I’m currently typing this in our cabin at the Schutzenbach-retreat in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Everything here looks like a postcard, it’s slightly surreal to think we were in Paris this morning.
Speaking of which…
The second day of our tour began by waking up in Paris. Not bad. Our breakfast was provided by the hotel – it was just a generic pastry and yogurt sort of deal but the coffee machine was impressive. Day two was a free day, which meant we could do as we liked until 3pm – when those who wanted to do a bicycle tour of the city had the option – or 7pm, when we’d all meet for a gourmet picnic at the park in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. As you do.
Me & Little Lion Man at The Louvre.
Rachael, Vicky and I had bonded a little the night before over our shared vegetarianism and proximity to Moet. We decided to go to the Opera House. We then headed to the Artclub Gallery, which was around the corner from The Louvre. It looked like a really interesting alternative to checking out the Mona Lisa, but it was also very much closed, though the glass walls meant that most of the gallery was on display anyway.
After a slightly cynically-charged walk down Love Lock Bridge – where couples write their names on a padlock, attach it to the bridge, and throw the key into the river – we went our separate ways. I’ve done Paris before so I thought I’d do something a little different. After a vegan lunch from a cafe next to a taxidermy shop I headed to Rue Saint Croix de la Bretonneire to check out the Marais District (see also: the gay district).
My favourite places in the Marais Distrcit were Les Paris Gourmands, which sold miniature candy- and biscuit-shaped jewellery, and Open Cafe, which was pretty much like every other gay bar in Europe but in Paris. (So, more expensive.) I was saving my pennies for the optional cabaret that night but it turned out I didn’t need them after all, as wine was included.
The cabaret was incredible; the staff wouldn’t let us take pictures, sadly, but if you don’t believe me just ask Helga. There was a trapeze artist, unicycle act that defied all logic, and lots of singing and dancing and flesh. I have to admit I missed some of the show because Rachael and I got into a very
drunken heated and excited conversation about sex-positive feminism (yay!) and I wasn’t watching the stage. I seem to remember lots of lycra, dry ice and… motorbikes?
Paris was beautiful. But I am still sad. There is a quote floating around Tumblr, it goes like this:
Paris was a city for lovers, and my lover is missing from me.
Even on the third day, putting a coachful of sleepy and slightly-sheepish people onto a bus still feels a lot like going to school camp. School camp with hangovers.
It was a lo-oo-oo-ong bus day today – the longest of the trip hopefully. However, we were saved from boredom by a few games and some singing from Croc (one of the Aussie guys). We also did a round of introductions over the coach microphone – which was when our first slice of intercultural drama popped up (thanks Michelle from America for the link!).
But now we’re in Switzerland.
Guy Secretan, a Swiss human.
Internet access here costs three Swiss-franc for half an hour, but wifi codes are free if you buy a drink at the bar.
Two guesses where I’m heading next?
Read the rest of my European Wonder adventures here.