We will always have Paris

This was not my first visit to the City of Light, but it was possibly the most memorable trip (perhaps because I wasn’t 20 and inebriated, which tends to degrade the memory). In fact, globbing onto my uncle’s vacation (with his partner and my cousin), I got to enjoy a much more civilised, luxurious version of this glamorous city. I was greeted warmly by the whole crew at our stunning Airbnb – a high-ceilinged, comfortably furnished marvel with an exquisite rain shower (my road-weary body was particularly delighted at this feature). My bike in storage until the last portion of the trip, I was ready to kick back and enjoy the wonderful cheeses, chocolates, and wines.

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Bread – Wine – Cheese. Is there anything else?!

We wandered the streets for a while, stopping to enjoy a patio to watch the beautiful people flow by on the spacious, leafy boulevards of central Paris, stopping to ogle and join the masses snapping countless pictures of the iconic sights.DSC_7229.jpg

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Father – daughter goofballs.

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These pretty things are pretty gross. DSC_7217

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Let the adventures begin! #DykxhoornInFrance!

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Total babe. What a Dykxhoorn Darling! 

The next day, we were up early and heading underground – to visit the catacombs and hang out with 16 million dead Parisians. Of course, we had to stop for delicious snacks first. DSC_7081.jpgDSC_7101.jpgA long history of quarries has left much of Paris standing on open space. This map shows the shocking percentage of central Paris that floats above old quarries.

 

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All the shaded areas have quarries. 

This turned out to be an informative but also very strange tour. It is so easy to disassociate what you are seeing, as you wander through room after room of skulls and neatly stacked femurs, that these were people with lives, favourite colours, and pet peeves.DSC_7120.jpg

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Without a love-locks bridge to signify enduring love, a more morbid couple added a love lock to the zygomatic process of this long-dead Parisian.

One of the treasures of this trip was getting to visit Shakespeare and Company, the famed English bookstore on the shore of the river.DSC_7197.jpgIMG_3954 I think my brain looks kind of like this bookstore – eclectic collections of literature, with tiny nooks for reading or writing on the antique typewriters, notes of inspiration pinned to the walls from various people, a slightly out of tune piano waiting for whoever wants to share a tune. IMG_3952.jpg

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“The piano’s been drinking, not me” – Tom Waits

We were in Paris, so it was pretty unavoidable to do a little shopping.

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“Do you think I can pull this off?”
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Trying to twin with my uncle. ALL THE COLOURS! 
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Standing at the centre of Paris. 

My wheat allergy put a serious damper on my ability to eat all the bread and croissants, however, I was completely seduced at the sight of the largest and most spectacular meringue. DSC_7206.jpgIMG_6589.jpgDSC_7210.jpgThat evening was filled with only the most wonderful things. We cruised around the Seine on a sunset boat tour, complete with champagne.DSC_7236.jpgDSC_7233.jpgIMG_6625.jpgIMG_6612.jpgDSC_7268.jpgDSC_7277.jpgIMG_6596DSC_7301.jpgDSC_7294.jpgDSC_7261.jpgDSC_7174.jpgDSC_7310.jpgDSC_7333.jpgWe then skipped the line at the Eiffel tower, and were gazing up at the ‘metal asparagus’ as its lights came on, sparkling into the evening, while all around us, we got to watch as darkness fell over the city and the lights of Paris started to glow.DSC_7332.jpgDSC_7222.jpgDSC_7347.jpgDSC_7404.jpgIMG_4012.jpgIMG_4026.jpgDSC_7416.jpgOn our way back home, we stopped for some crepes.DSC_7437DSC_7442While the rest of the crew headed out in the morning to Dieppe and Vimy Ridge, I stayed back for one more day in this magical city to spend time with a friend. IMG_4065.jpgWe enjoyed a perfectly blissful day of drinking wine and eating cheese in parks, lazing in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, and spending the warm summer evening cruising around on bike-share cycles and sitting by the canal with dozens of other youths, snacking on iceberg lettuce and red wine (a surprisingly good pairing). IMG_4076.jpgIMG_4078.jpgThe following morning, I boarded a train to leave this magical city with reluctance. Apparently, 3rd time is the charm, and during this visit, I finally fell in love with Paris.DSC_7426DSC_7432Au revoir Paris! ❤

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