Category Archives: Around the world

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: LAST DAY

Yes it’s the last after-the-last day because I couldn’t fit everything into seven posts. One of the last sites we went to was Le château de Versailles, centre of political and royal power of France. Classical music was the vibe of the day as you can imagine. We visited multiple rooms said to be the King’s sleeping and dining areas, beautiful paintings and architecture were displayed. The walls and windows were ornamented with all kinds of angels and faces of all colors and sizes, we looked up so much our necks complained. I can’t describe what we saw more accurately, the pictures will speak for themselves.

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: DAY 7

Around Paris in 7 days: The Series

Day 7: Dreams do eventually come true.

Don’t worry it’s not crying time yet there’s still a bonus day seven to come.  

I’ve been waiting for this day since I could hold my own spoon and eat without the help of the choo-choo train parking in my mouth. My inner child is screaming with excitement and running around in circles like a maniac just about… now. We have arrived to DisneyLand Paris. This is where i realized how much I still loved Disney movies, and how much I watch TV. I opened my eyes as widely as I could to take in everything I was surrounded by. There was unending Disney Music in the background and violins were playing. Little girls were running around in baby blue and pink glittered dresses with their crowns proudly on their heads and wands at hand ready for any kind of predicament. People of all ages gathered around to dream and it was goose bump worthy! Everyone was playing along and going to tiny cafés named after The Three fairies and taking pictures next to Cinderella’s carriage. Never in my life had I been so excited and taken with all my  imagination as I have on this day. I remember the first time I watched a Disney production, it was well in Christmas time and my brother and I would get up so early when it was still very gray outside, wearing our comfy pajamas  we would turn on the TV high enough to cover the quiet sound of the house, and the Christmas specials would start. The movies made the season feel quite magical. It’s that Nesquik and milk drink mixed in with the smell of slept-in bedsheets, a little rain scent and the unexpected sound of thunder I will never be able to forget. The ritual stayed and was reborn a few times each year until one day we just stopped watching the movies. Well my brother stopped, as he “grew out” of the magic even though I’m older than him and wanted to keep dreaming. He didn’t and the magic faded as the years went by, I got bored without someone watching by my side. Either way I reckon if we went to DisneyLand when we were 8-12 my brother and I would’ve probably ended up in the lost children’s section.  Anyways I loved everything about the trip. From the non-stopping background music to the life-like magic Walt Disney has surprised us with for years. I still want to wear my crown and break out into a song but I’ll just keep this in my head. For now..

Sincerely,

SLS.

 

 

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: DAY 6

 

Around Paris in 7 days: The Series

Day 6: The streets of life and some ranting.

If you’ve ever wondered what heaven sounded like, you should probably walk through the streets next to the Georges Pompidou Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris. I call it that because very sadly I’m not sure about the name of the street, but I’m sure you’ll know where it is when you start paying attention to what’s around you. You will hear a lot of people talking and walking on hard ground. Pay attention enough and you will hear a saxophone playing notes that ring a bell, a man with a rough voice singing as loud as he could, a woman in a long white dress dancing in the middle of everything to no music, the sound of balloons tightly rubbing against each other between the hands of a clown, and the sound of chalk being drawn on the floor by a man with a white beard. It all works so well together until you hear the metal bracelets and keychains clinking against each other in the background. Now it’s perfect. There was a man standing in the middle of the street waiting for the wind to blow large transparent bubbles in the air for the little girl to come burst with her index finger. People are sitting and lying on hard ground like it was the most comfortable grass, not complaining or doing anything to cause any trouble to anyone, they’re relaxed and young, quite full of art, ambition, and a little disobedience. They’re still filled to the neck with words and color and thought eager to shout them at the world and paint them on their walls. What triggered my interest the most was the fact that almost all the museums I went to were free of charge for people younger than 18 or 21. The city is pushing its youth to learn and explore different corners of art and history. This is what makes Paris a wonderful and powerful city, its youth is learning and is open to all this knowledge and by God, knowledge is power. They will be able to challenge themselves into being and reaching their better selves, and by that educating others along the way. This is when reality hits me with a cooking pan, because things are not exactly done the same way where I live at the moment: Lebanon. I hope I’m only generalizing, but our youth isn’t that open towards any of the colors I’ve seen in Paris. The museums are practically deserted from what I’ve concluded after my trip to the Museum of Beirut a few months back. You pay hardly no money if your kids are younger than sixteen, which, let’s face it, is not the way to promote Museum visits to the youngsters, who are supposed to be the leaders and heads of our future, they’ve certainly not started thinking about bettering the system from ages 0-16. There hardly is a youth left in Lebanon, and that is the worst scenario imaginable because we will gladly let history repeat itself instead of turing the page onto a new era of doing things. Either way we’re still not allowed to vote until we’re 21! I wonder why that is. Talents in Lebanon have longly been overshadowed by the lack of life in the county. How can people paint and create music and write whatever they felt to write when the simplest things are still not provided to the people, like water and electricity. Not to shame my own roots but the power is still out three hours every single day in Beirut, the capital. That gradually goes up to six hour power outages depending on the area in Lebanon. I remember these power cuts scaring the spark out of me when I was about four years old. Fourteen years later and my grandmother still tells me the schedule of the power cut for the following day. With all this clutter how do you expect people to stay and raise their children in a place that doesn’t even offer you light to see at night. The roads if broken are never fixed and lamps if out, are never to be replaced. How can I drive when it is not assured to me that my road will be lit up at night. We just don’t. We’re not willing to go out anymore in concern of our safety and we miss out on life and all its derives.

