I originally visited Paris for the romance. The idea of the magical city of lights. The place which sparked with potential. The city where I could pretend to know about art. But the more I visit the more it becomes a bolthole, a place to get away and think/relax/rejuvenate. I think Paris might just be the biggest perk of living in London. I can hear you crying ‘just move to Paris then’, but I don’t want to live there. I want to visit and dive feet first into the culture, the treats and the ‘differentness’ of Paris.
I know I am lucky to have been enough times for Paris to feel comfortable, to know the Metro as well as I know the Underground (although it is beyond me why they have a picture of a pink rabbit). But is it mostly because I have sacrificed traveling to more exotic or far flung destinations in exchange for living in a lovely flat in Zone 1. I would much rather give up that trip to Croatia, Iceland or Jordan if it means walking through my front door each day and smiling because I am so grateful to live in my flat. But this means that when I need a trip (as a kiwi it happens, wanderlust boils in our veins) it has to be close and it has to be affordable…hello Paris.
Having the Eurostar just makes everything ok. I have travelled longer to get to brunch then I have to get to Paris (sadly not kidding on this one). And come to that, I have packed more luggage for brunch than I have for a weekend in Paris. But the almost painless journey through the Chunnel takes you from central London to central Paris in enough time to write a tear stained blog post (more on this tomorrow).
Arriving in Paris I can now ignore the tourist traps. I no longer have the urgent feeling that unless I see the Louvre something tragic might befall it, if I miss the Eiffel Tower a freak lightening storm might bend it beyond recognition. So I can enjoy Paris as the whim takes me. If I want to walk for an hour just to find the perfect place to eat eclairs I can. If I want to rest, go to bed at 4:30pm and watch Star Trek I can. And beyond anything if I just want to sit and watch the world, then Paris is the dream.
There are just a few Paris blog posts to come, not the normal wave of French to take over the blog. But that is because this trip was about all the things that are not blog worthy, the naps, the visits to the supermarche, and the chocolate butt plug exhibition. Actually, I might write about that last one (why do I always end up in these situations???).
A quick train journey and I am in a different world. I am going from the stressed up to the eyeballs London life all about work and fitness, to rediscovering the real me in my favourite magic city. I can’t wait.
Hello again, another month another Travel Linkup with Emma and Kelly. I have thought long and hard about this post (actually I just had a GnT and thought, what the hell), but I think it is finally time to tell you what actually happened in Casa San Pablo. I posted last year about this amazing tapas joint I found on my Paris trip (read the post here), well amazing food wasn’t exactly the whole story…I may have skipped the part where I accidentally proposed to the french waiter. Yep.
My first night in Paris happened to coincide with the last night in Paris of some family friends from NZ. Things started well with a few drinks at the Last Bar Before the End of the World before a short walk to Casa San Pablo. I should declare now that I am a serious light weight when it comes to drinking – normally two glasses of wine and I am out for the count, so cocktails followed by sangria and margaritas was both a fun and lethal combination.
At the point where our (cute) waiter bought out the third round of tapas (the food was really fantastic), I decided that he was my future husband. Thinking that he only spoke french (you can see where this is going), I very loudly in English declared my love for him and went on to discuss where we would get married, how many children we would have, what holidays we would take and how we would compromise and live in Paris for spring and London for summer. He spoke English. Balls.
Well, maybe not. Mr French Waiter may have got the very subtle hints I was dropping and in broken english he asked me back for lunch and more sangria the next day. Still vastly entertained by the situation and seriously under the influence I said yes.
So the next day I went back for more tapas, after all regardless of what my future husband turned out like, I knew the food was damn fine. The food was even better the second time around and Mr French Waiter was a real gentleman up until he asked me back to his place to show me his “ultimate fighting skills” (no, not kidding). I declined the offer and went on my merry way thinking that was that.
Until of course the next day when I remembered that he had taught me a couple of french words…le blog & le facebook. That Facebook post I had written when drunk that went something along the lines of “OMG I JUST FOUND MY FUTURE HUSBAND AND HE IS FRENCH AND OUR BABIES WILL BE BEAUTIFUL AND IM GOING TO HAVE SANGRIA WITH HIM TOMORROW”? Mr French had found it …
AND LIKED IT!!!!!!!
Facing a real and social media hangover I quickly deleted everything possible and went to hide in an art gallery.
Who could have guessed that SciFi, Paris and tapas could be such a terrible terrible combination.
I know it’s only the start of October but I am calling it, I had found my favourite piece of art for 2013. As I rounded a corner in the Palais de Tokyo I came across Baitogogo by Henrique Oliveira. The way he had fitted this explosion of nature into the industrial setting was clever and gave meaning to the term installation.
When I was booking my Eurostar ticket it got to the page where it asked if you wanted to upgrade to first class. My instant reaction is ‘hell no’, because the Eurostar seats are already quite big and comfortable, and the trip is only a couple of hours.
But when I glanced at the upgrade page I got a bit of a shock, to upgrade my trip to Paris would have been £150, but the upgrade for the trip back was only £5!
So my ‘hell no’ turned into a ‘hell yes’ and I upgraded my home bound train. With the upgrade you get an even bigger seat (and no one sits next to you for the solo traveller), lunch, wine and coffee. Again, these benefits are not enough to normally make me pay extra but lunch at the station would have cost more than £5.
Keep an eye out in future when booking the Eurostar, you could find yourself with a magic upgrade too.