Friday, 11 October 2013

PARIS



The first major event which I'll go back and catch up on, as I appear to have somehow entirely glossed over, is my trip to Dijon and Paris for my Uncle's wedding during Summer.

Ever since I was a child I have dreamed of going to Paris.

Although it's actually incredibly close to the UK, it always seemed this magical, fairytale destination that was only real in my wildest dreams. A place where you could drink coffee and read books whilst dangling your toes above the Seine, shop along the Champs Elysee and visit all the ancient architecturally-breathtaking Renaissance buildings, then find a dingy candlelit wine bar down a winding backstreet at night, where a grizzled old man with a flat cap, red braces and a tattered blazer over a grubby shirt would sit in the corner playing the accordion, cigar dangling precariously from his mouth.

Last Christmas Pistol and I went through a phase of obsessively watching Parisian films, our favourites of which were 'Hugo' and 'Moulin Rouge' - the latter of which we still have a habit of breaking into spontaneous duets of, after one, maybe seven drinks.

But I suppose I set off expecting to be disappointed.

I think I actually wanted to be disappointed by it. It's a little bit fashionable to be disappointed with Paris isn't it?

But for now, Paris had to wait. The first destination on our French adventure was the beautiful little city of Dijon.




The city was absolutely adorable. Everything about it just made me want to squeal. It was almost as if we didn't need to go to Paris - Dijon had fulfilled my all my childhood expectations and had confirmed none of my expected disappointments.

Our hotel was an adorable little B&B situated just outside the main square, next to a giant church. (Which I can assure you, are no in their few and far between in France)

On our first evening we attended a lavish cocktail party to meet with my Mother's brother who was to we a lovely French girl named Caroline, and to meet her family and the rest of the guests.







The next day was the most exciting part of the entire trip - screw Paris, it was time for the fairytale wedding!

I've only ever been to one wedding in my conscious life, and that was my mother's other brother, who married in February 2012 in the function room of a hotel in Blackpool. Pretty much the furthest cry from where we now were!

The wedding was held in the town hall of a tiny little village just outside of Dijon, and more than once I had to close my eyes, take a deep breath and force myself to realise that it was not a movie, and this was actually reality.

It was like a movie set, and the whole ceremony was just... beautiful. It was done half in French and half in English, and it was quite surreal seeing half the room break out into giggles at something the priest said, only to have to wait ten minutes while she translated it into English so the rest of us could laugh too.







What really struck me about the ceremony about how humble and unpretentious it all was.

There was no Great British pomp and ceremony here. It was just about two people in love, and all the people that loved them around them to appreciate the lifelong confirmation of their love. The beauty was in the understatement of it all.

The wedding reception was held in a mystery location about half an hour away.

Well, I say mystery. In reality we were just dopy Brits with zero sense of direction and couldn't figure out for the life of us where the bloody place was. For quite some time we appeared to be going up and mountain which was sure must've been wrong, until we found it.

Holyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy shit. 









Overall it was an incredible day, and went on into the very early hours. Cue a very hungover and miserable start to the final day of our trip, but the day we went to PARIS.

To get the most out of our one day in Paris, we decided to book a boat tour across the Seine, in which we got to see all the sights in the space of 2 hours and hop off when we felt like it to go and have a snoop around.

This was definitely a wise move as we managed to cram almost everything in in just a few hours!

We made the decision not to actually go up the Eiffel Tower as it took 3 hours out of our day - just to see it was enough.

It was more like a scouting trip to see what we'd spend more time with if we and when we/I undoubtedly return.













The strangest thing I felt when I walked the streets of Paris, was not that I'd been here before, as I had so many times in my daydreams. It was that it was the first time that I was there.

Like I'd gone back in a time machine and chosen this, my first time ever in Paris as the destination in space and time. Like a reverse deja vu. Not that I'd been here before, but this was the first of many times that I will ever be here. 

And I couldn't help but smile. 

I felt home.



Katie



The last photo of my trip is below, and also featured in my Insta Of The Week feature. Click the link to find the story behind it.