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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Hopping Along

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

Could it be jet lag? The overwhelming hustle and bustle of Paris? Disorientation? Could it be the fact that the stress of everyday life is wearing away? It might just be vacation mode settling in? …

I don’t know… but sleeping in has become a thing.

A major thing.

Regardless of whether or not I set my alarm, we both ignore it… and sleep. At first, I could ignore it. Brush it off…

… but it’s getting worse.

I don’t know what it is about this decrepit old halfway house, but it’s causing an abnormal suspension of consciousness.

It’s definitely not the lumpy pillows.

9am… 10am… then we peaked at 11:15am… slightly more shameful… and then came back down to 9:30/10am again. All appealing times to lie in bed too, especially when you should be up at the chirp of the first bird and sashaying down a cobblestone lane for petite dejeuner.

Instead of appreciating the wee hours of Parisian sunrise, we are heading out at the crack of noon for a glass of wine and whatever else looks good enough to stuff in our mouths.

We have been walking a lot… and it’s been lovely weather… so far.

At the end of a full day's exploration, I have introduced Aunty Lin to the world of Uber, and she is a fan. How can one not be? It’s quick, simple, reasonable, easy to pay, easy to pay… my kind of transportation

In the last couple days, Aunty Lin has paid tourist tribute to both the Louvre and the D’Orsay. I decided to forgo the pleasure of seeing the masterpieces, and instead took some ‘me’ time. As I’ve already been through both museums, I relished in the opportunity to catch up on my writing and some work. I had stumbled upon Le Marias district, and was more than happy to find a little café to finish a blog and watch people wander by.

As an only child, as well as someone who lives on my own and predominantly travels alone, I find myself intolerable if I don’t squeeze in a particular percentage of the day dedicated to me, myself and I. It’s of utmost importance and an essential requirement within each 24hr period.

Of course, no major city tour would be complete without venturing onto the circuit Hop On Hop Off contraption. It was at the fire scene of the majestic Notre Dame we decided to ‘hop on’… It was a good way to escape the crowds, see the famous landmarks, take in the panoramic views, hear the history and take a load off… but as we had hopped on later in the evening, our top deck excursion got rather chilly, rather quickly… and came to an abrupt ending at exactly 7:05pm.

Au revoir! … ok… that was our cue to get off, though there had been no warning when we’d purchased our tickets.

Our expensive bus let us off at the Opera House, and from there we made our way into the upscale French department store, Galerie Lafayette. This flagship department store, located on the Boulevard Haussmann, boasts a striking Art Deco glass dome and a spectacular view from its rooftop terrace. The only thing that would have perfected the vista would’ve been a glass of sparkling rosé to toast the lights of the city.

It’s fun… and sometimes, admittedly, rather expensive… figuring out the difference between patisserie, café, bistro, brassiere, bar tabac and restaurant. Some are ideal for people watching with a café au lait, others are perfect for a charcuterie and a half litre of red… others, a quick burger… and the latter, a full ‘dining-room-style‘ course meal.

Regardless of where though, it’s astonishing the amount of smokers you encounter. At times, less than a mere metre from where you are dining. I’m a reformed smoker, so I am acutely aware that my power of perception, detection and disgust far outreaches most others, but come on…

Not that I should speak… wandering around with moulding cheese in my bag, stinking out the streets of Paris.

Of course, no trip to this magnificent city would be complete without a trek up the Iron Lady herself, the Eiffel Tower. This powerful, wrought iron tower stands 1,063 feet tall and is the most iconic and recognizable monument in the entire world.

Aunty Lin had dreamt of this moment, and it’s sparkling illumination against the backdrop of the city of lights did nothing to disappoint. The top floor tickets were sold out, so we had to be content with only ascending half way, to the second floor. The view was breathtaking and we stayed up there, taking photos and admiring the city scape for quite awhile before taking the 674 glistening steps down.

I have always been intrigued by Paris, especially during my Napoleon and Josephine obsession years, but I‘m ashamed to admit that I can hardly remember much anymore, and think it’s time to hit the history books again.

This trip is no exception to the rule, and more often than not, I find myself with either no wifi, low battery or a dead phone. **Thank you very much to those friends who have invested time and money into ensuring I always have battery power… but I am hopeless.

On more than one occasion, we have had to take refuge in a small bistro/restaurant/café and have a glass or two of Bordeaux, while I charge my dumb phone. I even went to a computer store and bought the proper charging system to mesh with the electrical outlets here.

Travel is not easy…

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