As you know I'm one (embarrassingly) big nerd. I adore my books (sniff sniff, especially the old stinky ones) and I love my travelling. I haven't travelled a whole lot of the world (yet) but every single place I've visited has left a little something new in me - be it the knowledge of not ever touching a lion fish again (even when it's already dead - ouch!) or the feeling you get when you see a sunset over the sea (such a cliche - but a good one). And books have pretty much the same effect on me - I'm one of those strange visual people who sometimes get a bit lost in what's fiction & what's real (oh yes, I'm sad like that). Nevertheless, I'm not complaining. My head quite enjoys the confusion and that's one of the main reasons why I love visiting places which have strong links to literature. Have you ever thought how amazing it'd be to walk the very same Parisian street Alexander Dumas did?!
Talking literary travels is a synonym to Paris, isn't it? Ernst Hemingway once said:
'There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it.' This guy, he had a point.
If you had a day to go any literature bound place in Paris, where would you go & what would you do?
I'd have a cuppa & a croissant with the Little Prince
Le Petit Prince is one of my favourite books - everyone should have at least one copy on their bookshelf (I've got 3 - just sayin')! And someone once said that if there was a Little Princess to the Little Prince then it would be me because I'm so naive & I'm also able to have a full blown conversation on a sheep in a box any day (I'm not actually sure it was a compliment). Even though it's more than likely that the Little Prince didn't come here for breakfast, I'd still be magical to sit there & maybe sneakily read a little bit of the book under the table (just for the authenticity feel).
I'd ring the Notre Dame bells
Probably not literally (haha, geddit? literally? - but seriously I do suspect you might get arrested for that). It'd be so exciting though to go up the tower and see the gargoyles up close, just like the Hunchback of Notre Dame did!
I'd watch a movie in the Gaumont Opera cinema
...and I'd bring a bunch of white camellias with me just like Marguerite Gautier did. Dame aux Camellias is yet another massive favourite of mine. The Gaumont Opera cinema used to actually be a theatre and Alexander Dumas's Dame aux Camellias had its premier there. So whilst watching a movie you could possibly be sitting right where Marguerite (in real life her name was Marie) used to sit - whaaat!
I'd try to find the secret door in Louvre
You know the door that Tom Hanks found in the Da Vinci Code movie? C'mon, I bet you would too, even if you didn't like the movie, you would. And maybe sneak in a little laser cat toy and point it at the Mona Lisa picture? (and probably get arrested again, for the second time in one day)
I'd drink a pint of d'Artagnan beer
Apparently the Three Musketeers used to hang out in a restaurant called Le Pot de Terre. Now not only that you would be standing on the same ground as they used to, you could also drink the same beer - the d'Artagnan beer!
I'd walk up & down the Montmartre
Particularly I'd stop to check out the Cafe des Deux Moulins - brownie points for those who recognise the reference? No? It's the cafe from the Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulin. A fair point - that's a movie, not a book, but once you're in Paris you wouldn't miss a place like that, would you? I'd also stop & admire the Moulin Rouge (cheeky cheeky) and maybe, just maybe (and only if you're over 18), I'd have a shot of absinthe (going for the authenticity feel, ya know!).
Finally - just to freak myself out a little - I'd try to find the Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera was apparently hiding in the crooked tunnels of the Parisian catacombs. These tunnels spread everywhere underneath the city of Paris, a lot of them are a bit like cemeteries though - at the time of cholera and plague, the people of Paris sort of ran out of space for graves so they started filling up the tunnels with people who passed away. Pretty morbid, but it's a part of their history so I'd definitely give it a try. They obviously have parts of the catacombs accessible to tourists - without the graves (at least I believe so - *swallows loudly*).
That would be the best day in Paris ever, let me tell you. I should probably mention that I've already been to Paris once and been to the Eiffel Tower and Louvre and d'Orsay - your standard tourist sights, so I'd love my next trip to Paris to be a little different. Now Paris ain't that far from the UK - there are even buses from London Victoria Coach Station which you can hop on for just a few pounds so I think asking for a trip to Paris for my birthday wouldn't be too cheeky, would it?
Have you ever been to Paris?
What was your favourite place? Montmartre? The Eiffel Tower?