“I love Paris in the spring time, I love Paris in the fall...” the song goes. Feel free to sing along.
After nine long months, I am back in my beloved France. No trip to France is complete without a visit to Paris, so I thought it would be prudent to head straight here, just in case I can’t find another time to squeeze it in.
After being bumped to “Club Class” on my flight over (thank you Air Transat for double booking my seat, then upgrading me!) I arrived feeling fairly decent considering I was twisted into a pretzel trying to get comfortable for eight hours. After running around to my favourite local food spots to stock up, I had a blissful 12-hour sleep and woke up on French time. I had a great many places I wanted to get to, so I began my day with a wonderful breakfast, along with coffee and pastries. I set out enjoying the long walk, when about one hour in, zut alors! I realized I had left my wallet in my other purse at home. What can one do without a wallet? Very little I soon discovered. No taxi, no metro, no nothing. Just hoof it back the same way you came. I was so distracted by the beauty of the city, I then decided to stop at the local Carrefour for a few necessities, proceeded to the checkout and realized for a second time — I had no wallet. The cashier, as you can imagine, was delighted with me. I clearly wasn’t as refreshed as I thought.
The rest of the weekend included some Olympic bike race watching in real time, walking for hours all over Paris and picking up some splendid little treats along the way (espadrilles, a scarf, an agès b. splurge). There is no shortage of beautiful things to be found in Paris. It is a feast for the eyes. The architecture, the gardens, the beautifully dressed Parisians… it’s all you can do not to gape. And because everything is stunning, it’s incredibly difficult not to find yourself parting with your cash without hesitation. In order to avoid bankruptcy, I am keeping my Parisian sojourn very short indeed. The good news is, not one word of english has been spoken to me as of yet, so perhaps I am starting to fit in just a tiny bit.
Tomorrow morning I leave for Provence. While I do genuinely like Paris, I am not in love with her. No, my true love awaits me tomorrow, along with my trusty old steed (a.k.a. my bike) and some good friends. Provence really is one of the great loves of my life, and I look forward to getting settled in for another season. A demain!