Thursday, June 25, 2015

Free Time and a Fresh Perspective

Sometimes we receive the gift of unexpected free time. I recently had such a day and took full advantage of it. The weather was beautiful, I knew I was in need of some alone time, and I was feeling the urge to explore; so I headed into Paris, because sometimes the best place to find solitude is in the midst of a crowd.

The Biblioteque National de France - the National Library of France - was my destination, based on a recommendation from a friend... a library, a park, and a collection of artisan markets and restaurants. Yes, please!

The first surprise in my day of exploration was a delightful garden store just outside the metro stop. I spent some time wandering amongst the plants, and found a little organic market inside. They also had a kitchen section full of fabulous cookbooks. I could have spent hours in there, but I also wanted to be outside. I pulled myself away from the shop and walked along the river until I came to the library, where I walked into the courtyard and was speechless.... I felt like I had entered a movie set.

There is a forest planted in the middle, and when you walk up you are in the tree tops. When I finally found my way inside I was a bit disappointed - it was hot and crowded - not nearly as peaceful as I had hoped, so I went back out to the sun deck and enjoyed the forest a bit.

Next I headed across the river and walked through Bercy Park on my way to Bercy Village where there is a collection of artisain shops and restaurants. I wandered up and down the aisles soaking in the ambiance of this quaint neighborhood. I found some organic sorbet and enjoyed it in the park - sitting on the grass like a true Parisian.

My view at the park
The rose garden
Then I found some stuff for a little picnic and headed back to the Library where I had a great view of the Seine river and some nice background music coming from one of the house boat restaurants.

Picnic by the river

Houseboat restaurant

This was a wonderful day: My thirst for exploration was satisfied and my need for solitude was met. Throughout the day I gained a new perspective not only of Paris but on life, and thus, my soul was refreshed.  

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