I can’t believe I’m writing this, but… when in Rome! I went into the dinner with an oh-hell-no attitude, and then what do you know? I tried a single snail (after *a lot* of pressure from not only my table, but also the locals). And? And it was, ummm… well, I will never-ever-ever eat one again, but I admit it was more my mind messing with me, because “omg it’s a snail!!” All I really tasted was the pesto, butter sauce, but then afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking the little thing was crawling around in my tummy (ewwwww).
Paris’s food is delicious (minus the snails): cheese, bread, fondue, crepes, souffle, creme brulee, croissants, French fries, macarons, French toast, baguettes & wine? YES PLEASE. Really, it’s amazing everyone (and I mean everyone) is skinny here… but of course, all in moderation. I’ve actually been been super-duper good, and dessert-wise, only eaten the lemon tart (above) and a creme brulee, because as Amelie says, “cracking creme brulee with a teaspoon” is one of life’s simple pleasures.
This city is made for taking walks in. The architecture, the flowers, the cobble walkways? I am in love and have added “Run the Paris Marathon” to my bucket list. Why? Because I lose track of time and my thoughts when I’m wandering the streets admiring everything I see. When I was on the subway yesterday I saw this lovely French girl, and I thought what a shame we (humans) don’t get more than one life. I would love-love-love to live out a life start, to finish in Paris (and Melbourne) (and Toronto) (and NYC).
Because we had to! When I was 18 and partied my way across Europe (side note: I LOVE travelling at 28; I appreciate & understand everything so much more) I headed to the actual show, so this time around I just went to see the bright lights & windmill.
I lucked out (and for Australians, that means I got lucky) with the fine folks in my dorm room, which means I actually had a good group of friends this time around in Paris to talk to, and do things with, including drinking the nights away (oh hai there Kings Cup) and heading to cliche Paris jazz bars.
THE EIFFEL TOWER
I can’t even put into words my love for the Eiffel Tower. It’s so beautiful, and big, and seeing the thing in real life is up there on my favourite-things-to-do-in-life list. This, of course, means I’ve gone to admire it several times this week. So, story time: two nights ago I was sitting on the Eiffel Tower’s look-out steps waiting for the lights to turn on, when a French man (about 45) ended up chatting me up. I wasn’t interested at all, y’know, given his age, and this, but we ended up talking for a few hours and get this, turns out he’s the CEO (and LinkedIn verified this) of a very big luxury car company, and wanted to take me for dinner and drinks here (I know, whoa) and invited me to his house in the south of France, which his iPhone verified is unbelievable. I politely declined, but I felt like it was an ‘only in Paris’ moment.
SACRE-COEUR BASILICA (The Sacred Heart of Paris)
Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church perched up on a hill just outside Paris’s city centre, and is a “must do” if you ever find yourself here. (I’m actually staying in this area, and would def recommend it). The church was built in 1919, which makes it the youngest church in Paris, and it boasts some of the most spectacular views of the city.
Okay. Okay. I think I’m done. I’m actually writing this from a beautiful, little cafe in Paris, as I watched the locals go about their Sunday afternoons. Paris, you beautiful city, you; I like you.
Paris. Oh Pah-ree!
Where to start? What to say? I am head over heels in love with this city and am so pleased I decided to visit France. It’s actually been one of the easier cities to go about my days in solo; so much to do, so much to see. As I write this, my feet hurt from all the walking, but im determined to do as much as possible.
And my hostel has been top-notch in the meeting-people department, which has been really good and distracting for my soul. As I’ve said before, travelling gets lonely by yourself, and then given my recent goodbye-forever Australia move, I am certainly quite fragile and emotional these days and feeling a little lost as I make my way back home.
I had a huge desire yesterday to be “home”, but the awful, oh so, so awful, thing was I didn’t know where home was. I didn’t really know where I wanted to be, I just knew I wanted to be with people I love, and who love me - but I felt so lost not knowing where that was. Part of me constantly feels stupid that I’m now 28 and have no home-base set up; in Australia, or Canada. I constantly feel a little lonely and find myself envying people’s stable lives on Facebook, when I am walking the streets of Paris. Insane, isn’t it?
But like I said, I’ve met so many great people in Paris and my mind has been distracted in an awesome way. I skyped Matt yesterday which was, well, I don’t even know. I constantly see couples in Paris (obviously) and keep thinking that this little European adventure I’m on is probably my last solo trip. It’s been good & amazing doing so much alone, but I’m definitely now at the stage where I want someone to share this all with (right now I feel like I’m dating my blog - sharing my photos and thoughts with you. It helps.)
Anywho, I am at a cafe right now, sipping a coffee and typing away on my iPhone as I rest my feet before I venture out again. Can’t say I know the point of this post, just wanted someone to chat to.
When I was 18, I went to Paris for a school trip with a huge group of friends, and somehow spent a week there and never saw Notre Dame! Yea, I don’t know what I was thinking or doing either. Anywho, that means that this stunning cathedral was at the top of my ‘must-see’ list in Paris.
And see I did!
Notre Dame has acted as France’s main Catholic Cathedral since the Middle Ages. Maurice de Sully the Paris Bishop, started its construction in 1163(!!!) and the work lasted over 100 years and finished in 1270. Which also means it’s 800 years old this year - craziness.
The name ‘Notre Dame’ means ‘Our Lady of Paris’ and its architecture is one of the first examples of the use of flying buttresses, and the cathedral also features numerous statues and beautiful stained glass windows (see below). Since it was built, the cathedral has been one of the main symbols of Paris and France, and has been the spotlight of major religious and political events, including the crowning of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French in 1804
I headed into the church yesterday when their evening service was just getting starting, and I got a little camera-happy. Churches are one of my favourite things to photograph, so I hope you enjoy these.
A late lunch in #Paris’s Latin Quarter.
Spring in #Paris… Whoa.