Buying Flowers in Paris & a Stroll through the Tuileries
To be in Paris is like no other feeling in the world; simply walking down the cobbled streets, admiring storefront windows, passersby, tourists, and locals all brushing past you in a whirlwind of colour – albeit mostly black from the locals and from those tourists wishing to blend in – it’s a wonderful type of feeling that only comes when you find something truly magnificent.
It’s a feeling that you get just by being in the city itself (save for certain areas that may make you rethink your love of the fashionable town). My favourite part of the day is the quiet mornings that come before the rush of those out to enjoy the warm weather, and way before the tourists are clogging the streets, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the Notre Dame or Tour de Eiffel over the buildings and trees.
It is when the town is still sleepy and restaurant owners are setting up shop for the early lunch rush in the Tuileries, the clatter of silverware and the soft chatter of those walking in the still hushed gardens. The perfectly manicured lawns are still dewy, there’s a crisp feeling in the air, the hum of the lawnmowers, all comforting sounds. The carousel has not yet started and the silence wraps around you, making you feel as if you are in your own fairy tale. This is the start of the day, and while you may have a $3 cappuccino that tastes like 50cents, things still feel great.
It’s where, if you’ve a leisurely vacation ahead of you, you should start your day: right there, in the sleepy grounds of the Tuileries, before anyone is lining up outside the Louvre or having a go on the Ferris Wheel. Have your coffee, which tends to get better as the day progresses and more shops open up (the one drawback to being awake before others), catch up on reading, or soak in the sun. Grab a late breakfast at any of the cafés (I’m partial to La Terrasse de Pomone, if only for the reason that you can sit beside the pond) and then walk on over (or catch a metro if walking is so not your thing) to Marche aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux to mosey through the garden houses and pick out a beautiful bouquet to take back to your apartment (at least for the next few weeks or mere days).
Spending the morning in the Tuileries, admiring the flowers, reading, and lightly dozing off in the sun is always a good idea. Buying flowers in Paris? An even better idea. Buying flowers in Paris is a wonderfully heart-warming act; you could be glancing at the roses and daffodils surrounding you one moment, pick out your flowers and then have your heart sing and your love for this beautiful town grow stronger as an adorable teen rings it up for you, trying his best to use English words once he realizes you are not from France.
Although you can go to one of any the corner flower shops that are peppered throughout the city, heading into the heart of Paris (just a few steps from Notre Dame, Shakespeare & Company and La Conciergie) and into the Marche aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux can’t be beat. Their wide arrange of flowers and knick knacks make you feel as if you’re in a farmers market rather than a flower shop. Walking through the streets of Paris, jumping onto your metro to take you back home, a bag of assorted baked goods from the boulangerie and a huge bouquet of flowers puts a smile on everyone’s faces, including your own. No one bats an eye at the person smiling like a loon and holding flowers; they just smile back.
Buying a bouquet of flowers is an uplifting feeling, no matter where you go, but when it’s done in Paris, the idea is just… poetic. It makes your impersonal rental, although adorable, feel more like home, more like you’ve dropped everything and moved to Paris. Looking at them when you come home from sightseeing, or when you wake up and start getting ready for the day, can add a touch of elegance to the then and now and keep that fizzy feeling of warmth long after you’ve departed for home.
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