Sunday, June 9, 2013

Get to Know Me: When I went to Paris and met Oscar Wilde

Hey guys, I realized it's been a while since I did one of these posts!
I couldn't make up my minds about a 'favorites' post so I decided to pick another city I've visited and show you pictures. Lots of pictures. Click them to make them bigger.

And since I know a lot of people are into the idea of Paris... voilà!
I've been twice, once in 2003 or so and then another time in April 2010 with my mum :) It was kind of a mother-daughter only getaway and we had a wonderful time! We both speak French pretty well, my mother because she was once an Au Pair in Geneva for a year and me because I love languages and French was the first foreign one that I learned (it's also one of the 4 official languages of Switzerland, so it's mandatory in school). And it's true that French people are nicer to you if you at least try to speak their language.

We were only there for three days but we still saw quite a lot of things and also just soaked up the atmosphere of the city because neither of us is really into standing in looooong lines and being jostled by lots of tourists. We wanted some stress-free time and often just sat and people-watched :)

First off after dropping our luggage at the hotel, we went to see Sacré Coeur and Montmartre. For those of you who've seen the movie Amélie, there's a carousel there just like in the film that plays the film theme music!
 Here are some more pictures of the area. It's also a good place to get a big view of Paris, and a great artistic little place behind the church!

Lots of people just go there to hang out, and there are often street musicians and dance groups on the steps.

After that, we went to the Cimetière du Père Lachaise because I love old cemeteries and because Oscar Wilde (among Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and lots of other famous people) is buried there and I really wanted to visit his grave! That cemetery is a really special place, a whole city of the dead, and I even wrote a short story about it afterwards.

Bottom left is a whole manuscript! There were also flowers, fruit, letters, black lipstick...

I'm not sure whether I think of all the scribbles as defilement or a show of extreme dedication. The whole area around the grave is now walled in with glass, which I think is a pity.

This poem dropped there really moved me.

Me, looking awkward ^^'
This was a really special moment for me, and I'm so grateful my mum spent so much time wandering about the place with me (we had lots of trouble finding the grave because the cemetery is so huge!).

Sorry to those of you who have a problem with cemeteries, I promise I'm done now ;)

In the evening, we went to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées! The view of Paris and the Eiffel tower at night was fantastic, my pics of it less so I'm afraid...

Arc de Triomphe. You have to walk up a ton of stairs, but then...

Paris at your feet.

This flame burns eternally for all the unknown soldiers who died in WWI.
The next day, it was Eiffel Tower time! We didn't get to go all the way to the top (we would've had to wait a long time for other people to come down) but I wasn't too sad about that because I have a bit of a problem with heights and the top is supposed to be swaying when it's windy ~.~ The view is spectacular though!

The building with the golden roof is the Dom des Invalides, where Napoleon is buried.

La Défense, the modern architecture part of Paris. I didn't go there this time but the first time I was in Paris I did. Highest building's I'd ever seen. Lots of shopping malls and stuff.

And off we were to Notre Dame and the Quartier Latin (university/students neighborhood). We didn't enter Notre Dame because of all the tourists and the high entry fees but we took a lot of pictures nevertheless. Picture taking within the church is forbidden anyway...


I love gothic architecture!

We also did a bit of shopping that day, saw Remember Me in English with French subtitles (Robert Pattinson, why did you have to mumble so much?! I had to rely on French quite a lot to understand you), and then walked around some more. Here are some random shots, also of the Tuilleries gardens, unfortunately on an overcast day.

The Obélisque and the Eiffel Tower

Tuillerie Gardens

The Louvre is across the gardens. We had no time to visit though :(

The metalwork on this building is fantastic!

...And one last shot of the Seine.
That's it! I hope I could give you guys a bit of an impression of the city! I could have taken photos everywhere because I love the architecture and the dress and habits of the people! Next time I go, I really want to go to some of the old bookstores and I want to actually visit selected places of the Louvre, best with someone who actually knows their way around the place a bit. But as a quick holiday with my mum it was great the way it was!

Have you ever been to Paris? What was your experience? Or if you haven't been, why do you want to go and what would you like to see most? Have you been to the grave of a favorite author? Also, do you even like these types of posts or do you find them boring/annoying? Should I rather do a favorites post next time (and about what)? I'd love to hear from you :)


  1. Ahhhh Paris! As much as southern France is my absolute weakness, France in general is pretty hard to beat ♥ I love the way you seem to travel too, not just stopping at 'touristy hotspots' but to explore lesser known (& crowded) areas! Loved seeing the Arc the Triomphe, The Obélisque, the Louvre though :D and the gargoyles!! I adore gothic architecture too, so I could have stared at hours of those LOL Loved reading/looking at the post hun, keep up coming hehe!

    1. I've never been to southern France! Paris is all I've seen, which is kind of a shame since it's a neighboring country...
      I'm not a big fan of tourist crowds, and those spots often seem 'fake' to me, you know what I mean? I like to check out the sights but I also try to experience cities closer to the way a person actually living there would.
      Maybe some day I'll make it across the 'pond' to Canada ;)

  2. I love this! Brought me right back to when I was there in 2006! (Gosh, that is forever ago.) I liked Paris, but I think we stayed a little too long, lol. And I didn't have the greatest company. (I was third wheel with a girl and her boyfriend). I did love Le Sacre-Coeur and it was fun to go up to the top. We did go inside the Louvre, trotted around the Gardens, we went to the Musee de'Orsay, which was also really cool. And we hung out in a park. Which is famous. But my mind is blanking out right now. Sigh. And I didn't speak a lick of French, but I tried my best with the phrases I did know and they were really receptive of that. Great post Carmen! Loved looking at the pictures and reading about your trip!

    1. Oh no, being third wheel can be awkward after a while :/ And I get what you mean with too long! I've come close to that a couple times, thinking that 'It's good I'm leaving tomorrow, I think I've seen it and wouldn't know what else to do'.
      I haven't been at the top of Sacré Coeur! The view must be amazing :D I really have to go to some museums too if/when I visit again. The park... maybe the Bois de Boulogne? We wanted to check that out but there was no time.
      And I think the French are happy if you at least try to speak their language ^^

  3. I visited Paris last year, and like you, I went with my Mom :) It was our first time and we loved every minute (we were there for a week, so had quite a lot of time to soak up the culture) we spent in the City of Light :)
    Expect for a few words we speak no french, but (thankfully) encouraged no hospitality. I think I looked a little French (must have been my scarf)...People just came up to me and asked things (sometimes directions) in French. It was fun :)

    I LOVED the cemetery as well, spent quite some time "wandering" in it.

    1. Haha it's always so funny when people come up to you to ask for directions because they think you're from there ^^ Happens to me in Italy sometimes because I have some Italian blood.
      Waaah, another cemetery lover!! :D I already feel sort of homesick for the place. Which I realize sounds kind of macabre, but whatever. It's a really beautiful place and it's like it has it's own kind of time, shut away from regular life.