Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: noel

Paris, days 1 and 2

On December 27th, 2010, I embarked on a 4-day journey to Paris, the first European city visited outside of Bordeaux. Paris was actually not my first choice, but considering that I still haven’t received my residence permit, I settled for Paris in order to avoid any potential issues regarding re-entrance into France.

Paris, the city of lights, is supposedly the most romantic city in the world.

It was overrated.

Okay, I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble or sound pessimistic, but if I were to sum up my trip in one sentence, it would be exactly that. That is not to say I did not enjoy my trip, nevertheless. I will never say a trip “sucked” because I think any travel to a new city is worth the experience, regardless of whether it met your expectations or not. If the city turns out to be completely different than what you imagined it to be, that is all the more reason to be fascinated, because you are breaking out of your limited bubble and truly seeing the world for yourself. That is why I love travelling.

Some general observations:

  • The trains are very old.
  • Candy was right, Paris smells. And it was dirty.
  • City of Light is not an overstatement though. The lights at night were indeed impressive.

Now, prepare for some photo-spam. Mouseover each photo for a brief description and click on it for a larger version. Ready, set, go.

Notre-Dame de Paris

This was the first thing I saw as I wandered out of the metro for the first time. I was actually supposed to be looking for my hotel near Les Invalides, but I decided to be a little adventurous and head out at the St-Michel – Notre-Dame RER station. I didn’t expect the cathedral to be staring right at my face as I exited, but alas, it was there.

Notre-Dame wasn’t one of the buildings that I intended to go into, so I stayed outside and observed the line of people as it moved along into the cathedral. Its grandeur, viewed from the outside, was quite impressive, and I especially liked how it was situated right along the Seine. Right next to Notre-Dame is Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris.

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Marché de Noël

Leaving two extremely event-filled weeks behind me, I finally have some time to sit down and catch up on some updating. The winter holidays officially began on December 27th, but the lab was mostly empty by Wednesday of the previous week, so I took a slightly extended break. (It’s France. What do you expect?) Within two weeks, I was involved in a Christmas church gathering (and the numerous rehearsals beforehand for our performances), a visit to the Christmas market, a trip to Paris, a new year’s eve countdown night, and countless gatherings with fellowship friends. Busy indeed, but a fulfilling end to the year 2010.

On Christmas day, some friends from the Groupe Chrétien Chinois de Bordeaux met up to take a stroll down Allée de Tourny, where a Christmas market was taking place until December 30th. The sun shone brightly and deceivingly, but little did we know, until we got out, that it was quite a chilly day. Nevertheless, the festive atmosphere surrounded us and we passed a pleasant afternoon at the market before ending the day with an enjoyable dinner party.

Disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, these pictures were taken by friends using their better-than-mine cameras. I just leeched some off of them because I didn’t bring my camera that day.

Every carnival/fair/market has to have a merry-go-round of some sort. The new vocabulary of the day is manège, French for merry-go-round. We had a lot of fun watching the manège go round and round, like the wheels on the bus. YuXuan, the youngest member of our fellowship at the age of almost 3, went on a ride with his dad and seemed to have the time of his life! Even some of the older ones in our group relived their memories aboard this childhood favourite.

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