Excuse me from my lengthy absence from the computer, but I have been travelling around France for the last month. Now that I’m back, I cannot believe that it ever happened. I spent a large period of time on a French exchange which was incredible for both my French-speaking skills and my immersion into the culture, and then I spent the remainder of my time floating around France. Not so much floating in a variety of areas, but I actually spent a great portion of time wandering around magical Paris. I have only ever been there once before which I barely recall, and I finally discovered the reason of why so many people boast about the famous city.
Walking down the cobblestone streets and getting lost through the maze of classic French architecture was an exhilarating experience which left me wide-eyed and alert at all times, for both the picturesque sights and the danger of pickpockets. Being an inhabitant of such a young country as Australia, the rich history that could be found along the streets never failed to amaze me. The city possesses an old charm that I found to be thoroughly irresistible, and the opportunity to grab a crepe or baguette at every street corner was truly a winner. And boy, did I take a liking to the local cuisine. However I unfortunately did not have the pleasure of tasting frog legs or escargot.
Alternately, I was lucky enough to experience the sights of the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre, as well as various chateaus including Versailles and the most stunning cathedrals. To put it mildly, France is filled with them. Without a doubt, my emotional visit to the Notre Dame is one that will always remain in my memory.
To tick off a couple more experiences from my French wish list, I gazed at Paris by night from the top of the Arc De Triomphe and the highest floor of la tour Eiffel. It’s funny how the Parisians disliked the Eiffel Tower initially, because now it is one of the primary motives of why people visit the beautiful city and in my opinion, it is a rather attractive structure. Seeing Paris from the iconic landmark was fairly magnifique, if you pardon my French.
I stayed in les Sables-d’Olonne with a local family who very kindly brought me into their home. Although it was only for a couple of weeks and the language barrier proved to often be difficult, I formed a close bond with the family and the beautiful town.
I would also like to add that I was in the city during Paris fashion week, which sounds exciting in theory however there was no opportunity to score tickets to any of the shows or catch a glimpse of any celebrities. Ah, c’est la vie. Fortunately I kept myself busy by deeply engaging myself in the shopping culture.
So that closes my little French adventure which was easily one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The remarkable people I met, the food, and of course the sights make me believe that there is no doubt in my mind that I will be back for more of the beautiful country sometime soon.