Ahh Paris! For going on a decade now theres been something missing from my life. And this week I realised its the city of love and lights.
Everybody needs a little Paris in there life. But for a romantic ballet, book & art lover such as my self, I don't think theres a place on earth that could feel more like home.
The last time I graced the city, I was a brace clad 13yrs, dancing for Disneyland Paris.
My memories of the beautiful city basically complied of....
The Mona Lisa being too crowded, the Champ elysees to long. The too many steps of Sacre-Coeur and watching my father eat snails with sheer bewilderment.
Since then id like to think im a little more culture-fied and a little less narrow-minded.
But who knows...?
On this trip I was on a mapless mission, for what I do not know. But I was walking with purpose and the mindset of a Sunday driver.
Its amazing what you can discover without a plan... with wrong turns, scenic routes & ears filled with Aristocats.
I hadn't spoken a syllable of French since high school.
The only one phrase I recalled, should be printed in a book called, 'Sentences you will never require in France'.
"Quand est la date de ton anniversaire"
....Yes you will NEVER need to know the date of anothers birthday when lost in arrondissement 18.
....So plucking out the conjugated verbs and gender based nouns, from the memories archives, took a little while to cough up. But I did so for the challenge and the excitement of speaking French in France.
A wee giddy list of my favourite quirks, sights, and observations...
- Fresh flowers and fresh baguettes are routine, not "occasions."
- The architecture....From Baroque to Neo-Classicalism, Paris is an architecturally evolving creature that bleeds beauty on every corner.
- Nutella crepes the size of ones head.
- The Eiffel at dusk, the Eiffel at dawn... Predictable?.. Yes, but a sight to behold.
- The women flaunt it and the men love it.
- Picnic lunching everywhere!...but in practically 'jardin de luxemborugh'. Ok so my picnic was jam and patch work blanket free, but a Mcfulrry will suffice.
- The compelling combination of skinny and indulgence.
- Paris's love of the all things rond. ...From the tables,to the multicoloured macaroons, to the golden bands of marital status found on 'Rue de la paix'.
- The padlocks of Paris :)
- Watching the world go by from your bistro rond table.. in particular the looks on those faces that see Paris for the first time.
- The romance, oh christ the romance!
- Strolling and absorbing Montmartre
- The French... forget everything you have heard. Its impossible to label a whole city as 'rude'. In fact Ive never met such civilised and 'yes sir, please sir' denomination. ....Each person has clear purpose. They savour every morsel of food they eat and cherish every sip of wine they taste. There love of fashion is embedded within their veins...the patisserie run is there catwalk.
I feel totally blessed (vomit inducing word, sorry) that im able to combine modelling, with my devotion to travel.
The perspective you gain, the knowledge you acquire, the people you meet and the dreams that you make, are yours for the taking. I encourage anyone, of any age, to get out there and put your stamp on the planet. The world is more than Ibiza.
Today is my first day off in seven, and my first Wednesday off in three months, so after completion of administrational hell, I think some well deserved 2-4-1 IMAX & popcorn is on the cards.
Yes Orange, you really do provide the suckiest, most unreliable broadband and mobile coverage of the 21st century, but your cinema dealios rock, and so I forgive you.
Now for some of that posey stuff I do from time to time. Captured by the amazing Raf Kuczowickz
The chaps got some talent wouldn't you say?!
Have a wonderfully telegraphed Wednesday...
With Love Raphaella x