*Side note: how come almost all the people/some homeless/some needy on the streets and in the metros of Paris asking for money always showcase some kind of talent? They either play an instrument or paint or sing. They never just plainly ask you for money. I know they might not be homeless at all but very few were the people sitting around just asking for euros. The rest dance and make braids out of bracelets, YesSure maybe/probably it’s for the tourism of it all, but I have never ever a few more times so it sounds as accurate as I could put it, ever, seen a homeless/needy/person on the streets of Lebanon asking for money in exchange of showing any kind of talent or ability whatsoever. Please if you have, tell me.

 With all the mess don’t expect singers to sing and musicians to put on a show. Lebanon plays its bitter ball everyday. But enough of that, my head will stop rambling because it has proven to be in vain. I sincerely hope I’m a big generalist who doesn’t know enough. All I say now is that I was simply jealous of how easy it was to access to knowledge spontaneously displayed on the streets of Paris and all the nothing I sometimes felt in the streets of my own home. I’ve learned more things about art and history and life in general in 7 days here than in years of Lebanon, not because I was tourist here don’t sass me. I was also a tourist in my county because my family too left for a better future outside our four walls, but I came back to Beirut the same way it left me, tired and filled with disappointing problems it will never be able to solve because they’ve been passed down generations of ignorance.

Closing my speech.

*Bows down.*

More pictures and less text to come.

Sincerely,

SLS.

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: DAY 5

Around Paris in 7 days: The Series

Day 5:

Day five turned out to be a point that  should’ve been underlined in bright red on my bucket list. It was by far the best day I have had in Paris so far, and sadly the fastest one that went by. We didn’t spend enough time there but should have. Let me grab my tissue..

Montmartre is probably the highest place in France in altitude. Never in my lifetime have I felt a cuter atmosphere, it was filled with artists and painters and all the things you’ve imagined Paris to be. Extremely narrow roads and colorful flowers whispering nice things to you when you walked by. It is an understatement to say that café trottoirs cluttered the place, they ATE the roads and licked their forks with envy. Although apparently, the artists of Montmartre used to own the streets until the commercial way of handling things happened, they all got back-walled and crammed into a little place where they got to show only a teaspoon of their talent. So needless to say, they were cranky, and a bit aggressive, but all in the name of their art.

Away from all the swirling we visited the powerfully built and annoyingly-no-photos-allowed church of Montmartre.  Beautiful is also an understatement. When you visit perfection everything becomes an understatement really. I need new vocabulary for this because I’m at a loss for words. Excuse me.

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We decided to continue our tour of Montmartre by going on a train ride around the streets to yet discover another talk of the town, the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret and other nightlife wonders.

We then stopped by the shops because they seemed to be more extravagant and eye-catching than any other place in Paris.

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Anoki was one of the pretty boutiques I visited that housed all kinds of extravagant and bold jewelry pieces. I fell in love with it neeeedless to say, and I got my pretty elephant ring.

