It’s been two long years but I am finally back in Paris!
Am I so stimuli deprived that the city seems even more beautiful than before?
I got here last Tuesday and I have been gorging on a feast for the eyes, stomach, and soul ever since.
For those of you wondering about my travel to France and all the COVID news here, I will get to that further down.
But before that, let me take you on a tour of my first few days.
As soon as my car let me off, I looked to the right and snapped a picture of the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the street. (Featured picture)
The 16th arrondissement seems a rather tony neighbourhood a few blocks from the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and my apartment, which I rented on Airbnb, is on the first floor of the building above — but inside facing a courtyard so no street noise.
It is one room with a Chinese screen dividing the bedroom from the living room. There is a well-equipped workable kitchen, and surprisingly an enormous bathroom– certainly by French standards — with a stand-alone tub.
During my first hours, I soaked there to begin washing away the jet lag.
Day 2. I headed four blocks to the open-air President Wilson Marché open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I stocked up on supplies, chatted with a few of the vendors, and ogled all the gorgeous produce and products that I have been missing — the seafood, the flowers, escargots!
Two days later after lots of walking familiarizing myself with the area, I crossed the Seine into Saint-Germain-des-Prés for a guided tour of the former homes of French women writers with my new friend Heidi Evans of Women of Paris.com. You will be hearing more about Heidi and her tours in a later post.
I also had my first lunch indoors in a nearby restaurant, enjoying sliced “magret de canard’|duck breast with shaved parmesan over creamy mashed potatoes. I am very much a lunch person — it was glorious.
France News Update
Ok so now for the scoop. No PCR test was required for me to fly to France (although I will need to get one to go home). My flight was half full. There was a space between my seat and the next passenger, who coincidentally, was a Parisian woman of a certain age, and we had a great chat. Everyone wore masks except when eating.
Many people are wearing masks even outside on the streets in Paris. However, cafés and bistros are jammed with people sitting side by side, and of course, no one is wearing a mask when seated. (They do need to be double vaccinated to get in but still…I arranged online to get the Passe Sanitaire before I left Canada which confirms my vaccinations.)
With COVID cases rising and a new variant starting to circulate, the French government is making the booster or the third shot available to anyone over 18 and will start re-vaccinating as soon as possible. I will be eligible for that booster as of late next week and will check to see if I can get it here.
We’ll see how all this plays out. In the meantime, I remain vigilant and am staying clear of groups and crowded locations. Just like I was doing at home.
My Christmas Giveaway Draw
For Annual Members!
“Champagne Dreams Webinar”
with World-Class Expert Cynthia Coutu
As you know, if you are an annual member of my Women of Global Interest Interview Series, you are eligible for my Quarterly GIVEAWAY DRAWS.
This is the last and fourth Giveaway of the year.
In December Two Annual Members will win a 2-hour Webinar with sparkling wine specialist Cynthia Coutu of Delectabulles.
Cynthia, who is based in Paris, has numerous accreditations and awards including receiving accolades for “Best Wine Experience in Paris” in 2020. She has been interviewed or mentioned in publications, such as the New York Times, Paris Match, and Le Monde.
I have purchased Gift Vouchers for two of her fun and informative webinars as Christmas Giveaways, and you could WIN.
No need to do anything. This week, my annual members’ names will be put in a hat (perhaps a beret!) and two names will be drawn, so Stay Tuned!
See you all next week with more on my return here to Paris!
Any products that I give away are personally purchased by me unless otherwise specified. I write all the content on my site unless otherwise specified. And I respect the privacy of my subscribers and do not share their information with any other party or organization.
Diana Bishop the founder of The Success Story Program and A Woman of a Certain Age in Paris as well as a well-known correspondent with over 25 years working for CTV, CBC News, and NBC News. She loves travel, writing, and all things Parisienne.