I was recently looking back on my European posts and realised that I never wrote about my time in France. Better late than never, I thought I'd fill you all in on my adventures in Paris.
I departed Melbourne and flew direct to Abu Dhabi, a13 hour flight + short layover, then from Abu Dhabi to Paris (another 6 hours) so needless to say by the time I landed in the City of Light I was ready to get off the plane. Getting out of de Gaulle was easy, thank god, and there was an abundance of "taxi" drivers awaiting unsuspecting tourists at the arrivals gate. I was pretty jet lagged and, as you can imagine, just wanted to get to the hotel for a shower and proper sleep. Our taxi driver was crazy, we were darting all over the road, tail gating, horns were beeping. But I got to the hotel very quickly and for that I'm very grateful.
Paris reminded me of the time I spent in Germany; lots of small winding roads, an abundance of greenery, beautiful old buildings and cafes everywhere. Unlike most other European cities, Paris doesn't close during the day and then re-open, although some mid-afternoon downtime have probably helped me with my jet lag.
On my first full day in Paris I decided to take the metro into the heart of the city, exchange some dollars and checkout "Galeries Lafayette", a massive shopping mall comprising of several amazing buildings, one for women and another for men; both with multiple levels dedicated to different accessories. There was a whole floor for men's shoes, it was amazing but I resisted the urge to buy anything as I had arrived in Paris with just one thing on my mind - Carmina Shoes.
With my goal in sight, I journeyed down to avenue de l'Opera, where the Carmina store is located. The store itself is a beautiful rich burgundy with a simple and elegant fit out. Unfortunately they didn't have the exact shoe that I wanted, but I ended up purchasing an amazing oxford toecap full brogue in a cognac calf leather in the Inca last.
If anyone wants advice on the best places to shop for menswear in Paris, I strongly recommend starting on one end of avenue de l'Opera and wandering all the way to the end of the street before walking across to Rue Saint Honore, where a majority of the high end shops are located. Don't forget to explore the side streets as they hold a lot of treasures, including John Lobb (located at 32 Rue de Mogador).