15.08.2012 - 21.08.2012
After departing Copenhagen after having a great time with Kat it was back to being with Sarah again - but this time in her city...Paris.
I arrived in Paris in the early evening I was met by Sarah and taken to MY OWN APARTMENT in Paris. Sarah was looking after a friends place which I was able to stay in while I was in Paris.
I arrived in CDG airport ready to board the train into central Paris...not without realizing that I don't know the pin on my credit card, and therefore have to rustle up 17€ in coins...easier said than done unfortunately. I must have looked like a deranged person going from booth to booth hoping one would let me pay in cash...before realizing if I had simply turned around at the initial machine there was a change dispenser behind me. Haha.
Once on the train it was to be squished like sardines into the metro. I am proud to say within 3minutes of getting to the metro I already had to yell at someone in French to let go of my backpack as they thought it was a very convenient way to stabilize themselves on the sometimes erratically moving metro.
I disembarked at Sarah's metro stop to be greeted by her and led to my apartment. It was all very exiting until I was 4 stories up, with 17kg bag on my back praying for the pain to end...within 2 more stories I was finally there.
I must say, the whole backpack thing is awesome in theory...and most days in execution...but if I could occasionally swap it for a fancy bag WITH WHEELS I might almost be the happiest traveller in the world.
Ok, i got off track there for a moment...
So while I love Paris and it brings back some great memories of my trip with school in 2004, my main reason for coming this time was not to be a real tourist, but to enjoy Paris with Sarah as she has been living there for 3 years and I still hadn't visited her there and seen her life set up over there.
My visit had some must dos on the list...firstly it was to visit laudree with Sarah. For those of you who don't know laudree, shame on you...google it, anyways after having some laudree chocolate shipped to me for my birthday a couple of years ago by Sarah and hearing all about the delicacies of the place I was dying to try it out - and lets just say I wasn't disappointed. Sarah had some amazing ice cream cake concoction which I would have had food envy over if she had not graciously shared with me. I had the cake version which was also delicious. Anything with lychees and raspberries has me sold...but Sarah specially asked to have violet ice cream with hers which was life changing...it was beyond delicious!!!
Here is a quick snap of the happiness that is laudree:
Sarah and I also shared a picnic under the Eiffel tower in true touristy fashion...with my favourite things to eat in Paris including baguettes, saussicon and goats cheese (which they are almost giving away its so cheap over here).
Paris is such a gorgeous city, and was amazingly quiet away from the large tourist spots as most of Paris leaves for the month of August and heads somewhere near the water. We did lots of walking around Paris to see the Paris plage (a fake beach they install by the seine in summer...not exactly Anglesea, but a good substitute I guess for those stuck in Paris), Montmartre to get fabric for Sarah to use, the padlock bridge and the amazing bonne marche which is like a big version of the Harrods food department....mmmm, so much delicious food.
Like all of those super fancy supermarkets you can't believe how much stuff they stock that is just beyond ridiculously priced...my favourite of the day was a bottle of water called "bling" which was probably 1L and cost €30....FOR WATER. Unless its some kind of holy water that makes you instantly become thinner, younger and more tanned you would have to be one of the silliest people on earth to buy it...or so wealthy that it just doesn't matter. I could imagine someone like p-diddy drinking that just because he knows it's a ripoff.
Paris had a big heatwave while I was there which made the city almost unbearable to inhabit (most places don't have airconditioning...my 6th floor apartment being one of them) so when we learnt it was to be 39C in Paris on Sunday, agatha, Sarah and I were on the train north to Deauville (a lovely beach town on the north coast of France).
We arrived early in the morning to be greeted by rain...and it was quite cool...not really the kind of day we had in mind. It was also rather cool and we couldn't believe that it could possibly be 39C in Paris when we were experiencing this. We spent some money on a beach tent and spent most of the day huddled under there trying to stay out of the rain. We eventually gave up and went into town to get an early dinner and to warm up. In the time it took to get dinner the weather had done a complete 180 and it was now lovely and warm outside and so we spent our last hour on the beach enjoying what we had intended the whole day to be like before getting back on the train to go home.
My last day in Paris Sarah and I did some shopping at printemps and admired all of the things we wanted but couldn't afford before we headed to Le Marais, a lovely district that Sarah used to live, for a much needed champagne and early dinner. It was a great place to go people watching and enjoy the surroundings. It's also fun to find the Aussies in the crowd as they are usually so distinctive against the European backdrop. Let's just say when you wear rugby shorts and a singlet to dinner you are not fooling anyone into thinking you are anything other than an Australian.
This is what Paris life is about:
I loved my time in Paris, dabbling in my horrible French, spending time with Sarah and eating all of the things that make France such a foodie destination. Noone does pastries like the French...noone!!!
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list." - Susan Sontag