my photos

i ate a lot of cheese

i can get by in a foreign city on very little – and paris is no exception. i’m talking food, here. give me a baguette and some cheese and i’m pretty much good to go the entire day. actually, give me bread and cheese just in general and i’m good to go – forever.

the first thing people usually say when they talk about paris is, “it’s so expensive!” maybe, if you eat out all the time and really treat yourself – sure. but if you’re on a budget i find it the same as any other city, if not cheaper. you can buy a baguette for around a euro (let’s say about 10 ZAR) and the same goes for anything you want to put on it. plus the markets are great for food shopping, obviously.

(those are giant balls of cheese, by the way)

of course there’s nothing like actually sitting at a sidewalk café in paris. just stick to drinks… and linger over them.

if you want to splash out a bit, go to montmartre and visit aux bons vins – i had the best white wine i have ever tasted there (i also said this a number of times during lunch) and the food was superb.

also, i didn’t buy any macarons (sacrilege! sacrebleu! etc!) it was my last day in paris and i had just checked my credit card balance (thanks to clothes shopping, not food) when i stumbled upon a ladureé in st germain. went in, appreciated all the goodies, watched the parisians buying giant boxes of the tiny pastel macarons, saw the prices, walked out.

see more of paris at my flickr

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paris people

i wish i could have taken photos of every single rad and interesting person i saw in paris, but i didn’t want to be that creepy girl that took photos of strangers all day long. my paris memories are already starting to fade, this saddens me.

see the rest of the paris photos at my flickr

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l’appartement

we’re not done with paris… yet. i still have many photos to get through, so in the meantime i thought i’d show you the apartment we stayed in. it’s on the left bank right behind notre dame, and filled with so much awesome art and weird little artefacts that my eyeballs almost fell out.

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musée

besides being basically my favourite places to hang out in general, art museums are prime spots for interesting people watching. in the musée d’orsay i lurked in the same room as courbet’s origin of the world for about 5 minutes, and enjoyed witnessing a variety of reactions … naturally the piece generates a lot of interest and giggles - mostly from men. in the l’orangerie i sat and watched these two women who gazed at monet’s water lilies for ages. when i squinted my eyes they started blending in with the blue water.

in the louvre i stood and watched as people went crazy around the mona lisa. this was my third visit, and it’s always the same story: jostling to take a photos & jamming at eachother’s elbows so they can stand as close to her as possible. the guards in the room are almost permanently rolling their eyes at the tourists who all flash away with their little digital cameras, even though there are several signs that say no flash… all the while lisa is just chilling with that disarming smile on her face, and the eyes that watch you no matter where you are standing in the room.

actually, all the paintings seem to be watching you… all the time.

so i retreated to the calm of the decorative arts museum – still my favourite of them all. it is currently hosting an animals & toys exhibit (excellent!) and they were busy setting up for the mobi-boom exhibit in the nave opening on 23 september, which will showcase furniture design from 1945 to 1975 – seriously bummed i’m missing that.

all photos by me, more of paris at my flickr

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jardin

the best place to have a picnic, doze off in a garden chair, people watch, go for a stroll, take your dog for le poop (pick it up please), read a book, spend your lunch break etc etc ETCETERA! a garden in paris is everyone’s best friend.

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les puces de saint-ouen

les puces de saint-ouen is an area of paris made up of several flea markets that is simply huge. i only explored the vernaisson (antiques / bric-a-brac) section – and even that took a good few hours.

this shop in the middle of the market is called tombées du camion. they sell beads and all sorts of other interesting bits and pieces… the raddest & most creative displays i’ve seen in a while.

all photos by me, more at my flickr

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père lachaise

i had been to père lachaise cemetery once before on a previous trip to paris, but had literally run in and out in a frenzy of sightseeing just to look at jim morrison’s grave (one of those shameless things you just have to do, like visiting the eiffel tower.) this time round i had plenty of time to walk all through the huge grounds. i honestly think it is one of the most beautiful places in paris – mostly because of the tree lined avenues and the feeling of escaping the city as soon as you’re within its walls.

all photos by me, more at my flickr.

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that time i went to italy

some of the photos from my first trip to italy in 2003. it was a pretty extensive jaunt around the country including places like venice, firenze, pisa, luca, san gimignano, siena, assisi, collepino, trevi, rome, pompei, the amalfi coast and lots of wee towns inbetween. they SAY it was the hottest summer in italy for 200 years that year (or something silly) – but apparently the oldies were topping over it was so hot. and it was! luckily everyone enjoys sitting around and just chilling out. i loved it, and it’s very much like the movies sometimes – bella italia etc etc.

outside our hotel

bridge of sighs

poor mimes

flooding in venice

gondoliers chatting, bemused tourists

national pastime

chillin

best car ever!

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