La Ville Lumière

Say what you want about Paris — it’s bourgois, the people are arrogant, it’s expensive, etc. — but it’s one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been in. And full of history and a very subtle liveliness. I can see how to an outsider or  a non-French speaker the city would just look like any other city with famous monuments and history, just with the classic French arrogance tossed in. But imma tell you, it’s really so much more.

Brief sidenote: I really don’t recommend going to Paris via Ryanair unless it really is cheaper. The stress of making the bus to the Beauvais airport from Paris at 8 in the morning (still dark) was not fun. Nor was the total of 30 euro in bus tickets.

I started my first “tourist” day at La Sainte Chapelle, famous for it’s massive amount of stained glass windows. All the glass of which is from the 13th century. A good bit of the lead holdings are new, but if I understood the video correctly, the glass is all kept unchanged.


Then I went to La Conciergerie, a pretty nifty little place where Marie Antoinette was held before execution. I actually don’t know much about it, but I went because it was free! (the first sunday of the month, all the museums are free). There was a huge exhibition on castles at the conciergerie that was pretty cool. And included Harry Potter.


Next, I met up with a high school friend I haven’t seen in two years! That was really cool. We ate lunch at a very nice restaurant called “Café Rubis” where I had my first ever duck dish. It was delicious.


And followed by Crème Brulée.


Next was “L’Arc de Triomphe” and we went up to the top! That was really cool (and free, thank you Sunday). Lot’s to see from up there.

Le Tour Eiffel as seen from L'Arc de Triomphe
Le Tour Eiffel as seen from L’Arc de Triomphe

Then came the Musée D’Orsay, which houses artwork from the mid-1800’s to more modern work and is probably most famous for its GIGANTIC impressionism exhibit. Literally, it just keeps going. Coolest thing ever. Mostly because I absolutely love impressionism. True confessions. You’re also not really allowed to take photos in there, so all you get is this nifty photo of the Louvre taken from inside the D’Orsay in one of the…well in the only area that was actually allowed.


And to finish off our little tourist adventure, my friend and I went down Le Champs-Élysées, full of it’s Christmas lights and market. So cool.


And while that might not be all of my Paris adventure, I figure I can leave you with this for now.


I’m Living in New Zealand

So back when we were taking our prep classes for French University survival, we talked about the fact that while the French take lots of vacation (minimum of five weeks, but more often it can be up to nine), they don’t travel abroad as most other Europeans. Why do you ask?

IT’S BECAUSE THEY HAVE FRICKING EVERYTHING! Haha it’s like the New Zealand of Europe. Literally, though. Let me just kind of lay this out for you.

1) France is the only European country to remain 100% agriculturally self-sufficient.

2) The climate of France ranges from Mediteranean, to more British-islesy, to German.

3) Not only are there Mountains (yes, the Alpes are included, as well as the Pyrénes), there are also large amounts of countryside and flat land. Oh. And lots of beaches. And lots of different kinds of beaches. There’s everything from cold and rainy Brittany beaches to the dry, warm Mediteranean beaches of the south of France. They also have “Calanques” these fjord-type things.

4) And they have castles. SO MANY CASTLES.

5) And they have both the Louvre (one of the largest and most visited museums in the world) and the Musée D’Orsay.

6) D-Day Beaches

7) Megaliths. Yep. Not just in Britain my friends. There are hundreds of these things in North-Western France.

8) Adventure activities ranging from Bungee Jumping to Hang-Gliding. And hiking obviously. You know. ‘Cause mountains.

9) I almost forgot! Roman ruins! There’s loads of them, especially in the south.

So yeah. That’s what I discovered while looking at what I want to do in France. Is a year enough? No. Not unless I took that whole year to run around and do all that crazy stuff.