Mardi à Paris

Day two in Paris was busy.  We got up and out early into the ffffffreezing cold air and made our way to the Musée d’Orsay.  When we arrived the queue was monumentally long, so we decided to come back later and have hot chocolate at Angelina’s first.

 

 

 

 

Angelina’s is a tea room sitting just next to the Tuileries Gardens.  I’ve read about it on a few other blogs before now so wanted to go check it out.  The decor was as pretty as I expected and the hot chocolate as rich and sweet.  It’s fairly expensive here but I wouldn’t say it’s overpriced at all, well worth a visit if you’re in need of warming up (like I was, this cold is going to take some getting used to after a year away from it).

 

 

After this we headed back to the Musée d’Orsay and spent a couple of hours looking round.  I loved this gallery, I preferred it so much more to the Louvre.  The Louvre was just too big and exhausting to get around, and the variation of art at Orsay was really good.  They have a great exhibition on at the moment called ‘Masculine’, an exhibition of the male form.  One painting in particular was an almost exact copy of Coubert’s L’Origine Du Monde, but was instead called The Origin Of War.

Now we decided to go on a little excursion.  When my mum was in her early twenties she lived in Paris for a few months, since we weren’t far from her old neighbourhood we decided to go track it down.  The closer we got the more difficult I found it to understand why she left, it’s a lovely part of the city!

 

 

Rue Tournefort was her road
And this was her apartment block
Mum reckons her room used to look out onto this courtyard

It was really cool to see where she lived, I plan to do the same when I go to London as she lived there too.  On our way back we got food, wine and started planning the next day at Palais de Versailles.

Lundi à Paris

On Monday my mum and I popped over to Paris for a week.  I’ve been away for a year and we’ve always wanted to go together as my mum is a bit of a Francophile and once lived in Paris, so now was as good a time as any.

I really like Paris.  I know a lot of people don’t because it’s expensive, dirty and often dodgy – to be honest I agree that these things are all true, I actually had a pick pocket try their luck with me on Thursday whilst on the Metro, which incidentally absolutely hum dinged of warm, stale urine.  For me though, these negative factors don’t outweigh the reasons why I like the place.  It’s quaint, everyone wears black and doesn’t seem to give a toss and it’s just so pretty!  I love the French language too, it’s so soothing to listen to and so expressive.

On the train from the airport to the city, mum and I sat opposite a French man and a Scottish man having a conversation.  As well as their accents, their physical way of communicating couldn’t have been more different.  The Scot had arms folded as he spoke and kept interjecting his sentences with a mildly nervous laugh, intended to invite the French man to join in – he didn’t.  Meanwhile, the French man had arms flailing in all directions to express his words and eyebrows so enthusiastic they almost fell off his forehead.  I don’t think either way of communicating is better or worse than the other, but I really enjoy seeing these differences.

We stayed at Hotel Georgette near the centre of the city – a short walk from Le Forum Des Halles and Pompidou Centre.  I liked the look of this place on the net, and I liked it even more in real life.  Pretty, quirky and very camp – ultimate combination surely?

 

 

The sparkly lights in the background are in the bathroom, you can switch the main light off for a very relaxing ambience whilst you have your bath.  I loved this hotel so much.

 

We arrived late in the afternoon and I’m still suffering slightly from jet lag, so all we really wanted was to eat, have a drink and then sleep.  Rather than trying to find somewhere, we just asked the hotel staff where was decent to eat.  It’s very easy to get ripped off for crap food in Paris, so really I think it’s best to just ask.

We wandered down a road I cannot remember the name of and found a little Italian restaurant.  Settled with pasta and a glass of kir we people watched.  Paris is wonderful for people watching, the locals just look like they belong there.

 

 

 

 

Curiosity satisfied we strolled back to the hotel to rest up for the following day – Mardi à Paris.

First Impressions Of Auckland

If Australia is an amalgamation of America and the UK, then I’d say that New Zealand (or what I’ve seen of it) is an amalgamation of Australia and the UK.  The scenery here is much prettier and quaint than Oz, the weather is more unpredictable than Melbourne and everything feels much more compact as opposed to far from anything like it can in Australia.
I’m staying with more members of my huge, global family.  It’s one of the benefits of being from a huge family – you have relatives everywhere!  My great aunt and her son live in Remuera and this is the view from the top of the hill they live on:

 

The architecture here feels American, big timber houses everywhere surrounded by lush greenery.

 

 

The coffee’s good, but so far it’s better in Melbourne …

Today after a bit of shopping I took myself to the museum located near Parnell (a great suburb for food and drinks), it’s actually a really good museum.  The Maori exhibitions and the World War exhibitions on the top floor were my favourite.  The interior is stunning too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also been to the art gallery in the city centre but sadly don’t have any images of that.  I really like Auckland so far, such a different feel to Melbourne.

People I Met And Liked In Australia

There is one single thing (or multiple, rather) that has made my stay in Melbourne worthwhile: people.  People I’ve met briefly, people I’ve become close friends with, even people I didn’t like.  They’ve all chipped in to make my third trip away the best one yet.

In an ode to the many, many laughs I’ve had across Melbourne, here are a few photographic memories of people I met and liked in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Melbourne, it’s been a delight!

A Quirk Of Fate – Kuwaii Launch Party

Last week Marlee and I had a second blogging excursion to go, this time it was the Kuwaii Launch at A Quirk Of Fate.  A Quirk Of Fate is located in Northcote about a fifteen minute train ride from the CBD.  It’s one of those shops that stocks wonderfully quirky and unique trinkets and works closely with local designers and producers.
I had the pleasure of meeting Vulette who blogs over at Young Red Violets.  It’s great meeting other bloggers, it means you can make jokes about hashtags and people will actually laugh!

 

I loved the Kuwaii designs.  Perfect for summer or winter, and I’m also a big fan of wedges as I just can’t walk in heels.  They require too much effort for me.

 

 

There were a range of cards featuring puns around the names of Melburnian train stations, the one above is my favourite.

 

On the way back we spotted this cute graffiti, it’s elephants in parachutes.

Followed by this below.  This, is a Lush cat.  Lush is a local graffiti artist who leaves these cats all over Melbourne.  Each one has something different written in the paw.  Marlee and I always text each other when we spot a new one.  Until now I’ve not been able to photograph one because they’re usually on train lines, so I was pretty excited to spot one next to the pavement.

 

A Quirk Of Fate
289 High St
Northcote