One love story

Well, the story started from my previous hitch-hiking trip around Europe. After 3 weeks of wandering all around western Europe we were searching for a cheap flight back home. Paris appeared to be this city (choosing between Milano, Zurich and Paris).

Sincerely speaking, I’d never had a wish to visit the capital of France. The reason for that is “pink bubble-gum propaganda” in Russia. “See Paris and die”, “the most romantic city on Earth”. Hundreds of Eiffel tour’s images everywhere. This huge popularity didn’t make Paris attractive to me but opposite.

Anyway, I’m a traveller and love to visit new places. And tickets were cheap as I said  : ) This is how we ended up in Paris…

Tuileries garden

We planned three days, and tickets were booked. But Paris didn’t allow me to go. I gave up my tickets and stayed… for thirty days. Four times I should have to go away but only the last one was “successfull”.

Now I’m back and feel as if nothing has changed between us, me and Paris) This city still makes me happy. Paris is like a beloved person that I want to take with all his virtues and flaws.

I love low quays where trees grow and people spend evenings playing music. Love millions of narrow streets that cross each other under incredible angles – the first days of my stay even a map couldn’t save me from being lost) And yes, I love being lost in Paris. I love sound of music that you can hear everywhere on weekend. I love artistic spirit that is a spirit of Paris himself.

Notre Dame de Paris

I love small Boulangeries Patisseries where I can’t stay calm looking at tastiest cakes. I love  low endless passes of Parisien metro, love sparkling of Tour Eiffel, walking miles around the city, numerous bars where live music is played, summer  festivals every weekend, boats-houses on Seine and wonderful parks.

The band playing on the bridge between Ile St.Louis and Cite

International society of Paris is what I always miss. I admire to be among people of different cultures, appearences, speaking different languages, born on different continents. Rainbow nation : )

Montmartre

And I love Paris for Sacre coeur, a place where I feel myself at home. Where you can find people from all over the world. Where friends play drums and sing African songs. And dances, and hugs, and open eyes and hearts.

I dance only when I happy. Only in Paris I dance because I feel to dance.

Basilique du Sacre Coeur

I can’t express how grateful I am to people whom I know in Paris. They are unique amazing personalities.

And that’s why before my long journey I came to Paris – a place where I’m happy. Following my wind, following my heart.

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Into the wild – Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Well, my journey continues and here’re some pictures from a place I’d been yesterday.

The temple of Parc des Buttes Chaumont
The waterfall in a grotto

No, I haven’t left Paris (fortunatelly : ) These’re stunning views of Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Unlike Bois de Bologne that is situated on the edge of Paris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont is quite close to the city centre. At the same time it’s the third biggest park of Paris!

Another curious fact about this park is that it is fully artificial creation!

The site of the park was a former gypsum and limestone quarry mined for the construction of buildings in Paris and the United States. The park was commissioned by the French Emperor, Napoleon III, after the land was annexed to Paris in 1860.  (Wiki)

So a huge band of architects had been working on this amazing piece of nature. Sounds ridiculous but  it’s true!

The temple on the top of the hill in Parc des Buttes Chaumont

The waterfall where doves have a bath, the 30-meters high rock that is crowned by the Temple, a beautiful pond with 20-meters high “cuicide bridge” above it – that’s Parc des Buttes Chaumont. And also green lawns, endless paths, huge slopes and trees brought from all over the world.

And the last thing I want to write: from the hill Sacre Coeur is perfectly seen, my adorable corner of Paris! I suppose my friends are there already, on the staircase of the Basilique. So I’m leaving you and heading there!

See you!

Sending kisses to Sacre Coeur!

Tango 3.0.

In Paris there’re many people dancing: hip-hop, african dances, salsa. Many people dancing tango. And they are mad about it.

Tango is a dance of Paris. Free milongas were held on Parisien quays before it had been prohibited. Dances outdoors need ensurance, and City hall is ready to sponsor it. But there’s no person who would take responsibility for events on him/herself.

But Parisiens dance: in clubs and dancing schools, on boats and squares. Yesterday in front of Basilique de Saint-Denis GOTAN project performed their “Tango 3.0“. I’m not a fan of tango. But that was awesome: passionate, fresh, powerful.

The square of the plendid gothic cathedral was a theatre of tango stories. That amazes me in Paris – how old and new, history and moment co-exist in harmony here.

It was freezing but I stayed till the end of the concert.

Menilmontant and Belleville

Paris is infused by art. This city is full of talented people, inspiration and freedom. France appreciates her artists and provides them all kinds of benefits.

The exibition in Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix de Ménilmontant. It was a pleasant surprise to find these figures in a cathedral!

This spirit dwells squares and streets, parks and metro stations. Paris sings and plays – mostly in the evenings. But street paintings you can admire all the day round.

So I went to Rue de Menilmontant. There I’ve found many people in a hurry, street paintings and another gothic cathedral – Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix de Ménilmontant.

