Saturday, 28 June 2014

Paris for one.


As I lay by the Seine, I thought to myself: I am SO happy. In this precise moment, but also in my life in general.


To quote my favourite song of the moment, Be Okay (listen here, it's so wonderfully happy and feel-good): "When your life is great, celebrate the feeling." I think I'm getting pretty good at achieving that, at appreciating the present and not always dreaming about the future, but it's something we all need to work at.


There were boats going past playing La Vie En Rose, there was a little breeze, the Seine was sparkling away in the Sunday afternoon sunshine (hot but not unbearably so), there were men fishing across the river and Parisians roller-blading past behind me. I had a French magazine, my music and refreshing treats in the form of a Diet Coke and a giant punnet of strawberries.

Who gets to live in those houses?
I love being by water on a hot day, even if I can't go in it. Maybe it's the breeze or maybe it's all in my head but I find it cooling. Savouring the feeling of the warmth of the sun on my skin, it was bliss that afternoon. I thought to myself: Life is so great. I am so happy. Year abroad is the best.

I didn't want to move. But then I needed the loo.

...

I was by myself, but that was part of the joy of it all. I am someone who is - and always has been - perfectly happy on her own. I can sunbathe for as long as I like and don't have to feel bad for needing the loo as frequently as I do.

Last week I was in Paris for work for a few days which was amazing. It worked out rather in my favour too as I managed to get a cheeky weekend in the world's most beautiful city. YES! Aside from meeting some friends for drinks on Friday night, I was free to do as I pleased on my ownsome for the rest of the weekend.

Chilling on a swing behind Notre Dame

Two summer days in Paris to myself: what a treat.

Having been to Paris a fair few times before (and quite recently, remember?), I wasn't in any massive stress to pow out all the tourist sights. Except I couldn't come to Paris and not pay a trip to the Eiffel Tower now, could I?



Despite this, I am one of those crazy travellers who packs so much into each day that they burn out by 7pm. Evening fail.

One thing I decided over my weekend in Paris is that I really need to either come back or generally live there when I'm rich. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time doing everything on a shoestring budget, but I can't help but dream of how amazing it must be to enjoy all the luxury Paris has to offer. Scrap that, not even the luxury, just any restaurant as opposed to supermarkets all the time. #studentinternproblems

Still, walking and admiring the buildings is free. Good thing I love doing that then!


Aside from the gorgeous architecture, here are some the things I love most about Paris:

1. The road name signs

lol
2. The lampposts


3. All the outside tables and chairs


4. The fact that you can see the peak of the Eiffel Tower nearly everywhere.



I probably shouldn't admit this, but my Paris to-do list was really more of a to-eat list. Aaaand I did pretty well ticking it all off.




Crêpes, macarons, falafel, pain au chocolat... It was a delicious few days.

In fact, getting a Nutella crêpe was the first thing I did on Saturday morning.

I was in the Latin Quarter, which I love. It's super buzzy, especially come evening when all the international restaurants are vying for your custom. Slightly more chilled in the morning, but I still had plenty of choice when it came to crêpes.

Here's how my conversation with the man behind the counter went:

Me: "Please be generous with the Nutella!" (Because why wouldn't you want lots?)
Him: "Do you want to get fat?" (Oh, so that's why you wouldn't want lots.)

I wasn't sure what to reply really but I took my super Nutella-y crêpe and thoroughly enjoyed it anyway.

The Latin Quarter is just over the river from Île Saint-Louis, another area I love, right by Notre Dame.


Île Saint-Louis isn't big and the streets are tiny but absolutely charming.



And over the river on the other side you find yourself just on the edge of the rather different but totally fabulous Marais, another fave area.


The Marais is home to aaaallll the trendy shops not to mention the falafel of your dreams (see above or my previous rant about it here.)

Place des Vosges


The Marais is also home to this totally un-French but fantastic diner, Breakfast In America.


My brother had taken me there three years ago when I visited him on his year abroad, and for some reason I got a loyalty card and have kept it in my wallet ever since. When I spotted it again this time round I couldn't not go in and treat myself to a big ole American milkshake. It doesn't matter where in the world I am, I will never not crave a chocolate peanut butter milkshake.


OK now I really want one again. Great.

Quick, let's move on.

As much as I love revisiting my Paris faves, discovering new things is always fun too.

Portuguese custard tart, anyone?
One of my best discoveries was the INSANE view you get from the top of the legendary department store, Galeries Lafayette. If you go all the way up to the roof terrace, you'll walk out to incredible views of the city. It rather took my breath away. (Apologies, I didn't have my good camera with me and these phone snaps alas really don't do it justice.)


Yes, that is Montmartre in the distance
I could see Sacré Coeur, the Eiffel Tower (obvs), the Opera and the Arc de Triomphe. Speaking of which...

HIYA!
A spot of shopping on the ole Champs Elysées may have occurred too, but the sales had just started and I would've been a fool, a FOOL I tell you, if I ignored them.

I didn't want to spend too long in shops though as the weather was beeeee-autiful!


I do love strolling along the banks of the Seine... So blue and sparkly!



I also enjoy browsing the vintage posters and books at all the little stalls lining the river. All whilst keeping an eye out for 1D. THEY WERE IN PARIS THE SAME WEEKEND AS ME! I didn't see them though. Killer.

Moving on (before I cry)...

All that walking can take it out of a gal though, and one of my fave places for a sit-down in Paris is the Tuileries garden, right by the Louvre.



Book, sunshine, sit-down, perfection.

I also had a pretty sweet sit-down outside the town hall for a while (who doesn't love sitting and people-watching?) There was a Scottish man playing bag pipes, an Asian bride and groom having a wedding photoshoot, an English comedian performing a show, people from Tropicana handing out free bottles of juice (may have taken four and drunk them all in one afternoon, oops) and a man making giant bubbles. What more could a girl want?


Paris may not be like the rest of France, but it's more French than Brussels and my little trip reminded me why I love France and French. I didn't need reminding why I love Paris. It may just be my favourite place in the world.
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5 comments

  1. What camera do you use? The photos of the Eiffel Tower are so clear! Looks like a great trip! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What camera did you use? The photos of the Eiffel Tower are so beautiful! Looks like a great trip :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I use a Canon Lumix GF5 :)

      Delete
  3. Beautiful pictures! I really want a Nutella Crepe so badly now! ~ Claire

    24 Hours From Home - Travel, Adventures and Beauty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Claire. I ALWAYS want a nutella crepe :) x

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