Paris is always a good idea.
So naturally I decided to kick off my 2015 travels by revisiting Paree.
Fanny, my former classmate and old flatmate, now calls the French capital home, and was a lovely host during my short weekend stay, even succumbing to my request of visiting the ultra-touristy Montmarte.
Fanny’s preferred neighbourhood is Le Marais. I conveniently skipped Marais during my earlier visits to Paris which were dominated by checking museums and iconic buildings off my list. Having already been inside The Louvre, up the Arc de Triomphe, and all around the Eiffel Tower, I had no complaints just strolling around this aristocratic district. Drained from all the window shopping and people watching, we just had to take a coffee break. Sitting outdoors in January has its charm. And having a coffee at the famous Café Charlot just adds to that charm.
On Saturday night, we went to Miss Ko for dinner. It’s Philippe Starack’s latest venture, serving well-crafted Eurasian cuisine in a funky venue. You must try the salmon-mango sushi rolls if you find yourself at this restaurant off the Champs Elysees. I’d also give their cocktails a thumbs up. Obviously no culinary excursion in Paris is complete without a cheeky visit to Ladurée.
I tend to steer away from political discussion on this blog, but my visit to Paris was dominated by one particular event that deserves due mention. Following the tragic shooting at French magazine Charlie Hebdo and the subsequent manhunt that followed, the Parisians had organised a unity march on Sunday. Being a journalist and working for an opinion network, freedom of speech is crucial to both my professional and personal life. Therefore, not going was not an option.
We joined roughly 1.6 million other people showing their solidarity and participated in this peaceful march. It was both humbling and inspiring to see so many people – not just the French, but world leaders from all over – walking in solidarity of free speech.
The events that prompted the march were tragic, but I am thankful to have been a part of this historical and positive movement.