Friday, May 28, 2010


So our first trip out of town was to Paris! We went this past weekend. It was a little bit of a last minute idea, we didn’t even have a hotel booked until Friday night! We did find a hotel though, near the Montmartre area & the Gare du nord. We left Saturday morning. The first thing we did, other then buying our metro pass was go to the Sainte Chappelle. It is something that I have always wanted to see. It was quite beautiful; the picture I have included is the interior stained glass rosette window, facing the rear since the altar was undergoing some restoration. Then from there we walked to Notre Dame. The area was packed with tourists and the line-up to get in was immense. Last Saturday was a holiday in France so that was why there were so many tourists, and is the reason for us having a difficult time finding a hotel.

So we didn’t go in the Notre Dame Saturday. We walked around the back and then along the Seine having a picnic gyro lunch. After that we went to see the outside of the Louvre and continued down to the Tuileries Gardens. We had a beer in the Gardens before making our way to the Arc de Triomphe. By this time we were quite tired and went via metro to check into our hotel. After a rest we went up to the Sacre Coeur. It was also quite packed. It was such a beautiful day I think everyone in the city was outside relaxing. The view from the Sacre Coeur was phenomenal. After sightseeing around Montmartre we took the metro over to the Eiffel Tower. As we walked around the base of the tower everytime Andre and I would hold hands a man would appear trying to sell us a rose!

The next day was a Sunday so not very much was open. Andre and I had anticipated this and planned to go to the Flea Market, which was supposed to be the biggest in the world. Well we couldn’t find it! So after searching around we decided to go to the Louvre. We saw many wonderful paintings and sculptures. All of the biggest and most famous are kept in the same area.

That night we walked along the Seine and watched the sunset. We crossed the bridge to get a closer look at the Grand Palais and found a huge market of local farmers! It was very cool. They had closed the Champs-Elysees for the event. An artist had also made a giant installation titled “Nature Capitale” (you can look it up at if you are curious) It was a lot of fun. People were just sitting in the middle of the street; apparently the Champs doesn’t close very often and is quite an event! We ended our night by going to see the Eiffel Tower at night.

We left the next day, Monday afternoon. In the morning we went to see the interior of Notre Dame and then for a bit of shopping at the Galeries Lafayette. We had lunch at an Italian Pizzeria before heading back to the Gare du nord to catch our train home to Arras!!

Around Arras/Autour de Arras

English :

I wanted to include a few more photos from our first week in Arras. As I mentioned we went to the Cathedral and the Boves. The Boves is a system of underground chalk mining tunnels, which were used in the middle ages. They are located beneath the main square Place d’Heros. They are very cool but the exhibition on right now is a bit odd, it’s in honour of Jules Verne the author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. A local artist made museum-like panels and has tried to convey the novel in the tunnels of the Boves. We also went up the Beffroi, the view was very beautiful. I have also included some photos from around town, and one of Andre’s closet full of his Parks Canadiana gear!

French (not a direct translation) :

Je veux inclure quelques photos de notre première semaine à Arras. Nous sommes allés au cathédral et aussi a les Boves. J’ai pas pris des photos dedans la cathédral, mais j’ai quelque de la façade. Quand nous sommes allés a les Boves nous montons le Beffroi. La vue a été superbe ! Aussi, André et moi avons pris des photos autour de la ville.

Voilà, notre photos !

Which are in the opposite order of what I just wrote :o)

Friday, May 21, 2010


So just an aside, the purpose of this "blog" is to be somewhat like a letter to friends and family complete with pictures and all the little details that can be hard to relate and share with people over the course of a year.

And now to begin: we arrived in to Paris the morning of May 6th, which is now two weeks ago! The flight was very good, Andre and I had a lovely flight dinner complete with miniature bottles of wine. When we arrived Andre's co-worker, Arlene, picked us up at the airport and drove us straight to our Hotel "Les Trois Luppars." We stayed there until monday. Over the course of our first few days we had a wonderful dinner at Melissa's house (Andre's co-worker), saw a few sights around town including an initial tour of the Vimy Ridge Memorial, set up a European bank account, and got the keys to our apartment!

We moved in monday May 10th and Andre started work! The first week at the apartment was a little muddled with the usual problems of moving, ie: the gas was shut off and when it was turned on the heater didn't work... so Andre and I had to take turns boiling water for our baths! But that was all fixed by monday. We've also been to IKEA and now have the apartment almost entirely set up!

That first week we were also given a tour of the Vimy Memorial Crypt, which is the interior base of the monument. It was very interesting; the entire monument is an incredibly beautiful and very majestic war memorial. We were also given a tour of the underground tunnels and restored trenches at the site.

Well that's about it, this past week has gone by very fast. The apartment is really starting to feel like home, and my days are spent running errands and frequenting cafes to use the internet! I don't think I will attempt any French for this post, but for all those reading when I do write in French feel free to correct my errors! :o)