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Most read in 2013

I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to my blog stats, but since I noticed a few interesting questions that landed readers to the blog (and planning to write a post on that soon), I thought, why not make a list of ten most read blog posts of 2013? This should also fall nicely into the end-of-year-listicle phenomenon, so this is my minor contribution ;)

A number of general observations: the posts are mostly Paris-related, the number one post had been read more than the other nine combined (just to show how often it has also been searched for people needing such information), and these posts were mostly published in the first half of the year – I suppose those later in the year haven’t got the equal amount of exposure time thus not as widely read yet.


10. Daytrip: Paris to Amiens

Since I had a little free time on my hand (and I needed to grab some points for my SNCF frequent traveller status) I went to Amiens for the day to see the famed cathedral and to suss out the city in general. With a journey time of just over an hour, it’s a very do-able day trip from Paris. I wished I had opted for a late return rather than one in the late afternoon, for I lacked time to check out the Hortillonnages.

January snow in Paris

9. Paris sous la neige

The first snows of the year came on the weekend of 18-20 January, of which I had a lot of fun photographing even though it was pretty cold out and I returned to my apartment in frozen state after staying outdoor for 3-4 hours each time. On Saturday I stayed in the area near the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides and Grand Palais but on Sunday, I nipped over to the Louvre and later on to Montmartre, photographing enough for a second snow-filled blog post.


8. The anatomy of a French picnic

We love picnics and Paris has a good number of parks – our favourite is the Parc Montsouris – perfect for such sunny day out. Since one picnic differs from another, and certainly the Irish ones that I used to enjoy are not the same as the French ones, I decided to do a little show-and-tell of such a convivial meal. We always eat well, so bring on more sunshine so there can be more picnics!

Maison Internationale

7. Hidden Paris: Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris

When I first moved to Paris, I had a small studio apartment in the Cité U. It is a lovely place to live, with a large park right on my door step, except I also craved a more Parisian way of living by getting a proper apartment in the city. The walkabout of the campus brought back many happy memories, and this blog post immortalises how I remember it to be.

Brunch with Jean Imbert

6. Brunch with Jean Imbert

Probably the fanciest event to take place in our apartment was a home-cooked brunch by Jean Imbert. Lady Luck was smiling down at me when I participated in a prize draw, and we were given a scrumptious treat in our home. To this day, I still get remarks from our guests about the mouth-watering kouglof, the succulent spider crab, the beautifully plated fruit salad… and I’m getting hungry at this reminder.

Ride Béret Baguette

5. Ride Béret Baguette 2013

It seems like rétro biking is quite a hit in Paris and for the third year running, hundreds of participants dress up accordingly to cycle around the city and end the biking parade with a mass and merry picnic. It felt a little like Halloween arriving early, or I’ve stumbled through a time portal, and the atmosphere was simply electric. I’m considering participating next year… ;)

Tour St Jacques

4. The 300 steps of Tour St-Jacques

For just two months this summer, and only three days per week to boot, the Tour St Jacques was open to visitors to walk the 300 steps to its roof level and marvelled at the magnificent views of Paris – a complete 360° panoramic view! The guided tour (in French) also gave us an opportunity to learn more about its history and past uses, and as you know, I relish every chance I get to know parts of Paris better.

Crue of River Seine

3. The rising water of River Seine

The water level of the River Seine had, on multiple occasions throughout the year, rose high and resulted in the closure of the quays along the river. Not only that, at times, even the operating river cruises had to be suspended until the level dropped back down a little. One of the many ways to verify the water level is to check out the Zouave of Pont d’Alma.

Apartment description

2. Is it expensive to live in Paris?

I tried to parse out the cost of living in Paris by examining my Q1 expenses of the year. This may perhaps not be as useful for someone who’s looking to move to Paris and wanting to know the expenses by exact figure, I think it’s more informative to present them by percentage to one’s income, so one can adapt accordingly to one’s mean.

Carte vitale

1. Oh my – I have a carte vitale!

I’m not entirely sure that it’s a good thing that this post is the hit of the blog. I am certainly glad that it had provided much help to those who need it, but it also says something about the state of lack of information to aid expats trying to settle in in Paris. Having been through a rather unnecessarily complicated series of steps to get my carte vitale, I can empathise with anyone who struggle in their process of acquiring their cards. As I said previously, bon courage and bonne chance!

Category: France, Ma vie en France, Musing, Paris

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2 scribbles & notes

  1. med says:

    I like the picnic one :) nom nom nom

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