My third time in France quickly reminded me of how much I love this country! Paris is a beautiful city and despite the ordeal that was travelling into the country (flights, busses – it’s a long story so ask me if you are keen) I had arrived back in the most popular tourist city in the world.
For this trip I decided to book an Airbnb – somewhere in the famous 18th arrondissment that is Montmartre. My host was a lovely French woman with a very French styled apartment, complete with the little pieces of art to accompany its quaint style.
First night in Paris I found a cute little restaurant to enjoy a French dinner and was quickly reminded that my accent stands out like a sore thumb – very evident when people started replying to me in English – but c’est la vie!
Later that night after unwinding a little I caught up with a buddy, Will, that I met while travelling around I think it was Belgrade. It is always cool to catch up with friends met while travelling – and cool to see this side of town from the perspective of a local. I met up with a few of his friends to enjoy Despite being quite exhausted we headed out to a club in the 10th arrondissment – a cool little place with a little dancing and a few drinks!
The next day I decided to do something that was perhaps a little more French and enjoyed a late breakfast in the beautiful artists square that is at the heart of Montmartre. This is such an amazing part of the city – while I enjoyed breakfast I was able to take in the ambience that is the artists working their magic in the famous square. I took some time to spend exploring and rediscovering this amazing city.
One of my favourite places in Paris is the gardens in front of the beautiful church Sacre Coeur – it is a particularly brilliant part of Paris that never fails to deliver a picture perfect photograph no matter where you are.
After spending a relaxing morning, I headed towards the Australian embassy to vote in the election – an important task to be sure and with the Eiffel Tower visible out the embassy’s window I was left with 2 thoughts, firstly – who did we have to charm to get our embassy so close, and secondly – I probably have the best view of anyone voting ever.
That night I took a relaxing dinner before heading out to do a pub crawl through Paris! A great night to be sure, lots of fun – meeting new people, watching the Euro while drinking, and getting a little opportunity to practice my French as well.
Saturday was a dustier start to the day but I headed to another Parisian institution – le Champs Elysées – to do a spot of shopping – a more mundane chore to be sure, nonetheless a good way to spend the day.
Later that night I caught up with another friend who I met in Lithuania while out on a pub crawl with a few friends. Loyal readers know how much I love meeting locals. Paris was a particularly special example of this! I met up with Lydie – and we headed to a more secluded part of Paris for a friend’s birthday party. Located just 30 minutes south of the city this incredible community is situated in a marina where the residents live on board beautiful house boats. Monthly they have parties where the residents can get together and enjoy a little dancing, wine and some great food – tonight it was also one of her friends Aziz’s birthday – it was such a cool night – for me a standout on the trip so far.
Being around so many people speaking French was amazing – an incredible chance for me to practice (and I hope I succeeded) as well as meeting so many people who had done incredible things and seen incredible places throughout their lives. Some a little more eccentric than others, some a little wilder but all of them very cool and perfectly patient by tolerating my less than perfect French!
It was so much fun, to make new friends, and to really enjoy the relaxing lifestyle that made me so envious of this hidden part of the country. A cool time in Paris, capped off by an amazing last night once more reminding me how awesome this city, and indeed country is!