Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Travel Tuesday: The City of Light, by Kate Hardy

I have to confess that I lost my heart to Paris in the autumn. I knew that the City of Light would be something special – it’s one of the reasons why I set part of Red Wine and Her Sexy Ex there. But I wasn’t prepared for just how gorgeous it is. You know that saying about it being better to travel hopefully than to arrive? In this case, arriving in the middle of Paris was even better than I’d hoped.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m going to be a terrible cheat and give you a whistle-stop tour of some of the places I really loved.

The Louvre. (It’s a really odd feeling to wander round a building and turn the corner and suddenly see a really famous piece of art.) We also loved the inverse pyramid inside and the rainbow patterns it makes on your hair.
The Arc de Triomphe.

Notre Dame (worth every one of the 300 spiral steps up to see the views and the chimera gallery).

Montmartre (where an artist drew a gorgeous picture of my daughter).

The Sacre Coeur.
The Eiffel Tower (600 steps up… gruelling, but it had to be done).

And best of all is Paris by night - when it really lives up to its name of 'The City of Light'. I knew that the Eiffel Tower sparkled on the hour for about 10 minutes, but what I wasn't prepared for was how awesome it is. It's like a giant birthday sparkler - or, at this time of year, the best kind of fairy lights.
And, as it's Christmas, I'll leave you with a Parisian Christmas tree (in the Galeries Lafayette).

What's the most amazing Christmas tree you've ever seen, and where?

Kate’s Christmas Medical, A Christmas Knight, is available in the UK and the US right now (and in Australia next month). The first in her French Presents Extra duo, Red Wine and Her Sexy Ex, is also out in the US. You can find out more about these books, and Kate, on her website (http://www.katehardy.com/) and her blog (http://katehardy.blogspot.com/)


  1. I loved Paris and hope to get back some day. I think that's even the same gargoyle I had my picture taken with. *grin* While at Notre Dame I hope you also saw the nearby Sainte Chapelle. The stained glass of the upper chapel is absolutely breathtaking!

    As for most amazing Christmas tree...I guess I'd have to say the one at the Madison Capitol the year they decorated it with Native American handcrafts.

  2. Hi Kate

    Somehow I knew you and Paris would get along like long lost lovers!!

    So glad you liked the inverse Pyramid as my dad was the engineer... And I love to live in reflected glory!

    My favourite Christmas tree has to be the one in Trafalgar Square every year (because I'm a Londoner, I have to say that!), but the one at Galeries Lafayette is awe-inspiring and got a mention in my second book The Mile-High Club.. Because it is soooo romantic.

    Loved Red Wine btw! What a book!

    Have a sparkling Christmas.

  3. Heather - sounds as if you had as good a time in Paris as we did :) Sadly, we didn't get to see Sainte Chapelle (was a HUGE queue, and we'd spent an hour queuing in a bitter wind to climb the towers at Notre Dame). But it's an excuse for me to go back!

    A tree decorated with Native American handicrafts sounds gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Heidi - LOL, I did tell DH and the kids that my friend's dad was the engineer, and they were very impressed.

    Glad you enjoyed the book :)

    To my shame, I've never seen the tree in Trafalgar Square in real life. Must add that to my 'list of things to do'. We have a nice one in Norwich, and there's also one in the cathedral at the moment which has been hand-knitted for charity (pic at http://www.networknorwich.co.uk/Articles/228795/Network_Norwich_and_Norfolk/Regional_News/Norwich/Huge_knitted_Xmas_tree_goes_on_show.aspx) - that's pretty impressive.

  5. I love that pic of the Eiffel Tower and I must visit Paris again very soon.

    My favourite Christmas tree would be the one in Trafalgar Square too - despite not having seen it for a few years. :) There's something very English about it!

    Loved both books - and I *still* can't believe I cried all the way through A Christmas Knight. I loved every single word!

  6. Ihave to agree the Sainte Chapelle was amazing, the day I visited there was no-one there so I felt I had stumbled onto a hidden jewel - then read the tour guide and its on all the 'to do' lists!
    My current favourite tree is the one in the completely OTT one in Abu Dhabi - €11 million in precious stones decorating it... Its just so completely bonkers, especially as its a Muslim country!

  7. Years ago, I was in Paris with an Australian medical student who had been studying in the city and he took me to this place by the river, while being very mysterious about where we were going.
    Leading me up some steps, he covered my eyes and then said: "Look!"
    It was, of course - La Sainte Chapelle.
    I've never forgotten that first sensation of feeling as if I was standing in the centre of a giant jewel box - and I still go back whenever I can.