Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 32 - Paris, France

Today, I went to see the Louvre museum. I was there for four hours, and barely got to see half of it! The place is enormous!! Of course, I made my way towards the italian paintings section immediatly. I discovered quite a few that I really like while making my way to the Mona Lisa. It was actually really quite and not too busy for a saturday afternoon, but then I went around a wall and a big herd of people had gatthered. At first I didn't know what was going on, but then I saw it. THE painting. I actually didn't have the courage to venture into the sea of buzzing bees, so I took a picture from afar. The painting was much s,aller than I had expected. I had heard about it before, but I still didn't expect it to be so small. It was still beautiful nonetheless. Once I was able to capture a photo of it, I turned around to be greeted by the GIGANTIC painting of the wedding in Canaan. The details, the colours, the size...everything about that painting amazed me. The picture I took does not do it justice! One thing that I discovered while at the Louvre, is my appreciation for sculptures. There were so many of them! And so beautiful! I can't imagine the patience you must have to sculpt from a rock. It amazes me! All the little details, everything is so perfectly done. Each statue left my in complete awe.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Un petit à côté...

Nothing describes more my feelings right now than this song...


Rien ne décrit mieux mes sentiments en ce moments que cette chanson...



y'a pas de voiles au volets de mes frères
y'a pas d'opale autour de mes doigts
ni cathédrales ou cacher mes prières
juste un peu d'or autour de ma voix
je vais les routes ét je vais les frontières
je sens j'écoute et j'apprend je vois
le temps s'égoutte au long des fuseaux horaires
je prends je donne avais je le choix?

tel est mon destin
je vais mon chemin ainsi passent mes heures
au rythme entetant des battements de mon coeur

des feux d'été je vole aux sombres hivers
des pluies d'automne aux étés indiens
terres gelées aux plus arides déserts
je vais je viens le monde est le mien
je vis de notes et je vis de lumière
je virevolte à vos cris vos mains
la vis m'emporte aux creux de tous ses mystères
je vois dans vos yeux mes lendemains


je vais les routes et je vais les frontières
je sens j'écoute et j'apprends je vois
le temps s'égoute au long des fuseaux horaires
je prendsje donne avais je le choix?
je prends le blues aux signaux des répondeurs
je prends la peine aux aéroports
je vis l'amour à des kilometres ailleurs
et le bonheur à mon téléphone


Day 31 - Paris, France

I spend day 31 firstly by waiting. In line. From 2 hours. In the hot sun AND some showers (which were actually welcome at that point). I was in line to go see the catacombs, the underground ossuary in Paris. Let me tell you that the wait, however, was worth it. This experience must have been my most creepy, eerie one yet, but also one of the coolest for sure! To think that the thousands of bones and skulls used to be part of actual humans centuries ago is mind blowing!

So for about 45 minutes, I walked and walked through a labyrinth with walls of bones and skulls of ancient deceased that when up to my neck. I had to walk down a spiral staircase that went I don't know how many meters in the ground. All I could think of was "man, I hope there's not an earthquake while I'm down there!" I think that, that scary feeling only made things even more exciting. And excited to be there I was! Never in my life would I have thought that I would enjoy being surrounded by bones so much!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 30 - Paris, France

So here I am, sitting in the shade of the Saint Jacques tower, writing this post. Today is a glorious day. Apparently, it's the hottest day Paris has seen so far this year, and this morning was the morning I chose to wear pants! But no worries, once I had seen the cathedral of Notre-Dame and done a wee bit of shopping, I decided I had had enough and went back to the hostel to take a nap and change.

Notre-Dame was, as I had expected, as beautiful sight. With the sun rising right behind it, it made for great pictures. However, I was a bit disapointed by the surroundings. The square in front of the cathedral was not what I had expected. It is basically a medium sized concrete and brick square where hundreds of peoples waited in to go to the noon masse. I swear the line was at least two blocks long! I wanted to go in, but decided against it when I saw all the people waiting. When I think of what I had read in regards to the square, of how it was the central meeting point of the city in the past and of all the events that had taken place there, I was taken a back by how empty (and yet full of people) it was. Regardless, it was simply a minor disapointment in my grand happiness of being there. I sat in the shade of the cathedral and simply looked at it. I examined every statue of the kings, every window, every gargoyle (and secretly hoped they would move !)...

