I have just returned from a wonderful week down in the South of France in Cassis with my fantastic host-family. Many of you may already know that I spent a week there back in April. Having had an unforgettable time back in spring, I was looking forward to heading back down to enjoy the summer. Summer it definitely is, with the temperatures ranging between 30 degrees and higher, many a time I thought I would melt into the ground.
With the nights being long and the weather so perfect, I was able to watch many of the sunsets here in the South. Below are just a few photos of the sun setting here in Cassis. There’s something truly magical watching the sky change colours as the sun descends for another day.
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my usual ‘This week on Instagram’ posts, and without further ado, here it is. The last two weeks have been incredibly busy – I’ve ended up doing so much. But the main idea that I think one could possibly take from the last couple of days is that I have been somewhat preoccupied with Spring – Paris in Spring. As previously mentioned in my blog (and of course in future posts), Spring here in Paris is beautiful. There is something magical and dream-like to be able to wander around the various streets, especially with no aim or goal in mind. The arrival of the flowers and green luscious leaves makes for much nicer photos, and I’ve recently been trying to experiment with different angles and ways to capture the environment around me. As you will be able to tell, I’m becoming a huge fan or the sun flare and trying to get that ethereal quality to my photographs. I just hope that my filter on my lens protects my camera enough!
The next two weeks have quite a lot in store for me, as it is official the school holidays here in France. Yay! Today I leave with the youngest children in my family, and head towards the south of France to the idyllic coastal town of Cassis. I am extremely excited (so much that it causes me to describe using alliteration!), and as my first time to the south of France (correct me if I’m wrong Mum), I’m really looking forward to seeing the sea and the area. As we’re quite close to Marseille, I hope that perhaps we’ll get a chance to travel and have a look around there. Following this, I then go back to England for a week to see my family. During my time back at home, we will be taking a special journey to a destination that I will be revealing nearer the time – oooo mysterious!
Continuing on from the newly created tradition of exploration Thursdays, this week me and Kate ventured off to districts of Belleville and Ménilmontant. Having never been to this part of Paris before, I was interested to see what exactly it was like. Both Ménilmontant and Belleville are charming cosmopolitan districts which emanate a wealth of cultural diversity and offer a great deal of chances to experience vibrant street art. Our day included heading to the Parc de Belleville, which provides beautiful views of the cityscape. We did a lot of walking around the various streets, becoming fully fledged flâneurs for the day. During our exploration, we also went into the gothic inspired church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville which offered a peaceful sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area. Overall, we had a lovely time getting to explore new parts of the city, and I will definitely be back to this arrondissement not only to take more photographs from the Parc de Belleville and the various street art adorning the buildings, but also to sample some of the diverse cuisines on offer around the district.
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a post all about love! This week I ventured off to Montmartre, and stumbled upon an infamous sight of this area. Stretching across 612 lava tiles, this is no ordinary wall. It is Paris’ Le mur des je t’aime, a wall devoted to expressing the words ‘I love you’ in 311 various languages. It was created by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, who both went round the various Embassies in the city and asked their neighbours to write down the phrase in their own languages, until finally they had gathered an adequate amount of love. Furthermore, what is interesting is that the artist Frédéric Baron stated that the random red shapes which interject various parts of the tiles have a metaphorical function, representing “the pieces of a broken heart” of “which the wall tries to gather together.”
You can find this interesting piece of art in Jehan-Rictus Square, which is located right by Abbesses station in Montmartre. There is even a website for the wall: http://www.lesjetaime.com
In 2014 I was incredibly lucky to travel to some amazing places. Some were cities I was visiting again, and others were my first ever experiences. In February I went to Paris with my University (I did not know at the time that I would soon be living there!), March saw a romantic weekend away to Edinburgh as a present from my boyfriend, July included a visit to Ireland for my cousin’s wedding and August saw me and my boyfriend going to Amsterdam. After officially moving to Paris in September, October was when my family and I flew across the Atlantic ocean to New York city for a week holiday, and just after then also went to Madrid to visit my boyfriend. Just writing and thinking about all these amazing cities and countries I’ve been to in 2014, makes me feel all nostalgic.
With the New Year here, I thought I’d create a travel bucket list of all the places I hope to visit in 2015 – let me know if you’ve been there, and some great things to see and do there!
‘The land of Fire and Ice’ – Iceland is a surreal, magical and sublime place; and it almost seems like something out of a fairy tale. There’s something enchanting about Iceland, and the more I see photographs of the landscapes and nature, the more I hope to go. My boyfriend Malek is currently writing a lot about Iceland, and his interest in the country has spurred on my own. So much that this year we are hopefully going to plan our own little trip there, with the aim of attempting to see as much of the beautiful country as we can. In addition to the national parks with their amazing scenery, and the relaxing hot springs – a must for our visit is to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, something which I have been eager to witness all my life so far.
Prague, Czech Republic
I am ashamed to admit it, but before last year I didn’t really know much about Prague. Then, during one of my modules during my third year, I learnt a great deal about this exquisite city. Now knowing all about the Medieval history, I am absolutely desperate to visit Prague and see for myself all the things and places that I have studied. Top on my agenda would be to explore to Prague Cathedral, and to say hello to Charles IV!
Known for its vibrant and avant-garde architecture, Gaudí’s many architectural ‘signatures’ around the city as well as the relaxing beaches and of course paella, a city that I am yet to visit and have always longed to, is Barcelona. This year may be the year I finally get to go, as me and my friend Kate a thinking of making a visit for our birthdays in March – fingers crossed! One specific place that I would love to see is La sagrada Familia – an icon of the city of Barcelona, as well as an architectural enigma – a must-see.
Berlin, the capital of Germany and home to a vibrant and cosmopolitan way of life, is a definite must on my travel bucket list this year. There is something about this city that has fascinated me for a long time, and I would love for the opportunity to visit the city for the first time. Having learnt a lot about Berlin in my many history lessons and lectures during the years, it would be fantastic to be able to experience Berlin’s history first hand. One of my closest friends is actually an Au Pair in Berlin, so hopefully this year I’ll get the chance to visit her and this beautiful city.
A wide variety of formage at Les marchés de Versailles; a beautiful view that can be experienced at the top of Printemps on the terrace bar; some gingerbread cookies that I made for my last day of school.
The main Christmas Tree that you encounter in the Town Square of the Main Street, USA, in Disneyland Paris; Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Paris; a festive shop display at Au Roi Soleil, a boutique Chocolatiers.