The City of Light, The City of Love.
Oh how I adore Paris... the cobblestone streets, sweet aroma of bread drifting from boulangeries, the sexy french accent and just the atmosphere that Paris offers.
I am a hopeless romantic, so with Paris being the epitome of romance, I was in my element.
My week in Paris held many memorable days and nights.
From wondering through the graves of the beautiful Pere Lachaise, drooling at the marvel of Versailles, laughing and screaming at Euro Disney, to eating fromage with baguettes, drinking red wine and watching the world pass by.
I must confess my disappointment at the fact that coffee in Paris is tres merde. However, it's all about the experience of having that coffee; where you are and who you're with.
I absolutely love bonding over a nice cup of coffee, and that's what I did with two London chaps I met in the cemetry of Pere Lachaise. After hearing English, I asked if I could join them on the hunt to find Oscar Wildes grave. We ended up hanging out all day, talking about (quite morbid topics but environmentally reasonable) our funerals and what sort of graves we would want ourselves. It's these sort of conversations which make you realise how lucky you are to be alive, young and healthy in a beautiful place in the world. When your eyes are opened up by two complete strangers, you really being to truly appreciate all the little things in life, and when that happens, the air smells fresher, your food tastes sweeter and the sky seems brighter. It really is an amazing feeling which when it strikes, I feel completely empowered.
Disneyland... the happiest place on earth... need I say more?
Keeping it brief, I had the best day EVER! I wore Minnie Mouse ears all day and thrived on the adrenaline pumping through my body. Life gets a bit crazy sometimes, so it was just great to act like a kid for a day, where my biggest issue was to chose between fairy floss or lollies. It was magical, living in an innocent, beautiful land, where at the end of the day, you can take a little part of that magic home with you, to help your dreams come true.
A very special moment for me was venturing up to the Sacre Coeur late one night and witnessing the beauty of Paris at night. With lights twinkling like stars over the horizon, I felt ontop of the world. I completely and utterly fell in love with Paris when I saw the Eiffel Tower all lit up. I really can't explain why I felt this way, but I was completely overcome with emotion. A lifetime of dreams and hopes all being confirmed in this one beauitufl icon shimmering like sequins on a flappers dress in the distance. I will confess, a tear rolled down my cheek after seeing it and I was so escatic to share it with two people I care so much about.
Another great day was when two very dear friends of mine and I ventured into the city. Due to the unfortunate European weather, we took cover from the pouring rain in a beatiful little cafe overlooking the Seine and the Notre Dame. I absolutely love the sound of rain smashing against a dry roof. The constant hum is so soothing and relaxing, we sat back in our seats and watched the grey world pass by. We had amazing crepes which came out with sparklers on them, and there we sat, for a few hours, just taking in the world. They had been backpacking for the past few weeks and it was so exciting to hear about their travels, inspiring my future plans. It was such a lovely afternoon despite the cold, rainy day. Being with friends and knowing that we'll always have these beautiful little moments we can cherish.
Unforunately, all good things must come to an end. It's hard to say goodbye to people you care so much about in a beautiful city like Paris. The thought that I had my Clarendon family to go home to was very comforting, knowing that I'm not alone over this side of the world. Despite my initial sadness leaving my friends, I always keep in mind how lucky I am to have had such amazing relationships and experiences with them. I will always cherish the time we spent together, because I definitely wouldn't be who I am today without them. They're amazing human beings and I'm so blessed to have people like them in my life. I will miss them dearly and I will never forget them.
I learnt many things on my Paris trip. Not just extending my vocabulary (which is increasing with each passing day), or trying to accept that coffee in Paris just really isn't that great, but learning about myself, what I want out of life and what makes me truly happy. Realising that dreams can become a part of reality, and that if you feel strong emotions, you know you experienced something real and amazing.