Just 10 days ago, I left Paris. Saturday the 1st of July, was the last day of my 6 months internship. I met some really amazing people, and it felt incredibly strange to come to the end of that journey. It went by so fast, it feels just yesterday I had arrived in my new apartment and the New Years Eve fireworks were going off Place Trocadero. Funny how we don’t see time go by until its actually gone. We had a farewell lunch the Friday before I left, and I said goodbye to everyone, promising to visit next time I was in Paris.

Sunday, I returned the keys to my minuscule Parisian apartment. While it was obviously too small for the type of person that I am, that likes to “spread around” and “nest” all over the place, I did appreciate living there. I liked being 2 minutes walking distance from the Eiffel Tower. I liked hearing the live music that played every Thursday in the pub I never went to across the street. I liked watching over the rooftops of Paris, and looking down at the empty streets on Sunday mornings or late nights/early mornings I couldn’t sleep, from my little window. And even though the city sounds didn’t promote going to sleep at an early hour, they made me feel connected to the city I’d always dreamt of living in.

That next Monday, for the second day in a row, I woke up around 5 am. Staying in an Airbnb with my family (and our newly adopted puppy), we got up and left for Disneyland! It was great because I hadn’t been there in quite a few years, and there were loads of upgrades on the rides. And it was my mother’s birthday, so it was really fun being there for the occasion.

The next day again, was the day I took a 9:45 am plane for Venice, before getting a car service to Slovenia. The flight was only 1 hour and 15 minutes long, and quite comfortable, as I was in the very first row, so loads of leg room which is awesome when you’re flying coach! I waited two hours at the airport in Venice for my car service, as planned. I did my best to get some sleep in the car, as I was really tired from Disneyland the day before, and getting up so early that morning. I arrived in Slovenia around 4:30 and was so happy to finally be reunited with my lovely Kat!

And that’s pretty much the sum up of my travels from Paris to Slovenia. I still have loads of  posts to share with you about some of the other things I’ve been up to! Including my trip to Soca Valley and to Croatia. I’ll try to put those out soon!

Not my photo. Credit goes to justin fantl.
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We visited Versailles on the Second Sunday in June, during the Fontaines Musicales event. We entered the Jardins in the early afternoon and walked around all day long, under a 31°C sun. Of course, irish that I am, I crisped up like a sun dried tomato and ended up the same color as my favorite pink skirt (dispite having spent all afternoon longing the hedges, and hiding under trees and large statues for shade, like two suspicious little squirrels looking for nuts and berries).

We picnicked in the garden, enjoying a homemade Quiche Loraine we had whipped up the night before, slightly inhibited from an evening of Italian wine and cheeses, served with French Bread at Little Italy.

We visited the Petit Trianon, and the Domaine de Marie Antoinette, where we hung out with a wide array of farm animals: rabbits, ducks, fish, goats, donkeys, chickens, and cows, each and everyone of them more blazé than ever, in the royalest of little farms in the French Republic.

We crossed adorable bridges, and passed bucolic little houses where Marie Antoinette’s workers would live and work.

We walked along the long pond in the center, and watched people float on the water in lovely wooden boats.

We smelled the enchanting pink roses in the Orangeraie, that just made us want to stay there forever and ever. But we contented ourselves with bottling the aroma in the little glass bottle of our minds, so we could go back to it, every so often.

After a whole afternoon of walking in the sun (and green and white Stan Smiths), we decided we had earned ourselves a nice little serving of frozen fruit sorbet. We took our seats at La Flotille, and ordered three boules de Sorbet (Mango, Cassis and Lemon), with a nice cup café au lait.

 

We visited the Castle around 4:30, and (re)discovered the many rooms the kings and queens lived in, slept in, and ate in. We pathed out way through the luminous Palais des Glaces, before taking the train home.

Quick tips for Versailles Castle:
– Always bring sunscreen (& apply it generously ~ including behind the knees, a secretly sensitive area)
– Leave your extra bags at the Consignes, you’ll kill yourself tugging them around everywhere (there’s one at the entrance and one at the Petit Trianon)
– Arrive early (before 12), if you want to do everything, there’s a lot of walking involved
– Bring sufficient water during the day, and locate all the bathrooms in the Garden (There’s a few fountains in the garden to refill your water bottles)
– La Flotille is a delicious restaurant/café, and serves one of the best cups of coffee ever. It’s a great place to sit down and relax after a day of walking around Versailles.

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I live in an apartment the size of a shoebox. As do most 20 something interns living in Paris on their own. I left my apartment around 10:30am, after watching new episodes of Master Of None season 2. I presumably finished the season in just 2 days. There’s just certain things on which I don’t think you need to postpone your pleasure. This show is one of them.

It was very windy, but it wasn’t cold. It was sunny, but it wasn’t hot. All-in-all, a type of weather I can get my head around. The wind made a mess of my hair, which I hadn’t really put much effort in anyway, contenting myself to tuck most of it under a light, grey turtle neck sweater before running out the door (because I can).

