To mark the ending of my time in the Therapeutic Community (TC) I travelled to Paris by Eurostar. I stayed for a week. In the past I visited Paris a number of times and so I felt I was going somewhere familiar which made the anxiety about the trip easier to cope with. I was a bit nervous because I booked it a week in advance of me going so I hadn’t had much time to think or plan ahead, however I had a pocket french guide to Paris which was a gift given to me from the TC. It was my Godsend 🙂 Paris never disappoints me. Its so grand and there is something for everyone. I love the language the music the glorious food, the list goes on. I enjoy being in the City. sometimes I quite like being alone in a crowd.
I got an early train to Paris. I took my laptop with me to help distract myself from my thoughts about leaving the TC. I kept catching myself crying on and off on my journey so I took videos and wrote in a diary throughout the week. When the train pulled in to Paris, and my feet touched Parisian land it started to sink in how far I had come.
I took the Metro to my Hotel unpacked, and headed out to explore. I ended up at St Pauls and frequented the shops. I came across a church and decided to go inside. It was glorious. I sat down on the pews and joined in on prayer. The candles were dimly lit and it was so peaceful.
I visited Sacre Coeur. It was my first time visiting the Basilica. I climbed the steps to the top of the church and took pictures of Paris. I went into the Church and had a look around. It was lovely. I spent all day here, I ate my lunch at Pret A manger. I ate veg soup and had a cookie. On my way back, I popped into a Bakery where I bought a baguette and a croissant. I took it back to my hotel room and then my head hit the pillow. I was out like a light
I took a trip down to Des Archive Nationales de Paris. I took a walk this time rather than taking the Metro. The walk took about an hour. I walked through the Market and saw a stand selling lots of fish. There were snails and lobsters too. On another stand, A Chinese man was selling Samosa des legumes (a veggie spring role). I bought a few and ate them on the way. It was yum. There was also lots of fruit and Pizzas.
As I was walking I kept seeing the slogan ‘Libertie,Egalitie, fraternity’. I headed towards Saint Lazare train station. On my way there, a few tourists spoke to me. One gentleman said to me that he did not speak French but worked in Paris. I was surprised as I assumed that I would have to learn fluent french to be able to work in Paris. I quite enjoyed the conversation, we said our goodbyes and I carried on to the Train station where I inquired about taking a train to Le Havre the following Day which is a beach on the Coast of Normandie.
I Left Saint Lazare and took a train to Le Havre in Normandie. I then travelled to a beach called Etetat.
When I got to the beach I was overwhelmed with how incredible the scenery was. It was even better than the pictures I had seen. I walked to the top of the cliffs and looked down on to the sea and the houses and shops close by. I like being high up so I can see everything. It was really windy and I walked for a few miles along the pathways on top of the cliff. Nobody was around. It was just myself and the earth. This is freedom. I walked back down to the beach and watched the sea. The tide came and went. I had to be careful the water would not reach my shoes. It got me once, My feet froze. I spent most of the day walking across the ridge of the cliff admiring the view and watching the sea. It was then time to leave I took a bus back to Le Havre and then a train. I had my own carriage I put my feet up and began to write my thoughts down in to my diary.
On this day I visited George Pompidou. The building is quite abstract. You would most definitely notice it had you have been passing by chance. I went in to see the modern art exhibitions. Some of the Artists whose work I saw were by DeLauney, Matisse, Picasso, Kadinsky, Dix, Pollock. I wanted to go the top and see the view, but I lost my museum ticket. The security guard said she would let me through upstairs, but I changed my mind and so I went home instead cos my feet really hurt! I missed out. 😦 May be next time…
As evening fell, I made my way towards Cafe Marley at the Louvre. It was romantic and I thought it would be a really nice place for a couple to go for a date. I ate a light and creamy mille fuielle. It was super scrumptious I would love to visit again. Hopefully with someone to enjoy the experience together next time 😉
I then visited the theatre and watched an opera. It only cost 5 euro and I had my own cabin. It was really quite cosy. I could see a clear view of the stage from the top of the balcony.
I visited la Maison Europeenne de photographie on my final day in paris I visited an exhibition by Gao Bo. Some of his work showed photographs which had been destroyed with black paint. It was interesting to see him linking photographs, destruction and memory and learning about his background and his experience of where he grew up. Another Artist, Vincent Perez had an exhibition on identities which I felt I could connect with Especially when talks about his experience of being a cultural mixture. Where do I belong? Who am I? He questions. His photos were bold and big. It was inspiring.
After leaving the Musee de la Photographie, I had lunch at Cafe Angelina. I had a risotto which was unbelievably good with a pastry for my dessert. The flavour of tea I drank which was Mont Blanc was quite refeshing. I then made my way back to the hotel for my suitcase, and headed to Gard du Nord.
Goodbye Paris… Till we meet again 😉