It’s with great sadness that I write the following: my time in Paris has come to an end (at least for now). I’ve been back in Edinburgh for almost a week now and already my Parisian life feels like a dream!
So for a concluding blog post, I’ve decided to share some of the highlights of my year! Here they are, in no particular order.
My Top 3…
- La Patisserie des Reves
…Picnic Spots in Paris
- The Bois de Vincennes
- The Jardin du Luxembourg
- The banks of the Seine
…Places I Visited in Ile de France
- Parc de Sceaux
…Places I Visited Outside France
…Favourite Buildings in Paris
- Notre Dame
- The Eiffel Tower (preferably sparkling, which it does on the hour for five minutes once it is dark)
- The fire station I walked past every morning- including bonus days where the firemen were playing rugby in their red lycra shorts!
- The view of the Seine and the bridges of Paris when I would cross Pont Marie on a morning run.
- Fully grown men, dressed in suits, on scooters. And when I say scooters I mean the kind I had when I was seven, not a moped! A baguette or two tucked under the arm was a common optional extra!
…Things I Missed About the UK
- People knowing how to queue
- Lined paper
- Being able to drink a glass of milk (it just doesn’t taste the same)
…Memorable Metro Moments
- The time that I ended up looking after/kidnapping two children who were left on the platform after their mum made it onto the train and they didn’t. All was fine as they were all reunited at the next stop and I was thanked for taking care of them!
- Every time I saw ‘The Michael Jackson man’. Most commonly sighted on line 1, he would dance in his gold sequinned jacket and black skinny jeans ensemble to ‘You Are Not Alone’, classic dance tune that it is.
- The seats in the middle of the carriage are fold down seats, and once when I went to sit next to a woman she was partially on the empty seat, just enough to keep it down. When I went to sit she moved over, the seat went up and I fell right onto the floor!
…Things That Were Just ‘So French’
- The time everyone was told to get off the bus mid-route because it was time for the driver to take his lunch break.
- The Remembrance Day events running way behind schedule, so that the minute silence was actually closer 11:30.
- Anything administrative taking forever and involving providing loads of documents.
- My favourite has a few names- chocosuisse, pépito, pavé aux pepites – and it is a rectangular pastry which is folded over with a kind of light vanilla custard and chocolate chips in the middle, absolutely amazing.
- Chocolat Framboise, a bit like a pain au chocolat but with raspberry too!
- Chausson aux pommes (a French apple turnover)
…Shops I’ll Miss
- Galeries Lafayette with its roof terrace over looking the Opera Garnier
- Musée d’Orsay (mostly Impressionists)
- Musée de l’Orangerie (home to eight of Monet’s huge water lily paintings)
- Musée Carnavalet (all about the history of Paris, I lived really close and went loads in the winter, taking it a few rooms (or 100 years!) at a time)
…Amorino Ice Cream Flavours
- Fruit de la Passion (passionfruit)
- Chocolat Amorino (I don’t even like chocolate ice cream but this tastes like chocolate mousse!)
- Framboise (raspberry)
- The Fête de la Musique was a France wide celebration of music on June 21st, with street performers everywhere and huge stages set up in the main squares, a great day to be a part of!
- I loved being in Paris for both the marathon and the half marathon, and the difficulties that came with crossing the road for both of them- can I say I participated, just for a few seconds?
- Christmas. Everything was so beautiful and most decorations stayed up into February!
…People I’m Grateful For
- Everyone who has paid me a visit (or two, or three, or six!), thank you so much for coming to see me!
- All the wonderful friends I’ve made on my year abroad. Pals, you know I couldn’t have done it without you. I feel so lucky to have spent time with and gotten to know such interesting and kind people, and I wish you all the best for the future!
- I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has kept up with this blog! It’s been a pleasure to write and the response has been amazing. I’m so pleased to have been able to help future year abroad-ers and to have provided some entertainment for others!
It has certainly been a challenging year, but I’ve had the best time in what has become my favourite city, and I have no doubt that I will return one day. Until then, it’s à bientôt from me!