My earphones were in my ears, but I was just listening to the sound of the trees whispering through the wind, as I made my way down Rue Raymond Pointcarré. The aerial movements, pushing me forward, then backwards, then no direction at all, haulting suddenly at a still. Passing a pigeon eating someone’s old cookie on the side walk, and friends enjoying café en terrasse under the early summer sun.

It wasn’t Sunday, but it sure felt like it. Everything and everyone seemed quite calm. I was at my favorite place to be on my days off: Starbucks. Writing, working on my last school projects, my business plans, and talking on the phone with Cat. Basically, I had turned the franchise into my personal office for the past 6 months.

I arrived at the coffee shop at ten minutes to 11. I stood in line for 3 minutes, and ordered in 1 and a half. I think. It took me some time to decide what I wanted. Knowing I was going to be there for a few hours, I ordered two cappuccinos: one hot, one iced, which was covered in milk froth, due to my usual barista’s amazingly awkward drink preparing skills. Realising how annoying it may be, or not be, I asked ahead of time if they were sugar free, having watched hours of documentaries, which enabled me to develop a sense of paranoia about the amount of sugar I introduced into my body on a daily basis.

I sat at a small round table, too small for anything productive to happen on. The indian guy at the larger round table next to me, was sitting hunched over, not over the table, but with his elbows on his knees, barely aware of the table at all. He was on his phone, with earphones in his ears listening to loud music, frantically fascinated by his digital occupation. When he left, I scootched over to his table, over the dark burgundy leather seats.

I finished reading an article I had started reading at home before I left, and before I decided that I needed some fresh air and caffeine. By the time I finished my article, all that was left of my iced cappuccino was melted ice cubes in a puddle of coffee stained milk.

After spending an hour trying to explain the current political phenomenon to myself, I realised there wasn’t enough drafts I could write, that could explain the current political environment. Confusion and nonsense were the main themes.

I took a break from thinking about unthinkable things, and looked at some photographs I had taken. I inserted my 32GB Sandisk into my Mac Book Pro, and scrolled through raw images on a brightly lit screen.

I left the coffee shop to cook a fresh, homemade, sugar-free lunch. On my way home, I find myself walking at the same pace as a short, greyish-white haired man smoking a wooden pipe. He wore a matching brown bag and brown shoes, blue jeans and a navy blue suit vest.

The rest of the day was spent alternating between reading, working and watching TV shows, before heading to the gym for an evening workout session

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When I moved to Paris, everything was new to me. Well, almost everything. While I speak french perfectly, and had been to Paris before, there was one language I wasn’t at all fluent in: subway lingo. I didn’t know where anything was, and having a poor sense of orientation I was quite overwhelmed at the beginning. I didn’t know how Paris “worked”. I didn’t know North from South, nor left bank from from right bank. The only thing I knew was how to input an address in Google Maps, and let myself be mindlessly lead by a map mispronouncing the names of every street.

I got around to knowing most parts of Paris. Especially the part of Paris I lived (16th and 17th arrondissement) and worked in (6th and 7th arrondissements). One thing you have to know about Paris, is that it is organised by “Arronissements” numbers in one big swirl, starting from the middle with the 1st Arrondissement, and is separated in two parts by the Seine (Rive gauche, Rive Droite). Also, funnily enough, you can get to nearly everywhere in 20 to 30 minutes tops when you’re within Paris Center (Arronissement 1 to 6/7), and 35 minutes to 1 hour maximum, to cross town completely (16 to 20, 18 to 15, 17 to 12, for example).

The subway is probably the fastest way to get around town, because they come every 2 to 4 minutes and you can easily get stuck in traffic taking Taxis, Ubers or Buses. So while the Subway may not be the most luxurious way to get around, it is certainly the most practical one.

In this post, I will tell you about some basic things you probably don’t know about the Paris Metro, and and then tell you which Stations take you to the top locations in Paris you’ll most likely want to visit during your trip. I will do another more detailed post about travelling through Paris, but lets start with the basics, shall we!

What you absolutely need to know about the Paris METRO:

  • There are 14 metro lines;
  • Each line, obviously, has 2 opposite directions, so make sure to check the direction you want to be going towards;
  • Never carry your phone in your back pocket, and if you have loose side pockets, keep an eye on those too: pick pocketing in a real thing, and it happens every day;
  • There are often beggars on the metro, so deal with it, most of them are harmless;
  • You won’t get any phone reception once you’re in the metro station, so make sure you load your maps before you enter the subway station;
  • Some metro lines have been modernised with screens telling you exactly where you are, and some metro lines haven’t been modernised yet. It’s easy to keep track of where you are on the more modern lines, but you have to be extra attentive when you’re on the older lines, to make sure you get off at the right stop.

Which Metro lines take you to the TOP locations in Paris:

  • Champs Elysées: Line 1 (Get off at Franklin Roosevelt, George V or Champs-Elysées Clémenceau), Line 9 (Franklin Roosevelt), Line 6 (Charles de Gaulle Étoile), Line 13 (Champs Elysées Clémenceau)

You have many ways to get to the Champs Elysées, my preferred route being Line 1 and 9, and getting off at Franklin Roosevelt. Also, note that they often close the George V stop on Sundays, when they close off the Champs Elysées for Vehicle circulation. Franklin Roosevelt is always a safe bet.

