The New Year has started with a great kick in the beautiful Slovakian Tatra mountains. Even if the weather surprised us with spring temperatures, the region offered many winter activities and amazed with its pure nature and breathtaking views at the surrounding nature. After slightly prolonged New Year celebrations, there was a quick reunion with my family before going back to Paris (good things always last too short).
Paris in January offered few interesting events, in the first half of the month Parisian luxury houses Chanel and Louis Vuitton invited curious visitors to their exhibitions where one could learn more about the history and legacy of the brands. The historical prototypes, past projects and iconic products, you could see all of it if booked the entry ticket timely.
The second half of January was culturally centred around the Chinese New Year with many Parisian streets and even entire districts adorned with traditional red lanterns. Parisians could attend many concerts and Chinese food tastings offered during celebratory events as well as join colorful parades full of music, fireworks and dancing dragons.
Otherwise, January in Paris was somewhat nostalgic and dreamy, with sun showing rarely, the city being hidden in the winter mist, cold winds roaming the narrow streets. Even if I miss the lush green and flowers in full blossom, there is a charm and certain romance in Paris like this, hope that I captured it at least a little bit in my pictures selected here for you.
I think the beauty of winter shines the most in the mountains.
Solid mountain region cuisine, you will regain forces fast for another round of skiing!
On the way back (by train!), we have passes through Cieszyn, once a busy industrial town now focused more on tourism. I truly recommend coming here in warmer months, the city enchants with the architecture and the area offers many options for hikes on gentle slopes of local mountains. You can also visit bordering Czech Republic (beautiful nearby Czech Moravia).
Cieszyn boasts a good gastronomical offer. This delicious cake you can get in Kornel i Przyjaciele cafe which is also a library.
Always happy to explore more of my country!
Cieszyn was once a very vibrant and important city in the Austria-Hungary empire. With the collapse of Habsburg’s empire and dramatic events between Poland (which regained its independence) and the neighbouring Czechoslovakia (no longer existing, it split in 1993), Cieszyn was divided between the two countries, quite brutally with Poland keeping the historical part and Czechoslovakia the industrial one. I won’t elaborate on it more now, but I guess Cieszyn deserves separate blog post here to describe its story but also contemporary attractions.
We went from Poland to France via train too! Our way was: Kraków –> Prague –> Zurich –> Basel –> Paris. Here you see the interior of the night train of Czech railways from Prague to Zurich which I truly recommend! The economy sleeper had only three beds, a private washbasin and breakfast included in a very attractive fare! You could also use a very clean comfortable shower at the end of the carriage. I am a huge fan of Czech Railways, if you’re curious about my other journeys from Prague, check out this post.
One day in Basel considered by many the Swiss cultural capital. The architecture in the historical part of the city is simply stunning!
People got jealous seeing us with a huge box of (they thought Swiss) chocolates which were from…Poland! We had marvellous weather this day to discover Basel, I need to write up my all Swiss adventures on this blog.
Back to Paris!
Visiting Petit Palais which is an art museum close to Champs-Élysées. Interestingly, the museum is free for permanent exhibitions, you need to pay for temporary ones. + I love the architecture of the building!
Petit Palais secret garden.
Paris in the rain.
Attending the exhibition Le Grand Numero De Chanel in Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris which celebrated the iconic scents of this famous French brand. The history of Chanel perfumes is full of symbols, hidden numerological signs, great names and mysterious coincidences. The exhibition revolved around this theme sharing its heritage and curious stories with its visitors. The event far exceeded my expectations, the atmosphere was created to be both mystical and magical, but the exhibition delivered much more than that. You could learn during your visit how the process of making Chanel perfumes looks like, find ancient bottles of the perfumes or the objects from famous commercial campaigns which are a piece of art in their own right.
You could enjoy some fragments of famous Chanel commercials (my favourite is the one in Orient Express with Audrey Tautou) and there were even two Salvador Dali works which he apparently done for Chanel exclusively, what a surprise!
Beautiful interior and horrible ramen. This also happens in Paris (fortunately there is plenty of great places which serve excellent ramens too!).
My husband cheered me up later by making us sushi at home which was delicious!
Also Louis Vuitton decided to show its heritage organizing an exhibition. I was particularly interested in their ancient travel trunks and accessories, the famous brand started with producing luggage, only later extending its vast offer by selling clothes, bags and many other luxury objects. There also many other contemporary items displayed but obviously I was more focused on the luggage. .
Paris in the night.
Chinese New Year in Paris, we have started the celebrations in the city hall of 13th district of Paris, in part of the neigbourhood the Chinatown is located.
Celebrations in Musée Cernuschi, we opted to see the permanent exhibition too.
The Chinese New Year is a perfect occasion to taste some traditional Chinese dishes.
And finally the culmination of the festivities! The Chinese New Year parade in the 13th district!
This month was busier than I thought. Happy New Year of the Rabbit!