sábado, 27 de julio de 2013


Another reason I went to Paris was to go to Giverny, which the biggest touristic attraction is Monet's former house and garden. 

This little village had been in my “short-list” for a while now and last May I finally had the chance to go there. The time couldn’t be more perfect: May, sunny but not hell warm, Spring, blooming flowers… Or at least so I thought. The flowers were blooming (luckily!) but the weather was far from being perfect. Nevertheless visiting Monet’s charming house and his garden was still amazing. Despite the rain, walking among the colorful tulips, orchids, and other flowers (please, don’t ask me to name more, I’m Portuguese not British, so not so much into gardening) was idyllic. I wonder how it will be to do the same when it is sunny. It must feel pretty much liking having died and being in heaven. 

It was the most beautiful garden I have ever been in (even more beautiful than the Bothanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro, and I really liked that a lot… Even more than the Marjorelle Garden that, as you can see in here, is pretty awesome). And what to say about the fact that it was the source of inspiration for one of my favorite paintings, the Water Lilies?! 

So, it is a highly recommended experience. And even if the picking of the day might come as a lottery, and the real water lilies might be dry already, I can guarantee Le Pont Japonais will always be there and will look gorgeous any how.

viernes, 26 de julio de 2013


For a lot of people Paris is the most amazing city in the world. For me, not so much, but I must confess that every time I visit the capital of France I fall more and more in love. Last May I spent a long weekend there which, as I say as a joke, was perfect to have lunches and dinners with friends. But, I did more than that, and after my 4th visit to the city, finally, our romance began. Finally Paris got under my skin! 

The day I arrived was the sunniest day I had in town (actually, the sunniest day I had in a while because apparently, this year, Summer decided to arrive early to every capital in Europe and got a little bit delayed on its way to Madrid. Now it is finally hear, but it took it a while!), so we decided to spend the afternoon in Canal Saint Martin. From my previous visits I already knew this is one of my favorite neighborhoods in town, so my first request to my friends was: Take me there! I love to spend time there, with my feet hanging, drinking sidra and watching old men (and not so old, since it is a very fashionable sport now) playing petanca, Parisian girls enjoying their Sundays and life passing by. 

Although the weather, as the hours passed, got fuzzier we still could see the Eiffel Tower ray of light from my friends’ living room, in their new flat in Bastille. 

The next day, taking advantage of the fact it was a Monday and that museums (the ones that are open) are not as crowded as on Sundays, I walked until the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville for the free exhibition of French designed and made Haute Couture gowns. Although the space was very narrow, the way the whole exhibition was putted together and the pieces presented definitely turn it into a major “must-see”. It is over now, but you still can see some information and images in their web page, in here

 In the afternoon I went to another exhibition that I was sure was open, despite the fact it was a Monday, because it was “created”, amongst others, by my friend. It was also part of the reason I went to Paris that weekend, to visit her “little baby” since, for the first time in a while, after major exhibitions in Asia in which she also collaborated, Chanel finally had a new exhibition in Europe. The Nº5, the iconic perfume of the brand, was the theme that joined pieces even older than the maison itself with pieces as emblematic as the Marilyn Monroe’ speech about what she wears when she goes to bed. This exhibition was also free. Plus, you could ask for an audio guide to help you understand everything you were seeing, and even bring home the booklet in French or in English. It was in Le Palais de Tokyo only for a month, from the 5th of May until the 5th of June, and I'm really really glad I could see it. 

From the very well placed, but very far from home Palais de Tokyo, I walked until Bastille, which allowed me to see different new angles from the city. 

For dinner, of course, we ordered some spécialités (foie gras with jam & escargots) to close my Parisian day with style. 

And talking about typical Parisian… There isn’t a better way to describe my last day in town. Le Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou (to check their Museum shop that always has interesting nouveautées and to have free WI-FI for at least 5 minutes during my touristic day), Les Galeries Lafayette (to crave the brands, and for some more free WI-FI), La Place du Musée du Louvre, Notre Dame, walking along the Seine... As I said, very very typical.

At night I met another friend from Paris and the three of us head to Montmartre for a lovely dinner, with French wine, a delicious Oeuf Cocotte and lots of girl talk. At the end of the night we had some "smoky" cocktails in another of my favorite places in town, La Familie, in the same neighborhood and “call it a weekend”. The best I ever had in la cité des lumières!