  • Musée du Louvre (Louvre Museum): Line 1 (Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre)
  • Le Marais (nice neighbourhood in Paris): Line 1 (Saint Paul)
  • Saint Germain des Près (Solférino or Rue du Bac stop): Line 10 (Mabillon), Line 12 (Rue du Bac)
  • Nôtre Dame de Paris: Line 4 (Cité or Saint Michel), Line 1 (Hôtel de Ville), Line 11 (Hôtel de Ville or Chatelet), Line 10 (Maubert-Mutualité or Cluny-La Sorbonne), Line 7 (Chatelet), Line 14 (Chatelet)
  • Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower): Line 9 (Trocadero), Line 6 (Bir-Hakeim)
  • Arc de Triomphe: Line 1, 2 and 6 (Charles de Gaulle-Étoile)
  • Montmartre, Sacré Coeur: Line 12 (Abbesses), Line 2 (Blanche, Anvers)

And there you have it! I’ll write more about how to find your way through Paris, so you don’t feel as lost as I did during your next trip! 🙂

 

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This AMPM shop is located at 60 Rue Victor Hugo, in the 16th Arrondissement in Paris. Venture in this lovely little place, and discover unique home accessories, and versatile furniture that could spruce up the place you call home.

Here are some pictures of my favorite parts of the shop.

Cactuses that don’t spike you: need.

Love these dark green + gold candle holders.

Dream Table.

*Added to WishList*

Coconut planters: why oui, s’il vous plait! I’ll take 150 of them to go please.

Great address!

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“Finding a secret garden

In a City you’ve never been to,

Like trying to light a fire in

The the midst of a Windy spring.”

– Written around Trocadero Square.

 

 

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When you’re an American living in France, you’ll always feel like a tourist. There’s this constant feeling of inadequacy. When you realise you’ll never be a fully rounded, traditional member of the french society. No matter how long you’ve been living there. I moved to France when I was 8 years old. Today, I am twenty. My french is perfect. I’ve always been a good student in school. And I have a good number of amazing french friends. However, I don’t always get their expressions, can’t always tell when they’re being sarcastic, and don’t know any of their famous people (- except for a very few) . So culturally, I haven’t completely transitioned yet.

I imagine that people can’t tell that I’m not french when I’m walking down the street. There’s no real tell that would lead anyone to believe that I’m not. I have no accent. No obnoxious fashion sense. I read french books on public transport, and one of my passports is the same colour as french people’s. No one knows that I’m not french, except me.

 

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I moved to Paris because living in Paris on my own was on my bucket list. Ever since I was little. I used to have this little jar in my bedroom. That I decorated with pink tissue paper with flowers. It had a gold heart sticker, with the words “Paris Fund” on it.

End of december 2016, I moved to Paris. I had two suitcases. And no apartment. I got to Paris, and had to find an apartment that same day. Or stay in an Airbnb that night. I visited one apartment, and moved into the second one. It was 2 minutes walking distance from the Eiffel Tower. You could see the Tower’s reflection, in the windows across the street. At night, around 11, it would sparkle. Sometime’s I watched it. The first time I watched it, was on New Years 2017.

Place Trocadero is always busy. Its loud. I liked looking out from the window, watching over the roof tops of Paris. Wondering where the buildings were, and if people inside them were watching over the rooftops as well. Because watching something from above… it’s a lot different than watching something from underneath. Sometimes I’d see balloons floating in the sky afar. Most of the times I just saw birds, but never heard them sing.

 

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How to live in Paris. Go there. Get an apartment. Move in. Go to the Grocery Store. Buy Food. Go back to your apartment. Prepare food. Eat food. Watch a movie. Go to sleep. Wake up. Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. Skip breakfast. Leave your apartment. Lock the door behind you. Take the elevator. Go downstairs. Go outside. Pick your transportation. Choose the bus. Just because you can see outside. Let the bus take you to the stop nearest to work. Make sure you press the stop button. Realise the stop button is already on. Get off the bus. Walk to work. Get to work. Sit down at your desk. Do some useful stuff. At 1:30 leave work. Go outside. Walk to the store. Pick your food. Usually just fruit. Because you don’t really eat anything else. Eat. Go back to work. Do some more stuff. At 6pm head to the nearest bus stop. Wait for the bus. The bus arrives. Get on the bus. Beep your bus pass. Sit down. If there’s a seat left. Stand if there’s an old lady who wants to sit. Let the bus get stuck in traffic. Then let it take you to the nearest stop home. Get off the bus. Walk to your building. Put in the code to the 1st door. Then the 2nd door. Then get into the elevator. Let it take you to your floor. Then walk to your door. Open your door. Take your shoes off. Take your clothes off. Put your PJs on. Lie down. Eat Something. Write. Meditate. Then wash your face. Brush your teeth. Take a shower. Watch a TV show. Then fall asleep. And wake up the next morning. And do the same. Tomorrow.

It’s really not that hard.

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