The rest of the day was spent shopping and getting lost in the city. It IS a beautiful city, and even if you do get lost, you'll find yourself discovering all sorts of things!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 29 - Mont Saint Michel, France

Here I am, heading back to Paris after spending a few hours at the Mont Saint Michel. What a beautiful place it was. I got t visit the abbey, which was simply amazing. Walking from room to room, I could feel myself slip into the past and I could see how it was in the medieval times. It is a magical thing to experience. At one point, I imagined myself centuries before, walking the corridors of the abbey, down the streets through the little shops and houses. The shops today are quite different than what they were back then of course, with tourisme having taken over, but the present still blends quite well with the past on the Mont.


On the bus ride back to Paris, I listened as two women, one from Québec in Canada and the other from Spain, have a conversation. To someone else, it may not be interesting. But for me, a passionate for languages, it was incredible to hear. The spanish woman spoke very little french and the canadian woman spoke very little spanish. Neither talked very much in english. However, despite that, they were able to have a full conversation that lasted well over an hour, simply by using the little of french, spanish and english they knew. I didn't want to be an evesdropper, but I couldn't help myself! It was so interesting to hear and the fact that they helped each other with the words they were looking for amazed me.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 28 - Paris, France

Well, this is day 28 and I am by myself. Mireille and I said our goodbyes last night as she left to go to the airport to go back home. Needless to say it was a sad moment. Never in my life have I had such a good time and this is majorly because of her. Every day of our trip was spent laughing and in good spirits. I will never be able to thank Mireillle enough for doing this trip of a lifetime with me. I would not have wanted to do it with anybody else.

As I was walking back from the metro station, it hit me hard. I was in Europe, all by myself. I have another 17 days of traveling left. I guess I will be finding out if I actually like myself. I was scared out of my wits when I realized it was actually happening, and yet I felt like this is right. I feel so at home, here in France. Maybe not Paris specificaly, but in this country. This feeling is so strange and indescribable, but deep down, I know I am meant to be here at this moment in time. It's like I was telling Mireille, it feels like she was over to see me and that now her visit is done.

I have to admit that when I got back to the hostel, I did a bit of mourning. I don't understand where the past month has gone. It went by so fast. I'm afraid I didn't take the time to really appreciate everythIng I've seen and where I've been, even if I would often stop in my tracks to simple take a breath and mentally take a picture of the moment. Last night, I did revert to what felt familiar. I downloaded two Celine Dion albums, the ones I have repeatedly listened to, way back when I had first trip away from home (but still stayed inside my own country). Celine has always been my favorite singer, even if I haven't listened to her in quite a long time. She sounds like home.

However, despite being scared and sad about the end of Mireille and I's trip, I am so excited about continuing this adventure by myself. It feels so empowering to know that I have to do things on my own, especially so far away from home. I am confident I will be fine and that I will have a great time.


"Va plus loin

Cherche encore

Tant que brûlera ta flamme

Le paradis qui dort

Dans les secrets de ton âme

Cherche encore

Suis ta lumière et tes lois

Si tu veux cherche encore plus fort"


Day 26 - Italy, Switzerland, France

We lifted off Rome's ground at 7:25am. The flight itself was uneventful, except for when we flew over the Swiss Alps. Never in my life have I seen something so majestic! It's just miles of pure nature and beautiful mountains topped with snow. It was simply breathtaking. From the sky, we got to see parts of Switzerland. This country is so beautiful. It is now on my next bucket list of countries to visit when I'm back in Europe. I have been thinking for a while now about getting some information about teaching in international schools there, since it's a european country where french is spoken, but I had never really taken the time to actually also consider the beauty of it's nature.

We made a half hour connection in Zurich, and then took off for Paris. To put you into context of how I was feeling, imagine hearing about how good chocolate (or whatever is your favorite thing to eat is) is all your life, and then finally be able to taste it... That's pretty much how I felt about seeing Paris, only times a thousand. In the airplane, I had told myself that I didn't want to see the tower from the air...I wanted to save it for when I was actually near it. Didn't happen. As soon as I saw the cluster of houses and buildings, I realized we were flying over Paris. Like a moth attracted the light, my eyes immediately searched for the tower. At this point, I had had maybe 3 hours of sleep in the last 24 hours, so I was easily emotional. I had shivers running up and down my body as I located the Seine... My eyes then simply followed its path until I saw it... The Eiffel Tower. It was tiny from my point of view, but it was there. My heart sped up and of course, I couldn't contain my tears. This was it. It's THE moment. I was in Paris. Finally...