Sunday, 15 September 2013

Solitude is bliss

Today was my last full day in Paris! We spent the day at La Paris Plage which is an artificial beach made in the summer by the River Seinne. It was fun but the heat made it almost unbearable, as it was absolutely boiling and we didn't have any water to cool off in. So after a few hours we left the beach and returned home from my last trip in Paris.

The trip really was amazing. In sixteen days I had been to an uncountable number of excellent art exhibitions, a huge number of vintage shops, so many beautiful cobbled streets and markets and wonderful restaurants. My french has improved too, although I am still quite unconfident speaking it. Most importantly, I have come to realise that the name of one of my favourite Tame Impala songs; 'solitude is bliss' is entirely true. Walking the streets of Paris alone or sitting in coffee shops with the only company of my book gave me so much pleasure. There is something so serene; so peaceful and simple in being alone. I felt like a little girl again as I walked across the river with a huge grin on my face, just loving the fact that I was in Paris.

I was very sad to leave.

Le Musee D'Orsay

Today we saw the magnificent impressionist exhibition at Le Musee D'Orsay. It held many pieces by Claude Monet, who has always been my ultimate favourite artist. Last year, I based one of my art projects around his work; spending months reading big heavy books in his work, studying online photos and then going to ponds or lakes and trying to mirror the way he captured the dancing light across water. But nothing can compare to seeing his work in the flesh. In fact, I saw one of his paintings that I had annotated last year using an online version, and the colours in the real painting were completely different to anything I saw online. You can spend a huge amount of time looking at his work; carefully absorbing the numerous rough strokes that create ripples in the water and show the soft light fragmented gently across it. 

After the museum, we walked through the streets and stumbled across this beautiful flower shop. I was so struck by the beautiful vivid colours of the roses, so of course I had to take a few photos.

Jardin Du Luxenbourg

After my breakfast at Claus, I headed to Jardin Du Luxenbourg to meet my French Exchange. The last time I had been there was in the crisp air of Autumn. The leaves tickled the floor with a gentle ringing as they whistled in through the wind and cluttered in rich bronze and amber heaps. Today was very different. The golden chestnuts and dark burgundy shades were swept away and were replaced with an explosion of joyous majentas and lively lilacs. I was literally breath taken by the beauty of the park.

We spent a few hours strolling through the park, and then went to a few quirky shopping streets for a mohito sorbet and a look around the area.

We ended the day at Festival FNAC at Hotel De Ville. The festival was in a bustling square in the centre of Paris. We listened to some French bands who were quite good and then we saw the Palma Violets. Luckily for me, they seemed very unknown in France, so I found it easy to push to the front and scream my heart out. I made such an impression that the lead singer kissed my cheek and put the microphone to my mouth as he held my hand! I don't think I have ever screamed so loud.


After establishing that my french exchange does not wake up until 12 and want to leave the house until 4, I decided that I must set off to the streets of Paris alone. For those of you who have read my blog before, you will know that I am a huge fan of breakfast. Therefore, I decided to spend my evening looking up where to go for the best breakfast in Paris, and after analysing numerous cafes and restaurants, I decided on Claus. Claus is located on Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a pretty and quiet street not far from the Louvre. After walking a few minutes from the station, past monochrome passageways filled with sweet smelling leather bags and vintage books, I arrived at Claus. 
I sat in a little corner with my book, in a state of perfect content as I alternated from reading and watching the people stroll along the street. Perhaps with a little naivety, I ordered a grand breakfast; believing that as I am such a lover of good breakfast, I would be able to eat all.

It began with a wonderful bread basket of fresh baguette, soft seeded rolls and sweet, soothing cinnamon buns. They were accompanied by a strawberry and mint and a fig and lemon jam which were both absolutely delicious. Along with this was a scrambled egg, a rich cappuccino and an ever so fresh freshly squeezed orange juice.

As I half accomplished the start of my meal, I was then brought the second half: an apple and cinnamon friend, a little pot of greek yoghurt and granola and a sweet tart with berries and almonds. I didn't manage to finish it all, and I left Claus with a paper bag full of warm pastries and bread which lasted me until the evening.