Friday, November 27, 2009

Au Revoir, Paris

Paris, the city of walking.

Excuse my cynicism, but I'll be glad to take respite at Misty's abode in Cornwall tomorrow evening, assuming she doesn't make me tour the town straight away - I've done a lot of walking recently, to put it lightly.

A quick run-down of todays activities... they weren't too extravagant as I covered most things yesterday. A visit to the Notre Dame Cathederal
on the way to the Latin Quarter (on advice from Althea, well taken), showing the extravant nature and amazing feats of architecture and man-power that were used to create amazing buildings. I was saddened that the tourists inside weren't a little more reserved due to the nature of the site. Hallowed ground indeed.

So into the latin quarter, and a lot of small shops and eateries made for some beautiful aromas. At the behest of Jade, I tried some snails, but I couldn't bring myself to go the frogs legs. Snails taste like garlic. That is to say, they don't taste like much of anything, but are flavoured with a lot of garlic. If anything, I'd say they're kind of like dark oysters. Almost like how dark chocolate is to white chocolate. Even so, I doubt they'll be joining my regular menu. I didn't mind them, though.

On the way home I walked through the haute shopping district, past Cartier, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Mont Blanc, and numerous other more local brands. It was a nice way to wrap up my time in Paris.


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As I'm now about a third of the way through my trip, I thought I might do a list of things that have been invaluable as travel items.

1. My phone. Strange as it sounds, though it's barely been used, knowing that I still have the ability to call for help from anywhere is like a security blanket. It helps.

2. Manners. My impeccable manners ensures that the first words I learn in any language are please, thank you, thank you very much, excuse me, and you're welcome. A person's bearing changes dramatically when they realise that they're not just talking to an idiot traveller who doesn't know their langauge, but to a polite idiot traveller who doesn't know their language.

3. Comfortable, waterproof, walking shoes. Best $200 I spent before I left Australia. It tends to rain, and having a sure and comfortable step has been essential.

4. Travel Wallet. I highly reccomend the purchase of one of these. It's an excellent place to store any pre-booked tickets, plans, boarding passes, documents, backup cash (in multiple currencies), backup bank cards/travel money cards and my passport (at times). It is very simple to take this out of my bag, put it in the room's safe (or concierge's safety deposit box) and know that even if my room is ransacked, I still have everything that is absolutely essential. It's also rather stylish.

5. My new camera. For me, this has been essential. The ability to take high quality images has been invaluable for me. Others may be able to survive on happy snaps, and I possibly would to if they were of me and someone etc, but travelling by myself, it's good to feel pride in the images I'm taking.

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I'm going to miss you, France. It's been fun. Especially breakfast.

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