Arrival in Paris! / by Hannah Harley

Salut from Paris! In a couple earlier blog posts, I alerted you that the blog was heading towards a big shift. Well, that time has come!

I've arrived in Paris! The plane ride was delightful; I met two French brothers who ended up being extremely kind. They didn't speak English that well, and my French is poor. But with our broken French/English, we were able to communicate. Needless to say, we did not reenact the plot of Taken.

The travel from the airport to my weekend residence was ridiculous. The French don't see escalators or elevators to and from public transportation as a necessity. I regretted all my luggage (one suitcase, a satchel, and a camera bag) every time I saw one of those steep staircases.

I'm currently living in this little studio room, which is absolutely perfect. Everything from the view to the male model-esque receptionist to the location has been so wonderful. They even got my room ready for me early! Although, they're not big into elevators either... I guess that's how they stay so skinny despite their rich foods.

3V2A8684EDITEDDDAbove -- View from my room

Once I got into my place, I happily fell asleep, took  my four hour nap, then went about wandering the streets of Montmartre. Cobblestones, cafes, little alleyways and vibrant streets welcomed me to Paris. (See below)

3V2A8719EDITEDI decided to stay in Montmartre since my sister and I stayed there three and a half years ago. It's not like it was terribly familiar to me, but there were sections that I remembered. It's a small comfort to vaguely remember a square or street or large basilica. It's nice to remember that you're returning.

Below - Sacre Coeur 3V2A8737EDITED

I happened upon this incredible creperie on the less touristy side of the Butte. They had salty crepes and sweet crepes, and being hungry, I chose from their salty menu. I swear got the best crepe. Ham, mushrooms, cheese, and an egg. Oh, was it perfect. I got an espresso, which apparently came with a cookie, to sip on while I waited for the crepe.

So here I was, Day 1: reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast while sipping an espresso on the terrace of a cafe about 50 feet from Sacre Coeur. I even got to watch the rain dampen the cobblestones.

This is the life.



As for the "rude" French stereotype, I've yet to encounter any terrible people. In fact, the French people have been so wonderful and kind to me.

The only difficult I've faced is that my camera makes me feel like a tourist. Even in Pittsburgh, I struggled with architecture photos in part because it made me feel like I was a tourist in my own city. I guess I'll have to get over that. But today, I shot most of my photos from my waist as quickly as possible, so I could pretend that I was just heading to my apartment to feed the cat. Foolish, I know. I'll work on that tomorrow.

Well, friends and family, until next time! I'll try to update this with little snippets from my travels.