I’ve made the decision to post just once a week from now on. You can expect my weekly update each Sunday afternoon/early evening. I’ve been finding it difficult to have enough to write about/have enough time during the week, and I want to make sure I’ve actually got something interesting to say!
Last week I struggled a little so decided I wanted to go into the new week with a fresh and positive mindset. I by no means was regretting my decision last week, but in reality there are going to be days that are better than others and I think it’s important to be honest about that. To get back on the right track I made this week all about being a tourist. It was the second week of orientation with my school and they had a couple of cultural visits planned for us and I wanted to make the most of it. It kicked off with the Musée Bourdelle, home to a famous (now dead) sculpture artist. Well, famous in Paris anyway. Apparently he wasn’t really a big deal in the rest of France, or indeed anywhere else in the world. It’s a very small little museum and if I’m honest wasn’t really my cup of tea. There were a couple of pieces that I thought were pretty impressive but on the whole I liked the architecture of the building more than the actual art itself…that being said it’s good to get a bit of culture and see a little of Parisian history.
On Thursday the school took us to the most BEAUTIFUL park in the 19th arrondissement called Parc Buttes-Chaumont. It was most definitely a little bit of a trek from the school to get there but so worth it. Now I’m a big fan of Jardin du Luxembourg, I can and do literally spend hours in there walking, reading or watching the retired play pétanque so I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like this place as much. I was wrong. It’s beautiful in a completely different way, very calm with lots of space to relax and if you climb to the top of the hill in the middle there is the most insane and undisturbed view over Paris. Safe to say we annoyed our teacher a little but taking so long to get all of our pictures. Every tourist in the park is doing the same thing so there’s a bit of a waiting system to get the real money shots. I’ll definitely be going back again in winter to see how different it looks, this one might become a regular haunt going forward. Impressive but Jardin du Luxembourg is still my number one.
Following a picnic lunch a small group of us decided to head back to the other side of town for the Arc de Triomphe. We’d actually gone there earlier in the week to get the standard photo ops but this time we were going UP. It’s about €12 for an adult ticket which I think is fairly reasonable, there are cheaper prices for students (under 26) and children etc. but I don’t qualify for any of those being an ancient au pair 😂. It’s a long way up, it’s a lot of stairs, it was hot but it was worth it. You get a 360 degree view of the city and can watch the hustle and bustle below from one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. There is something really special about looking out across the city I now call home and I hope I never grow old of Paris.
You’re probably thinking there are two pretty major tourist hot spots that are missing from the above and you’d be right. The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. I’ve actually visited both of these on previous trips to Paris so I’m not rushing to get to them again so soon. I also feel once you’ve been up the Eiffel Tower once there isn’t a huge need to do it again. The Louvre on the other hand I would like to visit again. I went with my best friend last year and we only got to see a small part of it. It’s absolutely huge and was so busy that we got to the point of just wanting to get out and back into fresh air. It’s also a pretty confusing layout (I think) and lots of the escalators and stairs were closed off for refurbishment making it more difficult to get around. I’ll go back again at some point to see the sections we missed but maybe not for a few months yet.
I’m sure there are lots of others I’m yet to discover and I’m looking forward to finding them over the coming months. When do you reckon I’ll stop feeling like a tourist?