Written September 11th, 2010
We’re on our way to Bordeaux from Paris via TGV as I type. The view isn’t so bad…nothing but rolling green hills full of sunflowers, corn, and grapes.
France has been absolutely amazing. We’ve eaten great meals, met fascinating locals, and seen many of the wonders of the world. Some of the highlights include an open market tour at La Marche d’Aligre, bike riding through the Versailles gardens, wandering through the peaceful Pere-Lachaise Cemetary, touring through the beautifully mysterious cathedrals, and eating fabulous dinners including one up on the Eiffel tower.
The market tour was great! We met up with our tour guide, Marc, outside the metro and the three of us (yes, we got a private tour!) wandered through the market taking in the wafting smell of fresh fruit. Our guide gave us an insider’s experience into the best pastry shop, fromagerie, and chocolaterie in the area. We sampled three of the best tasting pastries I’ve ever had, about 8 different cheeses, and endless amounts of chocolate and marcarons. The chocolatier was so excited and passionate about his art. He had us sample nearly half the ones in his shop!
We went to Versailles on Friday and toured the extremely crowded palace and the maze-like gardens full of tree lined trails and various farm animals. The palace was beautiful but once you’ve seen a few rooms, they all start to look the same. The gardens were the most impressive part of the grounds…Hundreds of marble statues, fountains, and miles and miles of green. Riding around on bikes was a great way to get around and see more in a short amount of time.
Pere-Lachaise cemetery was one of the first places we went. The tone was set when we woke up to clouds and sprinkles…perfect lighting. This was one of the most interesting and beautiful places I've ever experienced in my life. Thousands of graves and tombs stacked on top of each other. Old and new colliding just like the rest of the city. We visited all of the famous graves including Edith Piaf, James Morrison, and Oscar Wilde. None of them were particularly exciting tombstones but just wandering through the endless cobblestone paths put me in unexpected state of ease.
Paris is clearly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Now if I can only find a job and get my visa cleared…