Paris day 1
It’s Friday and I’m on my way to Paris. The first thing I do is thinking about Yoko. I’ve been going everywhere with her. She will be staying with my brother, my cousin and their roommates. Leaving her behind, even for four days made my heart ache. I haven’t been apart from her since the day we took her in. But she seemed fine when we arrived there. My brother sends me videos of Yoko jumping on everything like a true adventurer and I am relieved she’s in good hands.
The train had a delay of 40 min and I didn’t feel ”in” Paris just yet. As soon as I got out of the station it kicked in. Even though Paris was enveloped in darkness. I felt a familiar rush of excitement. We went straight to the apartment that we had booked on Airbnb. It was small but just enough for us for a couple of days to sleep in.
Paris day 2
I’m walking through Paris with my camera around my neck. The air is chilly but slightly warmer than Amsterdam. We walk along the Boulevard. We didn’t have trouble deciding where to go. The Notre Dame has always been a fairytale dream since the release of the childhood movie. On the way we pass the Seine, the river looks dirty and The Notre Dame appears to be smaller than I imagined but once inside it turned out to be quite massive.
After coming out of the Notre Dame, we stop for breakfast and A finds this cute place to eat crêpes. I end up eating the most tastiest chocolate ice-cream. I still have to giggle of silliness. When slowly walk back from the day admiring Paris to the small apartment on Rue Cavé, I’m confronted with the fact of homeless refugees. It breaks my heart to see. To feel deeply has so many perks but when something sad happens I can be sadness itself.
Paris day 3
I’m soaring almost flying. I’m taking a run through the streets of Paris. The fresh morning was ready for me and I dive into the cold. I run on a bridge over old train tracks. I use my hand to touch the railing of the bridge. I spot a small sport area at the end. It has several sections on its left side. In the first section a small group of Chinese women dance to what seems to me, a traditional Chinese dance. Some women look up when I run next to their section. I have to smile how much joy I can read upon their faces. I can still hear some Chinese music on the background when I run past the second. The second section is completely empty and in the third, some teenage boys are playing basketball. I run away from the Park and realize that I don’t know Paris. I didn’t know where I am going and I am probably lost. In these situations I find myself pretty often. Lost. But I do not panic although it does itch a little in my stomach of concern. I run into the wrong direction, as an hopeless attempt. I find the main road of the Boulevard Barbès and I find maps that show me which way I should go. Since I have no sense of direction it will always be a guess to me. It won’t be long until I find the Rue Doudeauville. My mind says ‘look for Rue Lèon’ and before I know it I am home.
After we are bathed and clean. We are ready for the adventure of the day.
We climb up to the hill that takes you to the town of Montmartre . I feel uncomfortable and I get into an argue with A. The amount of tourists walking past me, annoy me. I walk away in great discomfort. After some time I go back. Luckily but by accident I find A pretty fast. He looks stressed out and I know it was childish to walk away. He promised me to take me to the flea market.
We’re agree to eat some food first. Food has never been very easy for me to find. As a ”gluten free vegetarian” it’s never easy. Whatever country you’re in. We find a place on the map but it’s not near. We take the long way to the flea market to pass the food-place. On the way to the flea market we’re passing street sellers. I’m fascinated by the chaos. What made them sell there? Who sells that stuff and how buys it? Even though I’m surrounded by people, I’m not annoyed like the Montmartre adventure. I’m just intrigued by what is happening in front of me.
The flea market feels really nice. I’m surrounded by very old French stuff and I wish I could just buy it all. Everything is still very expensive for a flea market so I end up with nothing. It was still amazing to watch. We take the metro back home and we enjoy the rest of the evening in peace.
Paris day 4
A takes a shower when I am buttering my bread for lunch. We’re going on our last adventure today. We’ve been walking so much the past few days that we have no problem taking the metro. He takes me to this boutique and surprises me with parfum. It’s the sweetest French parfum called Miss Dior ‘ blooming bouquet’. I’ve never been a fan of extreme parfums (to the point where you suffocate everyone around you), so my parfum has just a light scent of jasmine.
This is the day I didn’t photograph. Not because I didn’t want to and it’s a pity I couldn’t but after the boutique we went to the cemetery. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Where all the famous people are buried, people like Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Where it’s best not to photograph out of respect. This cemetery was probably the most beautiful graveyard I’ve ever seen. We also picked the right day because the light fell perfectly on the graves and it had this serene sense of feeling. It was quite peaceful. It was big and it sometimes felt like being in a maze. Without a map you would almost lose your way.
After the graveyard I felt some discomfort around my shoulders and before I knew it an aching headache strikes me. We take the metro back and walk to do some last-day-shopping. Ash bought a bunch of formal suits. When we’re back again we prepare for our departure and watch some French Netflix.
The next morning before dawn we hurried to Gare du Nord and take the train back to Amsterdam.
Images of my trip to Paris will come soon.