Christmas Day, Paris

After a leisurely Christmas Day breakfast this morning at Hotel Indigo Paris, it is time to relocate to my apartment in the Marais. After the spacious suite-like accommodation at the Hotel Indigo, my tiny, “can’t swing a cat in it apartment” in Rue Francois Miron is a disappointment. It’s a great location, but the tiny studio is the worst I’ve stayed in, in 18 years of renting apartments in Paris. My poor choice, I should have looked more closely at the photographs.   

The local Franprix supermarket outside the metro station Saint-Paul is open for business, which allows me to pick up some supplies for dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. Whilst there are people out walking, it is generally quite quiet around the Marais. I decide to try my luck and wander over to Notre Dame to see the 50 foot Christmas tree, hoping that a cold Christmas Day evening will deter the throngs of tourists. No such luck – visitors to the Cathedral and forecourt are being corralled into pens, and searched by security before entering the plaza in front of the Cathedral. It’s too busy for me, so it’s a shot of the Christmas tree, a video of the bells tolling, and then time to leave.

There is no ice skating rink in front of the Hotel de Ville this year, and even the decorations are limited to a rustic woodland theme at the front of the building. Judging by the photography exhibition outside the Hotel de Ville featuring Olympic athletes, Mayor Hidalgo must be saving her pennies for when Paris hosts the Olympics in 2024.

The BHV department store adds some much-needed colour to the area via a Danish Christmas theme and has its windows decorated accordingly. The Danish theme seems to involve white swans in place of reindeer, and some Scandi elves.

La Niche, the pet department of BHV, continues the Danish theme, with the store cat playing with the decorations, and the Karl Lagerfeld of the dog world receiving its own sleigh and blanket.

I haven’t been asked for directions so far this trip, but my luck runs out when I’m stopped by a group of French speakers for directions to Place des Vosges. I have to think hard where I am in proximity to Place des Vosges (I’ve just been wandering the streets of the Marais in the vague direction of Boulevard Beaumarchais), and hazard a guess if they go straight ahead and then next right, they should be going in the right direction. Sure enough, the next right has a sign indicating the Place des Vosges to the right. I can also hazard a guess that the two couples are heading to Ma Bourgogne for dinner!

Wandering the Place des Vosges myself, I see two sculptures that I would love to have in my house…but can’t afford.  It’s only early evening, but I can’t stay awake any longer, so back to the apartment for an early night.

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