—— 09.06.13 | travel ——

la tour eiffel

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So on the day we visited the Eiffel Tower it was pretty murky and dull. It had been raining all week in Paris so there really wasn’t any better day to visit. The Australian Embassy is actually on the road next to the Eiffel Tower and when I saw the blue sky-ed billboard, I secretly missed the warmer weather just a little! When we arrived at the base of the tower, we were pleasantly surprised by a lack of a line. I’ve heard from others that in Summer you can expect a line that goes for almost half a day long and given it’s pretty much the most popular attraction in Paris, I expected at least some sort of line in Winter too. Well nuh uh! The only other people around were a few Australian families behind us (perhaps us Aussies are the only ones who dare travel North every January). They say hot air rises but I certainly did not feel like it did when we went up! The view was well, nice, but it was somewhat tainted by the overenthusiastic clouds which hung gloomily all around. As you can see. When the lady at the ticket stand asked if we wanted a ticket to go all the way up to the top, we thought, of course (and so we bought the 2 level combined ticket) however when we got to the tip, all we saw was whiteness. It was like climbing Jack’s humungous beanstalk – we were literally ‘up in the clouds’! It certainly did not look like a very romantic looking place for proposals (I personally think Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence is the most beautiful place propose haha) and picnics – the Jardin des Tuileries adjacent to the tower also looked uninhabited in its wet and bare state, so perhaps it was not so much a great idea to visit in Winter. I thought I’d share these photos anyway though for no one goes to Paris without posting photos of the Eiffel Tower! Hopefully next time we visit it will be a more summery and vibrant experience.

—— 04.06.13 | travel ——

parisian memories

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{Photos: Tom & I}

Sitting in the middle of a patents validity trial paper today got me daydreaming about Europe and how I just wish I could teleport myself from my study desk to experience Summer in Paris. It’s been almost five months since Tom & I visited and perhaps five months too late to post these photos. However, photos of Paris cannot go unshared and flipping through these on my laptop makes me think about how beautiful the city really was. I think when I first wrote about Paris on my blog, I was actually in Paris and writhing from so much pain – having caught a bout of food poisoning and spending the majority of our week there attempting to recover whilst watching the rain fall 24 hours a day from our apartment window. It was not a comforting scene to accompany my uncomfortable, sick self. Coupled with the fact that no one understood our attempts to speak broken French or English – though I did happen to have a meaningful conversation in mandarin with the Celine eyewear shop assistant at Galeries Lafayette, I was not in a good mood! I think I wrote about how overrated Paris was back then.

 

But now, I kind of miss the place. I miss the architecture and how it sort of reminds me of a romanticised London. I miss the quirky Parisian ways – I have never seen anyone park their car so close to another and I can confirm that when people drive their cars out of their spots contact with cars on both sides is guaranteed. Not something that I’d be very pleased about if I were in Australia (given this pretty much happened to me a few days ago when someone drove into the back of my car) but apparently it is normal in Paris as evidenced in the photo above. I would also be lying if I said I didn’t miss the food there – sure I got sick of baguettes after the third day however the variety of pastries, cakes, breads and cheese and chocolate stuffed buns in each local boulangerie (or bakery) meant that you could visit the same shop for a couple of weeks and still not have had the chance to try it all. In Paris, open air flower stalls were everywhere and bottled water (and alcohol) was sold at the cheapest prices I had ever seen. 0.20 euro for 1.4 litres of water! And it gets even better when you start noticing that Parisians like to face the street when they sit outside bistros. When I met with Typhaine on my last day there, she revealed that it was because Parisians love to watch the street and people as they eat.

 

For me, it’s the little things like this that made Paris a place to miss. Tom & I barely visited many tourist attractions properly as we were feeling too sick to travel far, so the experiences we had walking down the streets of central Paris near our apartment are what form the majority of my Parisian memories and are the things that I miss most. I hope you enjoy these photos from our time there!