Paris, February 9, 2012
Sat 4 Feb 2012 - Sun 12 Feb 2012
It's my 35th birthday and I have developed a malady - of looking back, of reminiscing, of giving in to nostalgia. Ed and I are talking fondly of our travels and we both acknowledge how lucky we are. I have visited the sites of some of the greatest civilizations of the world and the grandest cities man has built - the Forbidden City - Beijing Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Ajanta in India, Rome, London, Paris. I have looked at architecture spanning centuries, I have stood on cobble stones walked upon by 1000s of others 100s of year before me. Makes 35 seem insignificant and not such a big deal after all!
And of course, having a birthday-week helps. And what helps even more is friend's and family who indulge my nonsensical birthday-week celebrations! Spent a wonderful, but freezing few days in the shadow of the Jung Frau with Gr. Was introduced to raclette - sort of like an on-table hot plate on which you cook meats and under which you melt cheese. And then you pour the cheese on to the meat and garnish with chopped pickles and peppers. Perfect for a winter evening!
Food and mountain pictures, taken from my grown up camera. I have resisted a camera for years, but now I have officially become a tourist. No more cellphone camera for me.
It's the silliest thing, but I rode the TGV, high speed rail, from Zurich to Paris and what a thrill! It's an ordinary train but it was a big deal as I had heard about it for the first time more than a dozen years ago I took French lessons at the Alliance Francaise. At that time, I didn't ever think that I would actually get to ride in it. Got to Paris, and it was all one lazy day after the other - lots of walking, sitting around, chatting, and of course shopping. Got me a lovely, lovely red wool coat - the kind I intend to wear for a long time. And indulged in make-up. Was bold enough to buy a classic red lipstick too. I will say this for Parisiens, they just have a bad rap. Decent folk really - they were reasonably chatty with each other and promptly switched to English for me. Translated make-up labels for me, brought menus in English on their own, quite kind actually.
My quasi-Kiwi friend instructed me to take one iconic picture in Paris, one that will stay with me forever. I know this doesnt count, but I was quite happy sitting in the sun - what a blessed way to celebrate the gift of another year - in the company of special people, in special places.
Some truly lovely pictures with my truly lovely camera, and the getting of the camera is another story all together! Tell you about that later.