Paris, Je t'aime!

Trip Start Aug 27, 2007
Trip End Sep 17, 2011

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, May 4, 2009

Hello again,

Sorry this entry has been so late in the coming but for some reason I have found it so much more difficult to write than the others. I'm not sure whether it is because I enjoyed my trip to Paris so much that its hard to put those feelings into words or whether it was the fact that although it was one of my best trips I didn't do much just relaxed and absorbed the atmosphere...something that as fantastic as it was doesn't make for good reading.

But here I am trying to put pen to paper so to speak so I apologise in advance if this entry isn't quite up to scratch.

Organising this trip was a nightmare.

 The plan was to go over in honour of my friend, Cori's birthday. I met her on my trip to Israel and Jordan and the plan was that 8 of us from that trip would have a mini reunion to help her celebrate growing a year older. Sonia's boyfriend also planned a surprise trip to Paris for her birthday which coincidently happened to be the same weekend I was going.

What resulted was a whole load of  lies trying to throw her off the track so that she didn't know she was going away let alone that I was going away as well with her cousin in tow. For the record Sonia didn't make it easy, every second she was asking questions to try catch me out so my lies became more complicated and elaborate and we all know how useless I am at lying.

Packing for a week away was the hardest as Sonia was always just there. I had to tell her I was going to stay at the boyfriends house just so I could pack but even then she was questioning 'why are you packing so much for one night?'.

Even after having arrived in Paris she made it difficult....she text me to say 'Guess what? I'm in Paris!!!!! i forgot to top my phone up can u do it for me?' I could hardly text her back saying 'Um no I'm out of the country too' now could I?. But it worked out ok I managed to throw her off once again.

My first day in Paris was just spent relaxing and shopping. The sun was shining and after a week of rainy London weather I felt like I had come home. I wrote last time I went to Paris about there just being some kind of magic in the air and my opinion is just the same as before  if not stronger. I love everything about that city from the incredible food, to the gorgeous buildings and to the laid back atmosphere. Plain and simple I am in love with Paris.

I spent most of my trip with Liz who just doesn't share the same passion about the place as I do. Don't get me wrong she likes the city but she doesn't seem to feel the magic that I do. She just couldn't understand why its considered the city of love whereas to me it just seemed so obvious. To me it was evident in the couples walking along the river holding hands,  In the elderly man who fell asleep on a park bench while holding his wife's hands and in the couples so swept away in the moment that they kissed like it was the last chance they would ever get to do so. I envy the passion the Parisians have and have no doubt that it really is the city of love. After all, what's the point of being in love if ur too shy to scream from the rooftops that you have fallen so deeply head over heels for someone?

That evening I headed off to Moulin Rouge which is  something I have always wanted to do. It cost an arm and a leg...more than the cost of my return tickets to Paris but was worth every penny of it. So maybe I was the only person under 70 there and the only person on my own...but however embarrassing it may have been I had a ball.

There were costumes to die for, singing, a comedian, a juggler, live snakes, donkeys, a ventriloquist dog doing a Ricky Martin number and even now I still do not understand how it is possible to make a clown look sexy.

The following day was spent mooching around the lovely Paris.Liz and I left Cori at home as she had been sick all night and needed a bit of time to recover.  I was quite content spending my day just sitting at a little cafe sipping a beer (yes a beer) in the sun. We had a call from Cori saying she needed to go to the hospital.

Once we got back to her house I had never seen someone deteriorate so badly in 4 hours. She was pure white and couldn't stop vomiting and had a severe case of dysentery. She was screaming in pain and her stomach had swollen to make her look like she was at least a few months pregnant.

We taxied to the hospital where on arrival she was promptly fitted with a respiratory mask and isolated. I know it sounds terrible but when she first came out with the mask the words Swine Flu came to mind. She had to be admitted and put on a drip and although we don't know for sure we are pretty certain that  she had picked up a bug from her trip to India and Nepal which she had just returned from two days prior.

Liz and I left Cori at the hospital and headed for Notre Dame where we met up with Pete to surprise Sonia who looked like she'd seen a ghost when she spotted us. I'm glad her surprise worked out so well. The four of us headed out to a French restaurant and spent the evening just enjoying the French cuisine.

Day three was probably my consisted of a picnic and 5 hours just chilling with friends under the Eiffel Tower. Good food, Cheap wine (EUR1.25 a bottle), and even better company...what more could a girl ask for?

Liz and I even found time for a photo shoot where we paraded around in black and white stripy tops, berets and moustaches....much to the amusements of the locals.

After a day of doing nothing but eating we headed to a restaurant for tea, brilliant. I finally got to try Frogs legs which surprise surprise taste like chicken. I actually quite liked them but they are just fiddley to eat as the bones are so tiny. The only thing that put me off them were the tiny little 'toes'.

Day 4 consisted of more mooching and a visit to the very eerie catacombs...they were definately cool but i was much more interested in where we were having lunch...somehow the focus of my trip turned to the food pretty much the minute i arrived.....bread, pastries, fondues, pastas....god it was good. I swear I came back to the UK a kilo heavier.

So that brings me to my last day. I left my hotel at 5 in the morning to catch a train out to Rennes. My plan was to leave my baggage in a locker for the day and pick it up again before heading back to the UK. Unfortunately  the luggage lockers weren't open that early in the morning so I had to lug it with me. 2 and half hours later I made it the town of Rennes where I then caught a bus which took another 2 hours before arriving at the tidal island of Mt Saint Michel.

It rose out of nowhere....massive mud planes stretched for miles and then all of a sudden it appeared. It was everything and more than I imagined it would be. I had 2 hours to climb the mountain and view the abbey (with my weeks worth of luggage might I add) before jumping back on the  bus to begin my 4 and half hour journey back to Paris.

I was knackered by the time I got back and even more so by the time I caught my train back to London but after years of dreaming about Mt St Michel I finally made it and can now tick it off the ever growing list of mine.

So that brings me to the end of this entry but I will just leave with u a quick story.

On arriving into Paris I was getting over a cold and unfortunately got a cold sore. It meant a trip to the chemist was in order and after a lot of miming and attempts in my broken French and  the pharmacists broken English we established that the French word for coldsore is use the same word for both coldsores and the STD.

I had the pleasure of having him announce loudly to a shop full of people ...including English tourists that I had Herpes. I had never been so mortified in my life. I could handle the French thinking i had a coldsore but not the English tourists thinking I have Herpes....i left the chemist utterly embarrassed but at least safe in the knowledge that i would never have to see this pharmacist again.

That was until the next day. My friend needed a prescription so off I went to back to the chemist....I queued in amongst a load of people desperately hoping I wouldn't see the same pharmacist.....I was doing quite well until he spotted me and pulled me from the queue to help. So much for my plan. He started filling the prescription which was all fine and dandy but he kept looking at me questioningly  and saying 'You sure u want this?'.

I didn't quite understand why he was looking at me so strangely till I got back to my friends place and discovered he had given her medication to ease the pain of her 'Delhi Belly' which was supposed to be in the form of pills in the form of vaginal pessaries instead. Turns out when I went back with my friends prescription he thought I had Herpes in more place than one....

So not only did he announce to a full shop I have Herpes he now actually thinks I have the STD and  It would have been fine if maybe this pharmacist was over the age of 70 but worse than that he looked about my age and was really good looking!

Its all quite amusing now and my friends thought it was hilarious at the time but my poor friend never ended up with the right medication and all I know is that I will never go back to that pharmacy in my life time.

Gotta love the language barrier!

So until next time!
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