If you know me personally, you’ll know how nostalgic/sentimental I am. This being my last week in Paris, my sentimentality is reaching new heights.
So, I packed a million things into the last few days.
Ice Skating on the Eiffel Tower
Okay this blog post about my weekend is cheating slightly and starting on Wednesday, but I could not leave it out!
Last Wednesday I went ice skating ON the Eiffel Tower!!!
It was amazing, if absolutely freezing. It was just one of those moments that don’t feel real, one of those year abroad moments that will stand out and stick with me for years to come. If you’ll be in Paris in the next month, definitely check it out. It wasn’t advertised particularly well, even when on the Eiffel tower there were no signs for it. However, we only had to pay €8.50 (a student ticket to the 1st floor) and the skis were free! €8.50 to go ice skating on the Eiffel Tower!!!!!)
Thursday, I made myself go to the cinema by myself. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile. Whilst being here I’ve discovered how hard I find doing things by myself, I just don’t find it enjoyable, and know that it would be much more fun if I had someone else by my side. For this reason, I’ve wanted to push myself to go to the cinema alone, to test myself and have a good time while doing it. I’m so glad I did!
I went to see Le mécanique de l’ombre, a French thriller about a man who gets sucked into a nightmare situation. This was really good for my confidence, as I understood nearly all of the dialogue. I found it really satisfying to compare it to my first trip to a French cinema, in the second week of my year abroad, where I understood next to nothing.
I went to Mk2 bibliothèque where students can get cinema tickets for only €4.50, again another bargain!
Le Comptoir Général
On the Friday night my weekend began, and I went to Le Comptoir Général with some friends. I’d heard a lot about this bar, and had been meaning to go before I left, so when my friend said she was coming back to Paris for the weekend we made sure to take a look.
We all met just after 10, and there was a pretty long queue so I recommend heading there earlier. However, it was definitely worth the wait. The decor of the place was just so cool! It’s filled with African souvenirs, and really reminded me of the ruin bars in Budapest with its eclectic decor.
I’m really annoyed with myself for not taking any photos, but to get a better idea here is the website.
Saturday morning, I forced myself to go to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. At Durham you have to do a TLRP (target language research project) in every language you study over your year abroad. Of course, I hadn’t done any of mine with two weeks left of France and was stressing out, switching between topics twice a day in an attempt to find something to write about. I’ve finally decided on the Fondation Louis Vuitton (you can see my blog post about it here) and needed to go to the library to read La fondation Louis Vuitton par Frank Gehry – Une architecture pour le XXIe siècle.
The library is actually really cool, it’s made around a garden and cost me €3.50 for a day ticket. If you ever find yourself in Paris needing a library (I realise this is probably unlikely) then I recommend checking it out. It’s also connected to the mk2 bibliothèque that I was talking about earlier, so you can treat yourself to a film after your studying!
In the afternoon, my friend and I climbed Notre Dame, an excursion I’d been meaning to do all 6 months. The view did not disappoint!
As someone who finds heights, crowds and enclosed spaces unnerving, this was one to test myself. I managed it though, even if once I’d got to the bottom I was in need of some cake and hot chocolate (Le Pain Quotidien helped me out there).
Vin et Fromage
I ended the day with a wine and cheese evening with my housemates. I’m going to miss the French food soo much! Wine, cheese, grapes, olives, bread, it’s all so good!
Sunday morning I forced myself out of bed and out of the house by 10am! I met my friends in Bastille where we explored the markets. I hope that one day I’m organised enough to do actual proper food shops at markets. The produce just looked sooo good. I was almost glad I didn’t have any cash on me- stopped me from spending ridiculous amounts of money!
The cheese and the saucisson were especially enticing!
After grabbing lunch in the Marais I headed to the Louvre again. I’d loved it so much last Sunday, and again there were no queues (it seems like this is the best time of year to go!).
This time I saw Napolean’s apartments, which were amazing.
After forgetting my keys in the morning, I found myself unable to return home before 6:15. So I thought I’d have one last look in the Pantheon. I really like going to Marie Curie’s tomb, where there are always loads of flowers, I find it so touching.
And then as the sun set and nearly frozen to death, I headed home.
It’s now Wednesday and I’m leaving on Saturday. I’m mildly freaking out- I do not want to leave!! However, I am excited to be at home for a bit and then Durham and then to head to Florence, and these excitements are helping me deal with my impending departure. It’s just gone so quickly!