The charm of a Parisian balcony

IMG_1036 IMG_1053 IMG_1042 IMG_1047 IMG_1049IMG_0796Before Paris we were never fully convinced that an apartment balcony was of much value. Sure we’ve stayed in apartments in Sydney with large balconies that we hardly ever stepped out to save for hanging our washing or housing some potted herbs and plants. Paris is a whole different story. We loved the balcony of the apartment we stayed in during our first week here. So much so that we made it a criteria while hunting for a more permanent apartment to stay in for the next wee while.

We learned a thing or two during this process; 1. Balconies are coveted, especially ones that face the streets and pretty buildings or ones with views of the Eiffel. Which leads to the second point; 2. Balconies are expensive. We deliberated and settled for an apartment within a 10 minute walk from the Seine instead.

But oh boy were we charmed by the Parisian balcony.

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The tower sparkles and my heart flutters

IMG_0866 IMG_0900 IMG_0904 IMG_0926 IMG_0929 IMG_0946 IMG_0968Seeing the Eiffel Tower light up as night falls has always been on my to-do list. On our last visit in winter last year, we had limited time and it was a tad too cold to sit out on the Champ de Mars to watch the Eiffel Tower illuminate.

This time round we bundled up in our windproof jackets (you can always count on Paris weather) and headed out to Champ de Mars an hour before nightfall to watch the Eiffel slowly light up and illuminate the Paris sky. The highlight of the night was a 5 minute light show where the tower completely sparkled like a diamond. This was the moment where I thought to myself, “I’m truly here in Paris, living my dream”.

Crêpes in Montparnasse

IMG_0972 IMG_0974 IMG_0975 IMG_0978 IMG_0980 IMG_0984 IMG_0986Montparnasse is an area in Paris populated with many Bretonne crêperies originating from the region of Brittanny. We ducked into one cosy looking crêperie yesterday to stay out of the bone chilling wind and were pleased to find a quirky looking interior and menus in English (!!). We ordered one flambéed crêpe topped with a scoop of ice cream (flambéed means flamed with a type of liquor) and one normal sweet crêpe with chocolate and pear fillings. Utterly satisfying to say the least. I think that I could quite possibly live on crêpes and croissants alone in France.

Peace and quiet in Paris

IMG_0561 IMG_0567 IMG_0587 IMG_0594 IMG_0597 IMG_0637 IMG_0639 IMG_0650 IMG_0651 IMG_0655 IMG_0656 IMG_0659 IMG_0709 IMG_0718 IMG_0719 IMG_0720 IMG_0722 IMG_0728 IMG_0746 IMG_0751Spending an extended period of time in Paris gives us the chance to find pockets of peace and calm to retreat to in this big city, away from the crowds of tourists often present near famous sights. We found some of the less touristy parks, namely Parc de Belleville and Parc des Buttes Chaumont to be charming, serene and perfect to sit in and eat a packed sandwich, people watch or just reflect. Parc des Buttes Chaumont seemed to be the locals’ favourite, and there is also a puppet theater held twice a week for families to enjoy. What a brilliant idea!

The Père Lachaise cemetery may not sound like an ideal place to relax but despite being the most famous (and expensive) cemetery in Paris, it’s dead quiet and easy to get lost in. Big names like Chopin, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde have been laid to rest in this plot of land.  Our French language teacher in Sydney first introduced us to Edith Piaf’s songs and recommended we visit her grave, which is why I listed it on our Paris Bucket List. I’m glad we did because this cemetery is worth visiting. Tombstones that resemble church altars and museums? Where else but in Paris! Even the dead are housed like the living.

And the beautiful Seine. Nothing beats staring out into la Seine and feeling the noise of traffic get slowly drowned out..

Summer Lovin’ via VSCO CAM

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I’ve been addicted to the VSCO CAM app ever since I upgraded the IOS software on my iphone 4. It gives you more picture editing control rather than a blanket filter that Instagram offers.

Most of the pictures were captured in New Zealand and some recent ones in Sydney. Hope you’re enjoying summer as much as I am (if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere that is!)

Sunset at Mollymook Beach

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Mollymook beach is no stranger to us. We fell in love with this beach 3 years ago and have been wanting to return ever since. It’s the kind of beach I would have loved to grow up playing on. The kind of beach I would like to have my bach overlooking. The kind of beach I want my kids to grow up playing on.

We were lucky to catch the most beautiful sunset while at the beach. The kind where the sky is glowing as if on fire. It reminded me of the famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. So majestic. So real and yet so unreal at the same time.