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!
January is often a somewhat monotonous month. Christmas has come and gone, and people go back to work or university. However, for me, this January has been incredibly different to what I have become accustomed to. For the last 6 years, January has meant exams, but this year was the first time in many that I didn’t have to revise over the Christmas holidays nor panic myself during this period. So now, I have a very different view-point of this time of year. As previously mentioned, nothing exciting normally happens around this time, but here in Paris, January has definitely been an eventful one.
One only needs to think back to the three days of terror that took the city by surprise, with the attack on the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo, and the hostage scenes taking place both outside Paris and in the very heart of the city. Everyone was shaken by these events, which ultimately led to the most attended march in French History. Within the following weeks, the hysteria subdued, and people carried on with their January. Personally, this month has been incredibly interesting, not only living within the city that endured the scrutiny of the world for three days, but being able to be a part of the historical march that took place the following Sunday.
Anyway, as we wave goodbye to January and welcome February, I cannot help but burst with excitement for this upcoming month. For me, February is all about travelling! By the beginning of March I would have travelled to three cities, in two different countries.
My first adventure takes place in the French Apls, in Barcelonnette to be precise. I am going skiing with my Au Pair family for a week, and I cannot wait! I haven’t been skiing since I was about 13 years old, and I can only hope I remember how to do it. I remember how to snowplough, or at least I think I do, so fingers crossed. My French family own their own chalet up in the Alps, and it will be a wonderful occasion to send more time with them and to see them skiing (and letting them watch and laugh whilst I attempt to do so too!).
Straight after my week skiing, the very next day I go over the border to Switzerland for a quick two-day visit to Geneva. My friend Kate (check out her blog here, it’s awesome!), mentioned about some cheap flights to Geneva and wanted to see if I was interested in going – and of course I was! Whilst living in Paris and being on my gap year, I am desperate to make the most of being able to travel, and I jumped at the chance to be able to go to this enchanting city. Even though we’re only staying one night, I’m sure that we’ll be able to see and do plenty. I hate to admit this as well, but I actually don’t know that much about Geneva. So if anyone has any tips or knows of particular sites or places to go, please do let me know. I’ve always wanted to go to Switzerland, and I am really excited.
After Geneva, literally the day after, I get on a plane and head over to the west – to Madrid! I will be going to Madrid for 5 days to visit my boyfriend Malek (who’s blog is incredible, check it out if you haven’t already). When I last went over in November, we had two days of sight-seeing, so I’m particularly eager to see even more of this amazing city and perhaps take a day trip or two to places outside of Madrid. So if you’re reading this Malek, getting planning on the various things we can see and do in the city!
As you can see, this is going to be a busy month for me, and keep checking out my blog as I write about all these mini adventures 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights about anywhere I am travelling to, or just in general.
My friend and I made a spontaneous decision recently to go and walk up the Eiffel Tower – and why not?! It was a beautiful, albeit cold day – the sun was out, and with the prospect of the next few days being miserable here in Paris, this was the perfect opportunity. To my surprise, I was shocked at how cheap it was for us to walk up to the second level of the tower (which is a lot higher than it sounds!). However, I’m not gonna lie, it was tough walking up all those steps, but once completed, you’re rewarded with amazing views of the city. We also timed our visit really well, as we were able to see the sun setting over Paris. A view that I recommend to everyone!
The Grand Mosquée is often off the radar for tourists, and you may not have heard about it. Founded in 1926 after World War I, it is one of the largest mosques in the whole of France. Visitors are allowed to explore the mosque as long as they are respectful to worshipers attending daily prayers, and I am so grateful that we are allowed this opportunity. Continue reading “La Grande Mosquée de Paris”→
This Saturday, some of my closest friends and I went to the Musée d’Orsay. In addition to exploring all the beautiful paintings and sculptures on display, we could not miss seeing the iconic clock on the top floor. The vista of Paris from the clock is amazing, with stunning views of the River Seine and La Basilique du Sacré Cœur, amongst many others. Here are just a few of the photos I took.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of venturing out to one of the most magical places on earth – Disneyland. Despite not going to a Disneyland park since my last visit in 1999 to the California resort when I six, I was still incredibly excited and giddy – yes, giddy.
Recently the weather in Paris has sucked. It’s currently cold, raining and miserable. Much like England I guess! So, sadly for us when we went last Saturday we were welcomed by drizzle and grey skies. Despite this, we didn’t let it dampen our day, pardon the pun; as we attempted to make the most of what we could.
The very first ride that we waited for was Space Mountain Mission 2. Unfortunately we ended up waiting for at least an hour and a half, because there seemed to be issues with the ride – not great when you’re just about go on it (!). Anyway, eventually our time came around, and it was amazing! Even though I was pretty terrified during the whole 3 minutes (or probably less…), I would have happily gone round the to do it again! After a quick bite to eat, and an attempt to warm up, we headed over for another queue on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril. I actually don’t remember too much about the ride itself, but I do know that I came off wanting to go back on.
One thing I did noticed during my day was the lack of characters wandering around the park. Whether this was because they wanted to stay in a warm building or I just wasn’t paying attention, I’ll never know. I still have my autograph book that I took around Disneyland California with me, filled to the brim of various signatures. Including quite a few different Mickey Mouse and Goofy signatures… So sadly for me I didn’t get to meet my favourite Belle, alas.
Later on we were greeted by the Christmas parade, and the streets of Disneyland were packed with people attempting to catch a glimpse of their favourite characters. We were included in that of course.
Towards the end of the day, as the group diminished it was only myself and my friend Kate left standing. We made it our mission to make the most of the final few hours that we had left by going on as many rides as possible. And boy did we do just that. We went on the Tower of Terror, and I was not expecting what I was about to experience. I have never screamed so much in my life. I could barely talk after. It was amazing! There’s something about being scared, which is a little addictive. We had to go on the ride again. And we did. The second time around there was hardly a queue, and it was just as fun as the first time. I must give a big shout out to Kate, because she was much braver than I was – she managed to have her arms in the air the whole time, which I could barely do! Other rides that we did that day included Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and a Star Wars rocket simulator.
We managed to last till about 10pm, which was when the firework and Christmas display was going to happen around Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Glowing in the dark winter sky, the fireworks, special visual effects and dancing fountains were truly magical. The theme was Frozen, so of course the new current favourite Disney songs, Let it go, was part of the extraordinary climax.
It was a truly magical experience, enjoyed with the best company, and lets just say that Disney is not only for little children!