Église Notre-Dame-de-la-Croix de Ménilmontant

Another place where you can find plenty of street paintings is Belleville (walking distance from Menilmontant). Just to the right and again right from metro Belleville there’s a street that’s fully painted with graffiti.

Belleville

There I met Kouka, the artist and just a very open person. He invited me to his exibition “Identite” on rue de Ricardie, and I will definitely visit it.

Kouka’s africans

This is another reason I adore Paris. People are so open and easy-going here. Today just for one hour I met and exchanged contacts with two wonderful and interesting personalities. Why doesn’t it happen in Saint-Petersburg?

Aliens dancing on a street of Belleville
Mafia of Belleville

If this would be an ad page I would write: Stay artistic! Visit Paris : )

Pere Lachaise cemetery

When there’s no energy to do sightseeing and at the same time relaxing in a park seems waste of time, good option is to go to Pere Lachaise cemetery – “a museum in open air”. I feel there relaxed and entertained at the same time.

Pere Lachaise is huge! Wandering around narrow paths among graves can take hours. Sculptures is a curiosity of Pere Lachaise. Necroromantism in its brightest expression. Diversity of emotions: from sadness to hope.

Tied handsBut for me main attraction of Pere Lachaise cemetery are glass paintings. You can find them in numerous crypts all around the cemetery.

From my previous trip to Paris I have tons of photos of Lachaise’s glass paitings – I was so excited that checked almost every of in a certain part of the cemeter. To look at all of them would take a week of regular visits there.

I loved this one above especially. Mostly because of colours that are perverted on the photo because of glass between us.

I’ve found a couple of paintings that look really modern. As if taken from contemporary art museum. Like this one below.

Pere Lachaise is a last stay of many famous people. Oscar Wirlde, for example. His grave is easily recognized from all others. You’ll understand why : )

People love you, Oscar!

And I love him too! Especially his quotes about women))

“Don’t give a woman advice: one should never give a woman anything she can’t wear in the evening”

So, entering the cemetery, have a look on its map to find a grave – and leave a warm note to buddy Oscar ; )

Paris. La Fete de la Musique.

Life law: if everything goes the worst way, relax and smile ‘coz afterwards will be definitely better.

So you won’t be surprised that being stuck at the airport turned to become a nice adventure. I was hungry and asked for exchange for the automat. This is how I met Roberto, Dominican who lives in States. He was travelling in Norway and everywhere made funny photos… with small wooden chair : ) I know many people travelling with toys but a guy with a chair I met the first time in my life! On parisien map we write a message to the dwellers of night Charle-de-Gaulle: “The little chair needs change”. Finally a Chilean girl bought us cookies. Marsella became a third person of our small company.

21.06. – La Fete de la Musique. Evening of this day is full of music of all kinds. Stages and musicians are everywhere. Concerts and parties are held in every bar, on every square. While walking, I was diving from one song to another. Sounds crossed, melodies waved, voices resonate. People gathered around artists, danced and drank. Atmosphere!

In the afternoon I went to Sacre Coeur – the place where I was so happy the last September. Nothing has really changed there. Street artists, many tourists and stunning view of Paris. I met my friends, played drum a little bit, listened to Youri‘s songs. And felt as if hadn’t left Sacre Coeur…

The basilique du Sacre Coeur on top of Montmartre - the center of the world.

My friend Faouzy invited me to the concert of his band Bato Loko in L’Italian style cafe. So this was a place where I ended up on La Fete de la Musique.

Warm evening, sunny music, cheerful people from over the world, dancing salsa – I was at home around 5am : )

So if you like music, parties, dancing – come to Paris on 21 of June, you won’t be disappointed!

First night in Paris. Ridiculous start.

Written at 2am in Charle-de-Gaulle airport, Paris

Everything has started so well… Now the previous post looks ridiculous. But will write everything in order.

My departure to Paris would be at 22-40. The flight was delayed. For 2 hours (estimated) – exactly that amount of time that I needed to catch RER and metro to the city in time and have a cup of tea with Amalia.

Well, let it be. We arrive at 00-25. Bla-bla, riding around the airport, waiting for a bag… time was passing. But! – still there’s a chance to catch RER, as it’s written in my old guidebook: the last train leaves at 1-15. Long walk in order to find staircase downstairs that leads me to the station. It’s 1-00. Bingo?

No fucking way! There are reconstructions  held on RER exactly in CDG and exactly this summer.  So trains stop going at 23-00. Night at the airport has become a reality. I’m tired and hungry. All the flight I dreamt about yogurt that I had in my big backpack. Time to have  dinner?

No fucking way! I notice that all bag is covered with yogurt!!!  Perhaps, airport workers threw it on a floor, and the pack flopped.  Praising God that notebook (that is on the top of the bag) is in a good cover, I forget about hunger and transfer to the city and head to WC. As a small compensation od a “horror”, I brush my teeth. Finita la comedia. Drop the curtain.

At the moment my bagpack is almost clean (at the  first glance), I’m still hungry but mood is good. Finally feel myself on way : )

P.S.  And that’s only the firsts night in Paris! What will be further?