Bonne Saint Valentin! Happy Valentine’s day from Paris! Yes, it is cold and the grévistes are still striking every few days or so, but like those groundhogs looking for their shadows, we can “sense” spring! And of course, in the words of that famous frenchman (skunk) Pepé Le Pew: Amour …
In Paris, you are not supposed to hang « love locks » on the bridges any more to celebrate St. Valentine’s, but you can send a personalized message to your beloved on one of the official automated street signs:
Even if you are not celebrating, reading all the random tokens of affection on the signs is probably the most interesting part of walking around Paris on Feb 14.
I will say though, Valentine’s isn’t as big a holiday (aka commercial opportunity) in France as it is in North America. The French prefer discretion as opposed to loud public exclamations of love. For instance anecdotally, I’ve never ever seen flowers delivered for Valentines at work here. They would usually be given privately.
But you will still find restaurant reservations difficult to obtain on the big day, if you’re going for that lovely romantic dinner in Paris. No last minute dawdling here.
So whether or not you are celebrating, listen to a few love songs tonight, write some poetry and practise your best French accent with these sweet nothings.
As the saying in French goes: “We can live with only love and fresh water”. What more do you need?
In other news:
- Imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots’ letters to the French ambassador have finally been decoded after sitting for centuries in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. (Fun fact, she grew up in France because her mother was French, and she herself was Queen of France for about 1 year. Her letters to the French ambassador continued the tradition of the Auld alliance between France and Scotland.)
- For a city of 2.1 million, Paris has lost about 6% of its population in 10 years, with families and people in their 30-50s fleeing the city. Bafflingly, the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is congratulating herself on this “achievement“. (This is the same mayor that scored less than 2% in the presidential election last year.)
- Two grand rivals met on the football (soccer) pitch last week, when Olympique de Marseille FC beat Paris-Saint-Germain in a Classico 2-1 for the first time in 11 years at the famed Velodrome.
And new in the blog:
Dating in France: 20 Tips and Relationship guide
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Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer: Travel guide (Provence, France)
Explore Saint-Cyr-sur-mer, a beach town on the French Riviera in Provence, famous for its golden Statue of Liberty. We look at things to do, where to stay, and more.
Eggs Mimosa (French-style Deviled eggs)
Get the recipe for eggs mimosa, the French deviled eggs. Served as an appetizer or snack, these delicious oeufs mimosa are always a favorite.
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