August's first trip abroad by plane came a little earlier than expected. Rasmus and I were feeling a little sponteneous the other day and booked flights for the three of us to spend a few days in Paris. I had never been and we thought we could spend our last days of freedom exploring.
We arrived in Paris after a two hour bus drive through the patch work, farmed countryside just outside of the city. It seemed to never end but finally we arrived in the outskirts of Paris. Not the immaculate, European city you think of but a grungy ghetto with graffiti covered buildings. It was beautiful chaos. It wasn't until we were dropped in the city centre that we saw what all the fuss was about. Hundreds of beautiful old buildings, alley ways and gardens. Monstrous statues and elegantly shaped details in every corner. This was the Paris I had heard about.
We spent our days walking through the city, trying to avoid the main roads and explore a little more. The evenings were the best. After sitting on our balcony in our hotel room drinking wine and listening to jazz music, car horns and French voices drift into our room at sunset, we wandered through the streets, taking in the smells from restaurants and cafes, listing to the groups of men sit and talk around outdoor tables with wine and strong coffee. We started a conversation with one eccentric old man who spotted August asleep in my arms. He spoke particularly good English. He told us all about his fight with cancer, his dream of moving to New York, his job as a journalist and then asked us to guess his age. When we parted ways he shook Rasmus's hand and kissed mine. A waitress that served us one evening was so smitten with August that we let her hold him. She was overjoyed. She even went out of her way to translate to us in her broken English that she wishes us all the best and a happy life.
I was shocked at the kindess of people on general. When taking the metro, I was offered a seat every time. People stood and smiled at August who smiled right back. Lots of people pointed at him and commented in French. Rasmus and I nodded our heads and smiled kindly. One evening passers by even asked us if they could take photos of him. He was quite a hit and Rasmus and I relished every moment of it. It's such a pleasure to see that our little boy can brighten people's days, even if only for a moment. That is the beauty of childhood.
The main sites were gorgeous but seemed more of a cover up of the real Paris as if trying to catch our attention and distract us from what was really there. There was no need though. It was rich with life, a thriving metropolis of people from every corner of the planet, their hardships revealed through their eyes. It was a place where life was lived and fought for.
Mostly, Rasmus and I enjoyed being immersed in a different place for a time. When you're away you enjoy it and when you're back home you see your familiar surroundings with new eyes and a new appreciation. A perfect reason to never stop travelling and exploring!
|Flying with Papa above Paris|
|Life in the city|
|My happy, baby explorer|
|Late night breastfeeding|
|Enjoying the chaos down below|
|Our lovely balcony|
|Naked on our comfy hotel bed|
|Paris from the second floor of the Eiffel tower|
|The balcony with Papa|
|On the Eiffel tower, surrounded by lovers|
|Half way up|