Paris, mon amour!

Paris Travel Blog

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The quit slogans on cigarette packets are even more graphic in France!
I have returned to the city that I never tire of. I've been to Paris three times before, but there is so much to see and re-see, that I love discovering its major attractions and intimate secrets every time. I was also lucky to have yet another group of friends to stay with, this time Julie (French) and Esteve (Spanish).

The only problem was that the city had little love for me in terms of the weather. It was pouring with rain on my first full day here, forcing us to spend the majority of the day hiding in department stores and cafes. This was no great tragedy, as I particularly love visiting the food section at Galaries Lafayette - it's like a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, only a world of gourmet food instead of chocolate.
Julie on the couch in her apartment.
But of course, the prices were way above our budgets and we enjoyed lunch at a Chinese restuarant, a nice change from the usual baguettes.

I don't think it's possible to avoid art galleries in Paris. We visited the fantastic Musée D'Orsay, and happened to stand next to Leonardo DiCaprio and his gorgeous girlfriend whilst looking at a Van Gogh! We also made a trip to an exhibition of Australian artist, Ron Mueck's life-like sculptures, and the less well-known Petit Palais (for free!). Le Petit Palais has been recently renovated and has a stunning garden in the centre.

Perhaps our more unusual trips included the Père Lachaise cemetery to see Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde's graves. I actually learnt that the most famous grave in the cemetery belongs to a complete nobody.
Esteve
The stone is a sculpture of the particular man with a noticeably large erection under his pants. Over time the grave has become known as a place for women to go if they are preying for fertility. You can see that the sculpture's nether region is a different colour because of all the women who rub the area for good luck! It seems like this guy is getting luckier in death than he probably was in life.

I also had the good fortune of being in Paris while the Star Wars exhibition was there. There were all sorts of costumes and props from all six movies, as well as small videos explaining the special effects.

But my favourite Parisian experience will always be afternoon tea at Ladurée. This luxurious 'salon de thé' is worth the high prices for every decadence it offers. We savoured every taste of our croissants, thick hot chocolate served in a silver pot, and the famous macaroons in every flavour from rose petal and pistacchio to pepper and caramel with salt flakes (?!?!).

All this time my French was certainly improving, given that it has been seven years since I studied the language at school. The only problem was that my ear was not used to the French accent. Every word is slurred together into one continuous and very fast sentence. Even when Julie's father spoke to me in English I had trouble understanding what he said.
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The quit slogans on cigarette pack…
The quit slogans on cigarette pac…
Julie on the couch in her apartmen…
Julie on the couch in her apartme…
Esteve
Esteve
The garden in the centre of the Pe…
The garden in the centre of the P…
Me in front of le jardin.
Me in front of le jardin.
The beautiful staircase in the Pet…
The beautiful staircase in the Pe…
Same again.
Same again.
The one Monet painting at the Peti…
The one Monet painting at the Pet…
The famous macaroons at Ladurée.
The famous macaroons at Ladurée.
Tessa inside.
Tessa inside.
Esteve drinking his tea.
Esteve drinking his tea.
Esteve
Esteve
Me amongst the glamour of Ladurée.
Me amongst the glamour of Ladurée.
Outside, in the rain, but our tumm…
Outside, in the rain, but our tum…
The Arc de Triomphe on a rainy day.
The Arc de Triomphe on a rainy day.
Esteve and Tessa re-living our tim…
Esteve and Tessa re-living our ti…
Tessa and Esteve having sushi in t…
Tessa and Esteve having sushi in …
Me with the sushi too.
Me with the sushi too.
Fontainebleau Palace - the royal s…
Fontainebleau Palace - the royal …
Tessa and me outside with our umbr…
Tessa and me outside with our umb…
More views.
More views.
Esteve and Tessa
Esteve and Tessa
Me in the rear garden.
Me in the rear garden.
Esteve near the fountain.
Esteve near the fountain.
A rear view of the castle.
A rear view of the castle.
Paris Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
There is a very good reason why this luxurious salon de thé features in Patricia Schultz's, '1,000 Places to See Before You Die'. The high prices a… read entire review
Paris
photo by: Sweetski