Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I (heart) Paris

You already know I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to planning my travels. The high point of my obsessive-compulsive behaviour came in the summer of 2006 when I went to Paris with my best friend. Below you have proofs of that (the trip and the OCD). If any of you out there are visiting Paris, maybe this can give you some ideas.

Many more pictures under the cut and click to enlarge(it doesn't work yet, but this evening I'll take care of it).

The trip was planned as one last week in France, at the end of my Erasmus year in Nantes (insert sigh here). I had had a wonderful year in Nantes (sigh) and I regretted to leave it but the last week in France was truly awesome.

We found this nice hotel near Montmartre and I came one day earlier (I had booked my tickets one month in advance, got them half price, because I was obsessing). So I had time to do some sight seeing of my own before my best gf came and the rest became history. Montmartre soon became our favorite spot in Paris, we had discovered interesting things, such as the vineyard on the hill and it seemed like we were transported through time.

The weather was crappy. Like London rather than Paris, but we managed to have fun. If you are wondering, yeah, we did about 95% of what was planned. Maybe some extras too. We took so many pictures that our main problems were split into: a) me running out of memory or b) my best friend running out of battery. Luckily we had a way to fix it so now I am looking at almost 2 DVDs almost full of pictures and movies.

We did the usual things when going to Paris: going up the Tower, spending one (long, very long) day in the Louvre (and I love Egyptian art and lots of painting styles and painters, but that was too much for one day). We had our lunch under the tower, on Champ de Mars. We met with gypsies, the usual.

We went to Versailles and Disneyland (Magical, any child, no matter the age, 8 or 80, has to go there at least once). We were goofy, trying on funky hats and buying souvenirs and we went on almost all the rides twice (despite my initial fear and the line of people).

Nothing, no list, no plan, no book, nothing, prepared us for the little unusual discoveries that are ours alone. Like the old man playing violin in Place de Vosges. Or the wonderful colours of the sky while we were taking our ride on the Seine. Or that we would fall inlove with the little Trianon and not Versailles.

There were so many wonderful moments: the ducks on the pond in the Tuilleries or the boats in Luxembourg garden or the colours of the stained glass in Saint Chapelle. But I'll stop at this image of Luxembourg garden under the rain.

My boy being French will not agree with the title and although Paris is to crowded, busy, not necessarily the best place to live, this city was magical for me for some other reasons.

This trip was the embodiment of a dream we've had since high school. It came at the end of a great period in my life, and another one was starting. I will tell you more stories from my Erasmus days, I started with the end but rest assured, I went on lots of trips, and once I get back my photos, I'll take you on a journey with me.

P.S. I didn't forget to write about my boating trip, I still don't have the pics and I guess that's what you're interested in.

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