to bloom into something that more closely resembles a fairytale than a mere season. I packed accordingly, and the indistinguishable mass of noir that inhabited my suitcase served me well right up until two weekends ago.
Overnight, the Paris of oversized-scarves and layers that I’d come to know and love transformed into a leafy, green, temperate, practically unrecognizable city. Green buds peeked out from balcony gardens, trees made themselves known above the rues and boulevards, and the sun warmed the smiles on all of our disbelieving faces. Waking up to springtime in Paris is exactly as I would’ve pictured: each morning, I “take a coffee” (as my host brother says) on our balcony, looking out over a view of our apartment parking lot (and some slightly more appealing Parisian rooftops). The first few days of this seventy degree weather have left their mark on me in the form of freckles and a mild sunburn, which my vitamin-D deprived skin eagerly welcomed.
But it hasn’t all been sunshine and daisies—accompanying the sunshine was smog, which settled in a thick haze over the city. While pollution levels have long been on the rise in Paris, this choking and visible reminder of it prompted the city to offer free public transportation via the metro and Velib bikes for a full week in March. After a rainstorm finally broke the heat wave last week, we can all breathe a bit easier now.
With newly rosy skin and happy eyes, I’ve spent these lovely days wandering through parks and gardens and indulging in innumerable picnics and outdoor cafe-sessions. I’ve mostly found myself jogging (…or eating ice cream) in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont—which is just down the street from my apartment—or ambling along the Canal Saint Martin with a baguette, bottle of rosé, and good company. Wherever I am, I am pinching myself, because it is Springtime in Paris and life is pretty sweet.
My balcony view (pas mal)!
The loveliest way to wake up in the mornings :)
Saturday morning picnic along the Canal, ft. the most delicious organic take-away brunch from Tuck Shop!
Sunny days, picnics, and yummy take-away brunches make me the happiest girl :)
Silly sunshiney-selfies with Samantha and Sophie
Exploring along the canal
People watching in the Tuileries
Afternoon stroll through the Tuileries
Loving the sunshine and exploring with new friends
Sunny daze & touristy smiles in front of the tower!
Place des Vosges in the sunshine!
Afternoon coffee break in Place des Vosges
Cherry blossoms and blue skies by L’Hôtel de Ville
No Friday classes means afternoon coffee (or wine) in St. Paul
“Taking a coffee” outside in the Marais
Beautiful garden & gallery tucked away on a side street in Le Marais
Playing in the garden
Paris, or the tropics??
Visiting the Espace des Femmes feminist art gallery
View from atop the Galleries Lafayette! This was at the height of the pollution (see how the Eiffel Tower is so hazy)?
Sunday morning brunch on Kate’s terrace
Sunday morning brunch view from Kate’s apartment
Homework isn’t so bad when you can people watch with some white wine!
The lovely Parc des Buttes Chaumont
The crowd of people that come to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont to enjoy the great view and even better weather
Picnic in the park with my darlings, Sam and Kate!
Leisurely soaking up the sun
Cherry blossoms coloring the park
The “buttes” (hill) of Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Man-made waterfall in the park (am I still in Paris…?)
Enjoying the sunshine under willow trees in the park
Nature walks through the park
Beautiful views from the top of the hill in the park
More views from the park
Kate and Emily in front of the famous Temple de la Sibylle in the park
More nature walks
Romantic views in the park
View of Paris at dusk from the temple