So where was I? Oh yeah... Paris.

So as I was saying, we left London St Pancras on this.

And went here...
Our trip was mainly about the Eurovision.
Since the beginning of the year, I've been taking french language classes at the Alliance Française once a week. So the Bear suggested we do a little side trip so I could stretch my very basic language skills. 
Upon arriving in Paris I had taken exactly 1 term (9 lessons) worth of classes.
So I could say bonjour! au revoir! and 'Mon nom est l'Amazone aux Cheveux Rouges'. 
I had also learnt some other basic phrases.

However I found upon arriving in Paris and meeting our very enthusiastic Airbnb host Michel, that I could nod, smile and say, 'D'accord!' but all the other words dribbled out of my brain.
His lovely wife Annie left a cute note that I thought was to welcome us and mentioned crochet!! 😀

Thank you for (something something something) deface (?) the little triangles in/ at/ on (something).. The (something something) excessive the (something something) flagelise (?) the triangles and hooks. Thanks to you (something something) - Annie.  Sweet but confusing.
Now two more terms of french language lessons later, there's mention of petite triangles and excessive des rideaux (????) and I hope to figure it out by the end of the year. 😕

The language mind-block was super frustrating as I very much hoped to do lots of haggling and buying of the things in all the markets we went to. I probably could have as many of the stall holders spoke some english. 
We walked our legs off every day. We checked out the amazing Marche aux Puces de la Porte de Vanves which is a super long and delightful streetside flea market at the southern edge of the 14th arrondissement. Do you want the most flea marketiest market you've ever seen? 
This is it.
My favourite find were these little things. They are called 'feves'. 
I saw a few stalls that had baskets filled with these for 1 euro each. I asked one of the stall holders about them and she told me a fève is hidden inside the Galette de Rois (Cake of Kings) which is served on the 6th of January each year. 
The person who finds the fève or figurine in their piece of cake is crowned king or queen for the day. Like hiding a sixpence in the Christmas pud. I picked out a generous handful for 10 euros.

We often would start walking to look for a certain place, and think, "Yeah that's probably not far!" but it would take an hour of walking and we would get lost admiring parks, buildings, graffiti and just Paris-y stuff along the way.
We also stopped by the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, north of the 18th arrondissement.
This flea market is filled with clothing, gorgeous vintage furniture, statues, paintings, an enormous range of pop culture gems such as vintage comics, records, band tees. I think we only covered a small section before vendors began closing for the day.

If it wasn't for the price, this gorgeous rooster would have come home with me...

So we visited flea markets, caught lots of trains...
...and got lost in Pere Lachaise.
I'm convinced these creepy green dudes started the whole 'zombie apocalypse' mythology. 
Hello beautiful friend.
She dominates the Paris skyline. On day 4 we decided it was time to visit la Tour Eiffel.
I mean, why wouldn't you?
At first it was a little windy.

This may look like some random metal girder where the paint has rubbed off. 
And it is, but...'s scraping back the (paint) layers of history.
We also managed to cover one wing of the Louvre. And if you've been there, you'll know how much of an achievement that is.
Out of the squillions of paintings, this one tickled me. What just happened? What is the red hair guy looking at? Why does the black haired guy look so suss? What has he done? Is he about to stick a finger in the red hair guys ear? Or is he whispering, "Look at those weird people staring at us from outside the painting?"  Has he just farted and the hint of a lip curl and vacant stare from the red hair guy indicates the preliminary thought, "What's that smell?" or is he thinking, "maybe I should switch to the pink beret?"
We were budget travellers on this trip, but we did go out for a lovely dinner one night close to the tower. Just freaking YUM.
And this was our view.  

I wear those forehead wrinkles like a badge of honour after all that looking up...
Most days after walking all of the kilometres, we would catch the train back towards our little flat far to the north west in Cormeilles-en-Parisis and stop by the Aldi to replenish our cheese supplies and grab a baguette from the local boulangerie.
And have a very delish meal of wine, cheese, bread and cold meats on the picnic table outside, washed down with a 6 euro bottle of rosé.
After 3 weeks the vegemite jar was empty. For travelling Australians, that means it's time to go home.

A few final of my favourite images... 
Make sure your pet rabbit doesn't stick its' hand in the train doors. They're très fort.

Moi aussi


Kilos, I gained them.
Au revoir Paris! Et merci pour les kilos en trop.


l'Amazone aux
Chevaux Rouges 


  1. I should be asleep right now! But, no. I just had to take a stab at that note!
    For someone who's about 40% French, I have about 2% comprehension! However, I'm not so bad at trying to decipher handwriting... some times...
    Anyhoo, that tringles a rideaux is curtain rods...? Were there any delicate looking or wonky curtains? I think it might've a warning about the drapes... I'll take another stab at it later. Her writing is rather difficult and maybe left handed..?? And Parisienne French is just a tad different from everyone's else, or so I've been told.

    Whatever, I'll get back to later on the translation.
    - SHAN

    LOVED the pics!!

    1. Ha! That helps! I know there's google translate but I want to translate it as I learn. We can figure it out together. There were sort of blinds near the sliding door which I thought, "Jeez, they're a bit old!" I still thought it was a cute note about crochet until I remembered the origin of the word! So far I've had 3 different teachers all from different areas of France and all with slightly different accents which is an awesome way of tuning the ear in!

    2. Okay, just got 2 1/2 hours of sleep... Then neighbour has started doing noisy yardwork! #AlwaysSomething!

      So, the last sentence is "Thanks for your understanding". That last word was hyphenated...

      And the beginning seems like it might be more along the lines of "Thanks for not" doing something... because such and such is fragile...?? It seems to more or less be a warning about how delicate the whole drapes thing is hanging...

      French phraseology is often confusing at best! And greatly varies between dialects. It's probably the most difficult part of learning the language. What might be a noun or verb in English, often ends up as descriptive phrase in French!?? Makes for more words than necessary most of the time.

      - One reason why I never caught on to it...

    3. Between the the descriptive phraseology and the constant hand gestures while conversing, speaking French is basically auditable charades! -- Likely why it's more often used in diplomatic circles.... They're stalling for time!

      Just peeped out window... my neighbour cut down all the nice pink flowers along his house. The local bumblebees are gonna be massively pissed!!

  2. Just caught up on blogs this morning after being in N.S.W. for a week. Love your thoughts on Paris & although our trip there was fleeting, it was nice seeing it through your eyes too. We saw the Eiffel Tower all lit with coloured lights, which was lucky, as it happens very rarely. Take care & hugs.

  3. So, the 2 guys painting...
    New caption...
    "Soo, Dude. Do you think this new beret makes me look fat..??"

    - SHAN

    1. Other guy responds: "No way Dude" (thinking: but it looks much better on me)

    2. Btw don't get me started on conjugating french verbs. Indonesian was sooo much easier to learn!

  4. Your recounting of your time in Paris is both entertaining and vivid. The way you share your experiences makes it feel like I'm right there with you, exploring the charm of the city.

  5. Your humor and attention to detail truly bring the narrative to life. Thank you for sharing your Parisian escapades, and I look forward to reading more about your travels.


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