Monday, February 28, 2011

Paris!

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to fly to Paris and spend the weekend with one of my longest and dearest friends, Kristen.
Kristen has been living in Paris since 2005. Since this time, she has learnt how to speak French, taken the French BAR EXAM!! and now works in the legal department of Medicins San Frontiers (Doctors without Borders). She is truly amazing. She even spent 6 months with the United Nations in Africa, working with the International Criminal Court and traveled back to Africa with Medicins Sans Frontiers last year to visit a project in Ethiopia. We attended the same law school in Sydney, albeit in different year groups, so it is fun to see what we are doing with our law degrees on the other side of the world!
She was a wonderful hostess, from the time I arrived on Friday evening, to the time I left on Sunday night. Zev had an exercise going on this weekend and was not able to come along, so it ended up being a "girls weekend." I have to thank a fellow "international" student at the University of Tübingen; Anne from Ireland, who grew up in Paris and told me about a great airfare that Air France had from Stuttgart to Paris! It was worth the 50 minute flight, which is about the same time it takes for me to catch a train from Esslingen to Tübingen!
 Kristen was able to show me Paris from a "locals" perspective, which was wonderful because I had only visited Paris twice before for short visits and although I had seen the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysee, Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame, I wasn´t "in love" with Paris like I am with other cities like Venice. However this time, I was able to see Paris from a different perspective, and I really like the "non-touristy" parts of Paris better!
Kristen´s apartment is on the top floor of this building. It is located across a beautiful park and had a view of Montmarte and the Sacre Coeur!
After seeing Paris from a local´s perspective, I must say that Paris is now on my "list" of favorite European cities!! I definitely want to take Zev back to Paris and show him all the wonderful places I visited and restaurants that we ate in! It is the city of love, after all!
video
Check out this fun video above. We were walking back to Kristen´s apartment when all of a sudden we hear and whoosh of people roller-blading past us on the street! Apparently the city of Paris closes off certain streets once a week and people (including police officers in uniform!) go roller-blading through the city. It looked like so much fun!
We did do some "touristy" stuff, including visiting the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. This is a picture of Room 6 where the Mona Lisa is hung. As you can see, me and 600 of my friends wanted to see this quintessentially "Paris" painting!!
 Here "she" is. Behind what seemed like bullet proof glass and a pretty steady picture, despite the fact that people were elbowing me left, right and center!
I picked up some French phrases and Kristen says that my pronunciation was good. In light of the fact that my dearest friend in Germany is French, I think I might try learning French next! After I am done with writing this thesis for me Masters though!
My grandmother´s name was Lola, so I took a picture of this "love note" on the Metro!
I discovered something incredibly amazing and worthy of my love in Paris......macaroons!!!!!!!! Wow is all I can say. I brought Zev home a box. The fact that they are all for him shows just how much I love this man. He knows to share them with me though :-)))
Yesterday, Kristen´s friend, Nina, invited us to her apartment for lunch. We went to the local outdoor markets in the morning and picked up all the fresh ingredients! I love outdoor markets! Germany has some awesome ones (not as much cheese at German ones) but still awesome. I love that you can buy veggies, flowers, cheese, wine and even bread and sweets at these markets. I practiced some of my (very basic!) French too!
Nina and Kristen put together an awesome lunch, consisting of this melt-in-your-mouth chevre cheese on toast on a bed of salad, drizzled with honey; followed by two sorts of lasagna (one vegetarian) and completed with a lemon meringue. I could hardly keep my eyes open on the flight home, I was so full (and content!)
It is no small feat that they were able to produce such awesome meals from such a tiny kitchen!
Nina´s dog, Picasso, was adorable. Like a minature version of an American bulldog. Smaller and cuter. A French Bulldog. But of course!
I caught my flight back home to Stuttgart at 7pm and as the plane was circling around Paris, I looked out my window and caught an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, all lit up and sparkly. It seemed like the perfect way to farewell the city of love. I can´t wait to bring Zev back here.
Hope you have a lovely week!

2 comments:

Joy Eggerichs said...

I was so surprised at how much I loved Paris! I thought it wouldn't be able to live up to the hype--but I had such a good time. Your pictures make me want to go back. (-:

Amanda said...

Hi Fiona! I am probably to late in responding to your question about the cheese in the broccoli cornbread:). I used half a cup but some people use a whole cup. I can't believe I left off the cheese amount. Anyways, I love your photos! I just spent some time with Leslie this week and we talked about her trip to Germany!