Saturday, April 3, 2010
Instructions before reading this post. Click to open this page in another tab/window/whatever but don't look at it yet. Music will start that will set the scene for this post....Go on, I'll wait. You can look at the website (which is beyond awesome) afterwards.
I don't think I've really waxed lyrical about how much I'm in love Paris and how I am actively planning and plotting to get there and stay for three months in September 2011. Well, I am. It is a rock solid goal of mine. I'm going to rent a studio or one bedroom apartment somewhere awesome with a view over the rooftops of Paris. I'm going to eat cheese and bread and drink a lot of wine. I'm going to walk and walk and walk, take photos, breathe and generally experience Paris. I'll probably try to take some "work" to do of some kind. Sewing, writing, photography...I don't really care. I want to be in my apartment as the autumn sunshine lengthens over the chimney pots and be creative.
Does this all sound very romantic? It is supposed to. I have only visited Paris once before and then only for three days. It was the end of my last Europe trip (six years ago now!) and I had just enough money to dash over the channel for a couple of nights. I'd never been to Paris before - I thought, how can it be that amazing? It is just a city, I'm sure I'm not really missing out on anything. Wow, but I've never been so wrong about anything in my life. And it hit me from when I stepped off the train. I really find it difficult to explain why I loved it so but I did. I think about those three days more than all the rest of my trip combined (although the six weeks in Sweden were pretty incredible too). I rode a bike around the city, including around the L'Arch de Triomphe, and if you've seen this you'll know how dangerous that is. I giggled insanely while I did it and felt immune to death or injury. I wandered museums, visited Versailles, ate a market-bought picnic beneath La Tour Eiffel, did a cooking class in a chef's house in suburban Paris and learnt to clean a squid from scratch. I ate at a restaurant where there was no menu, just what the chef had bought at the market that morning and at cafes where the price of a hot chocolate included people watching for hours and at crepe stands where mountains of crepe and fillings cost hardly anything and were delicious. My hotel room had real french doors that led onto a tiny Parisian balcony where I could watch the coming and going from the cafe across the street.
I did have one bad experience there when I saw a fight in the street but even that, which shocked me to the core at the time, has not dampened my love for the city. And I can't wait to get back there.
Okay, now you can go and look at the website...ahhh Paris. See you next year!