We are in Paris with the creator of Anna-Likes and Lola by Anna, the free spirited Anna Maria Aoun is part of Travel Junkie Diary! She started Anna-Likes as a folder name on her desktop, in which she would collect anything visual she came across that caught her eye. As a design student, and art director, it was her personal hub of inspiration which she shared with her colleagues as well… To the point where she could no longer store the gazillion gigabytes she’s compiled, and that’s when the blog was born. Anna-Likes now is a visual artist’s archive, with posts on art, video, advertising, theater and practically anything a visual communicator would find as inspiring.
Lola by Anna, is a small jewelry line originally inspired by my grandmother’s taste in accessories. Hand-made by myself, the pieces are exclusive, created with selected pendants, pearls and stones, making them very personal. With 4 collections a year, Lola’s are unique and come in limited editions.
Here is her diary
Destination Paris, France
Stayed at Hotel Bedford
A 30 second walk to Place de La Madeleine, the hotel was fully booked, mainly with business men and women. It’s simple, and located right near La Madeleine Metro. On a good day, you can walk down to La Concorde and across to the Champs, or head in the other direction to the Opera, and Rue de La Paix.
We were 4 girls in 2 connecting rooms, which were surprisingly very spacious compared to the standard room sizes in Europe. It has an old-school feel to it, the old elevator, key to the room, key to the safe! But then again, that didn’t matter. We didn’t spend much time in the hotel. However they have a beautiful breakfast room with a buffet, definitely worth trying out. I’ve read many reviews complaining about the price of the buffet which is 20 Euros, but after having breakfast at any of the surrounding cafe’s it came down to the same price.
In your suitcase It was 10 degrees Celsius on average in the day, and pretty windy! I actually was looking forward to some cold coming from the UAE! But it was a little too cold to bare ! Here’s what I packed: My favorite pair of jeans from American Eagle for all the walking, 2 pairs of Leggings, one Zara and the other TopShop, great to stay warm. Long sleeve blouses from H&M. Super practical! And 2 wool ones from TopShop. Tan leather jacket from Massimo (they last forever!) And a really cute red coat from Stradivarius, my husband got me, which I never got to wear in the UAE, except maybe ONCE!
Footwear: Uggs (theyre terribly ugly, but they do the trick) a pair of black boots (TopShop) to go with everything, and my Marc by Marc black rubber ballerina’s (perfect for the rainy weather) On top of that , a pair of gloves and a hoody!
Dined at Maison de La Truffe (Madeleine Metro)! very French! Reminds me a little of La Petite Maison at the DIFC, Restaurant du Palais Royale (Palais Royale/Louvre Metro), was also excellent! One thing I realized is that all restaurants around town or at least the majority, have very similar menus, of course all I wanted was that cheese platter at the end!
Shopped I definitely recommend walking up Rue De Temple, very close to Hotel de Ville, there’s some really pretty stores, selling vintage clothes and accessories. And for souvenirs you can practically find those shops anywhere, but the best one I found was one on Rivoli walking towards the Louvre. I bought a few paintings from there!
Diary Alarm goes off at 8 am! We were on a mission to cover as much ground as we could! Before leaving the hotel, we’d plan out the day according to Metro routes, and also made sure to write down exactly which lines to take and switch hehe etc… That saved us a lot of time, because trust me you can spend a good 10 minutes staring at that map with colored doodles trying to figure it all out.
9 AM, Breakfast: Soft-boiled eggs, “Cafe au Lait” and a “Pain au Chocolat”, because God forbid you ask for a “Chocolate Croissant”!! We really enjoyed sitting at a cafe on La Madeleine called Paris-London, right next door to Fauchon. What I enjoyed most about my breakfasts was watching the city go by right in front of me, people going to work, riding their bicycles, walking their dogs, running to hop on the bus, or stampeding out of the Metro. Little did I know this when I first noticed the seating arrangement of chairs facing the street, would add so much more to my stay.
10 30 AM – 5 PM: Walk, walk, walk, down the stairs hop on a train, hop off a train, up the stairs and continued walking. La Concorde, Les Champs, George V Ave., Grand Palais, Petit Palais, across the Seine on the Bateaux Mouches, Eiffel tower by night, the overwhelming and beautiful Notre Dame de Paris, We saw all of it!
That took 2 days of intense site seeing! The next Must-Visit was the Louvre, which apparently needs a whole day or 2 and sometimes 3 to see it all! Unfortunately we never got in, the Museum was on strike… and if it wasn’t raining so hard, we could’ve walked down to Jardins des Tuilleries…
We visited the Eiffel tower again on a sunny day, and it was beautiful, queue to the top too long, so shared a chocolate crepe in the park, Champs De Mars, where art students sat for hours sketching the tower, kids were feeding birds, and long afternoon naps were taking place. To our surprise, a gentleman proposed to his girlfriend right in front of us, it was very romantic, on-lookers noticed as well as soon as the new groom popped the cork off a champagne bottle he was carrying around in his backpack!
In between all the touristy plans, we watched Cirque du Soleil Micheal Jackson, which was spectacular! Also squeezed in STOMP which was performing at Casino de Paris. Spent a full day at Disney Land like a 5 year old, and stayed to watch the closing show “Dreams” which in all honesty did look like a dream!
In Paris, Hotel de Ville was hosting a exhibition by Swarovski, featuring Haute Couture in History. A brilliant display of gowns and sketches by designers like Lacroix, YSL, Christian Dior and Givenchy.
Last but not least , we watched the famous Lido. The best part of the show was the costumes, however I didn’t think it was worth a 110 euro per person.
Tips Be prepared for the weather, have a small satchel, with as little stuff in there as possible, there’s a lot of walking, and a lot of pick-pocketing.
wear comfortable shoes at all time. People there are a little cold I found, and realized they only warm up to you if you speak the language, which luckily i do…
It’s a beautiful city, not the most inviting in my opinion but it certainly stir up my curiosity for a next visit
Mode of travel Emirates Airlines straight to Paris