it’s fascinating how travelling has the magical power to both make days feel endlessly long, but also have time pass so much more quickly. i almost don’t want to write this blogpost, as retelling this weekend seems to truly cement it as part of the past, and i’m not quite ready for it to be over. but as i write this i am back in my london flat, rahel-less entirely, so i think it’s time to let it all go, let it all go, let it all out now.
so. rahel and i went to paris this weekend. just like that. well, not just like that, really. i don’t know whether we have mentioned our birthday lists on the blog already (i’m pretty sure we have) but basically we both decided to meet each other in paris whilst being 23. seeing as it’s rahel’s birthday next month (say whaaaaaat?!?) we knew paris-ing would have to happen as soon as possible. and so the first weekend of october was chosen. my train (the good ol’ eurostar) arrived at the gare du nord quite a bit before rahel’s trusty tgv, so i went to the gare de lyon to pick her up. oh, the excitement. after a few minutes of hugging and continuous repeating of the phrase “are we actually in paris?”, we made our way to our airbnb flat in the beautiful quarter of montmartre. it was easy enough to find and we even managed to pick up some ice cream on the way to the place we’d be staying at for the next couple of nights. of course we immediately threw our pjs on, ourselves onto the couch and the latest “great british bake off”-episode onto my laptop. accompanied by ice cream we spent an hour commenting way too emotionally on other people’s baking and made it to bed exhaustedly. rahel fell asleep minutes into my reading ‘harry potter and the goblet of fire’ (i’ve started rereading the series on monday. best. decision. ever.) to her.
the parisian skies were slightly overcast on saturday morning, which didn’t stop us from climbing what felt like seven thousand stairs to get to the rose bakery, a delicious food place where a large chunk of a story we once wrote together took part. we ate well, the soy mochas, however, weren’t really our cup of, well, mocha. we had both been to paris multiple times before, which took the pressure of having to see everything in very little time, so we got the métro to another stop (rahel will have to help me out here. i’m the worst with remembering places and street names and the like (i’ll happily oblige, of course. we took the métro to the quartier latin…)), where we actually QUEUED to get into shakespeare&company, a beautiful bookshop with english literature, best to be described with rahel’s words, claiming it was “like ollivander’s, if it were a bookstore”. we spent an insane hour and a half or so judging books by their covers and blurbs, trying not to be trampled to death by the masses of people apparently interested in books, too. we also (after ages of trying to decide) found a new novel to read, finally settling on ‘middlesex’ by jeffrey eugenides. after a little pseudo-selfie-sesh in front of the notre dame, we grabbed some lunch and ate said lunch in the sun by the seine.
strengthened again, we huffled (a new term we came up with. it means “strolling around being accompanied by a hufflepuff (rahel is (can you tell how harry potter-y our weekend was?))) about le marais, where we ate delicious macarons and saw many interesting things. we then progressed to the jardins des tuileries, where we grabbed two chairs to get the last of the evening sun and once more dove into the magical world of hogwarts (where, we both agree, we’d get ridiculously fat. and we’d love it.)
dinner was had at a place called “flam’s”, a restaurant chain serving flammenkuchen à discretion, a concept we rather liked, however, our experience was somewhat overshadowed by a really quite annoying waitress. that’s also when we had salmon, btw. which was this week’s theme. we’ll actually cook again next week, i promise. oh well. on our way home, we – for the first time consciously – laid eyes upon a poster stating that yesterday, being the day we saw said poster, was the ‘nuit blanche’, a night where paris is filled with art installations and performances and experiences and the like. we found a spot where one of dem thangs was supposed to happen rather close to our flat, so we walked for a while just to see a man jump up and down in a weird cloud construction suspended over some railway tracks (i should review art things). it was very much worth it if only for the adorable little boy who kept smiling and laughing at us. almost smarming us, one could say. oh yes. too cute. back home, back into the pjs and back to eating ice cream, we watched ‘the hunchback of notre dame’ and suffered with poor quasimodo who truly deserves to be loved.
sunday came way too soon. the place we wanted to get brunch at somehow didn’t exist anymore, but luckily we found a great place where we ordered a “detox brunch” (interestingly enough containing pancakes and other not exactly detox-y treats) from the most adorable and hilarious waiter ever, more than making up for the snitchkova of the evening before. the eclectic music mix intermittently featuring absolute french classics like “la vie en rose” only made brunch all the more enjoyable. after a little visit to the sacré-cœur, one of our favourite landmarks in paris, we strolled around a bit more in montmartre, discussing names we liked and ones we didn’t (a conversation that lasted a solid few hours, despite it not even being the first time we had talked about it) and sat down at a “café”, where they were already somewhat overwhelmed by our order of two teas. indeed.
after some more bench-sitting and, yes, you may have guessed, my reading harry potter out loud, it was time to return to the flat. to pick up our stuff. i was just as upset as you are. one last ride with the teeny-tiny elevator (sadly the building didn’t feature any escapators. arnold would’ve been heartbroken.) later, it was time for goodbyes. and oh how i hate them. rahel returned to zurich safely and soundly and i had some rather interesting conversations waiting for my train which i shant tell you about, as i’m using them as a bait for rahel to skype with me again soon. : P
paris, we love you.
next week, choux pastry.