Sunday, July 10, 2011

We arrived in Paris on Wednesday after a 24 hour flight from Sydney. All the romantic idea’s I had of Paris, and “mon rendez-vous avec elle”, return to me as the Pilot is reporting our decent into Paris and CDG. After a chaotic final few weeks in preparation for this trip, I had forgotten what it was that I was planning, i.e. a rendez-vous avec Paris and a vacance in France. All that I was hoping for come wafting back as the wheels hit the tarmac – but I wasn’t as ready for the culture shock, the force-field of Paris.

My partner, also exhausted, was having trouble hearing my mumbled directions and our passage through the Gare de Nord was an experience far from the romantic visions I had for my rendez-vous. However it wasn’t long before our luggage and bodies were safely installed in our minature Parisienne Chambre. After a short rest and shower, my partner decided to keep us awake until dark. Mais, Quelle probeme! It is dark until after 1030pm and we had already been awake for some 20 hours.

As we walked around our ‘Quartier’, Le Marais, the real romance of Paris began wafting across our paths. Cafe’s with sidewalk tables and red & white wicker chairs, their TV’s playing the Tour De France, Persiennes and their dogs returning home with their baguettes and bottle of wine, scooters, smart cars, bicycles, patisseries and boulangeries tempting us with their scent of fresh bread or sweet flavours of croissants’ au chocolat!

Sadly, I had to be in meetings most of our first day in Paris , however when they were finished, my partner and I walked through Paris, meandering with no real plans. This walk was relaxing, and at the same time rewarding. We felt confident with our knowledge of the city, and yet constantly surprised by unique discoveries – the architecture, the gardens, the lane ways – and what I love the most – the sneaky peak inside those big wooden doors into secret court yards and private gardens. At one stage I was completely surprised to look up above me and see the Eifel Tower peaking over the buildings around me. It really is awesome just how that Tower is ever present in Paris.

After 2 days in the hussle’n’bussle of Paris, in all her glory, we were on the train to the south, the Languedoc region. But we’ll return to Paris many times during our holiday, the next time being for the finale of the Tour de France (to see Australia’s own, Cadel Evans, on the podium!)

I apologise that this post is a little later that I had hoped, but travelling and finding Wifi is still a challenge. I tried to post this yesterday but lost the internet connection and then lost the blog. I have a second blog planned for Monday as tonight we are going to see a concert inside the walls of a medieval castle!


ds said...

Oh, I knew you were in the Marais--Place des Voges is so beautiful. Meandering is such fun, and it is so true about what discoveries you can make behind those heavy wooden gates. Know you are having a grand time!

Jeanie said...

Oh, isn't the Marais wonderful? I stayed behind one of those big wooden doors with its magical courtyard! Love it passionately!

Rooting for Cadel (or Andy Schleck -- it's a tough call!) and watching the tour like a maniac! Thinking of you in Paris.

Now that I'm back from vacation, I must post for the Paris In July!

Brenda G. Spalding said...

Sounds absolutely wonderful! I have been checking the weather and it seems as though it is perfect for travel. Cannot wait to hear more about your trip. I am anxious to plan a trip for my husband and I in the near future. Have a great time and keep us in touch!

Unknown said...

Gosh, 24hour flight. I generally have a stop over..long flights are the pits> I am so glad you are there and having fun. Look forward to reading your updates!

Take care and enjoy :)