I've been listening to nothing but French oldies since last week. There's just something about songs in a language so foreign that you don't need to understand what the lyrics mean but which emotions that transport you to another era where life was much simpler.
I particularly like this which goes on a loop with other similar songs from Marlene Dietrich and Yves Montand. Youtube's new play loop function is just so nifty - you can pick almost any song and listen to the mix just like in a radio. Don't know why but having foreign songs in the background works for me especially when I'm buried at work!
Then it occurred to me that it's been 1 year since my Euro trip, and Paris was our last stop. The nostalgic in me was reminding me that I still haven't really posted up pictures of the romantic city!
So thus began our last train ride from the countryside town of Mâcon to our northernmost destination of the French capital. It was quite calming watching fields of golden rapeseed flowers (colza en français*) spread out in glorious hues and dried grass all rolled up in neat cylinders.
We made a brief stop at Dijon to switch trains. Seeing the word Dijon reminded me of the yummy mustard sauce which I grew to love and eat in Japan. I've never been a big fan of mustard, but I started craving for it cause I can't seem to find the same brand here. >.<
David was sweet enough to arrange his meeting in Paris to coincide with our arrival. Even though he's been there for work, this was his first time being as tourist as us, but he was knowledgeable enough to be the tour guide! After greeting us at the Paris Gare De Lyon station, he brought us around for a walk.
For a Belgian to be able to show us the landmarks of Paris was pretty remarkable, and it made a difference between us trying to figure things on a map ourselves and being able to appreciate a city without having to worry about where to go next.
One of the stops we made was the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. Seeing the animated version on TV is a whole lot different than seeing the real thing in person. I remember texting home about some of the things I'd seen, and thinking to myself, "So this is how it feels like being in Europe surrounded by so much history!"
I would have loved to bring something like this back, but too bad I was not in a pretty summer dress to pose for a proper picture, and my backpacker mode did not allow for such extravagant purchase >.<
It took us all afternoon of walking around the city to finally end at the Eiffel Tower. Weather was cool despite it being the middle of summer, and exactly the reason why long walks all day is possible.
It still didn't strike me how surreal it was to be there until I saw all around me people from all over the world marvelling at the structure.
We laid on the grass looking up at Eiffel, glancing occasionally at the queues waiting to go up to see the view from the top, and at the many other people who in similar fashion decided to enjoy the sparkling light show that go on every hour just like us.
It certainly felt like a magical moment there; and to think that I've always thought Paris was overrated! :)
* Found the name from MyKugelHopf