 

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More pictures to come.

Sincerely,

SLS.

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: DAY 4

Around Paris in 7 days: The Series

Day 4 

La Tour Eiffel! Oh my long awaited arrival to the monument I’ve seen on practically everything from postcards to phone cases!

Greenery is everywhere around us and it is inspiring! You just want to throw your french beret in the air and scream J’AIME PARIS! Right after you actually get inside the tour eiffel, which is about 425075 human lines away. During the long aggravating hours of standing I’ve decided to do things a little differently. I got two large scoops of strawberry ice cream to help me pass the time. I finished them about 9 minutes into the line, then I got a sandwich, some popcorn, gum, basically all you could find within the human-line radios. People thought I was opening a buffet, NOPE. THIS IS HOW I DEAL WITH PATIENCE. Either way after getting my purse uncomfortably felt up inside out by Mr security guard and his flashlight to see if I was carrying a bomb (which I was not, rest assured), I was finally starting to feel the vibe of miss Eiffel hovering over my head. She was tall and monumental, her chin up high she was a proud frenchie with a charming structure, I couldn’t wait to see more. We went up higher than I ever thought she could take me and the scene just got more breath-taking. How do I put this in words precise enough to express exactly what I thought: Paris, however and wherever you look at it, from its streets, on top, in the middle left or right, and from under, just doesn’t lose its beauty. Different countries house different vibes, but their capital cities aren’t all that great, you start seeing the flaws once you get to know the details of its streets. It’s different with Paris because its flaws are delicate, its allure sheds light away from any kind of glitch to ever come from it. 

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More pictures to come.

Sincerely,

SLS.

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: DAY 3

Around Paris in 7 days: the Series

Day 3: Shopping spree and famous people.

Reporting to you whilst having a drink with Pablo Picasso. Today I touched Angelina Jolie’s blazer and Brad Pitt’s hand. I spoke to president Obama about a few things and partied with Lady Gaga as the night went on.

Seriously. This is exactly how that happened.

Don’t believe me? I think you’ll get what I’m talking about when you go to the Grévin museum. My Day 3 was all about realistically looking wax figures eye balling you in strange ways, aaaand of course the streets of Paris and most importantly Les Galleries Lafayette for shopping (shoutout to all the ladies/gents within a billion mile radios who have ever dreamt of spending their last dimes and holding huge shopping bags whilst walking down the long parisian roads with sunglasses and pretty boots, myself included.)

So first things first, a little bit of history regarding our first stop. Alfred Grévin was a 19th century sculptor and cartoonist. Recruited by a lot of newspapers, he put his cartooning talents to work. He then went on to represent personalities that made front page news as wax figures, and ta-da the Musée Grévin was opened in 1882 and hasn’t shut its doors since. 

Here he is in all his glory.

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and some wax figures we saw.

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*PS: I have no idea who the two ladies are I just liked their grimace.

Off to the streets of Paris where I purchased my first item there ever. It was right next to the museum. There was a very narrow road cluttered with café-trottoirs and tiny restaurants, as well as stamp collecting boutiques and all kinds of antiques I drooled over. I found a necklace. Well to be more realistic the necklace found me. (no joke) It was gloriously displayed on a quarter of a mannequin and I swear to you it was calling out my name. You could hear it blocks away. I didn’t respond at first and we went straight to the end of the road, but I could still hear it getting louder as I got further away and I just came back running like a movie ending. And yes I purchased it so quickly I forgot how much it was. I just knew I wanted it in my shopping bag and the world would be okay again (Confessions of a shopoholic might I add, I feel like I have issues sometimes but who cares I have the necklace now.)

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The infamous talking necklace above. I absolutely love it. If you have anything resembling its style please tell me where you got it from, I’m recently very into colorful and simple pieces. I purchased this one because I have never seen something like it before.

Continuing on the trip we head to Les Galleries Lafayette, that houses a lot of notorious brands. I was hyped to go because I’ve heard so much about that fashion bubble but I didn’t want to purchase anything Not-French (Yes I’m boycotting the world) only because I’ve already seen the brands back where I live and I can visit the shops just about anywhere, so I mainly targeted french brands I could only find in France. 

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The inside is breath-taking. and HUGE.

I ended up getting 3 sweaters (white, dark green and black/silver) and  and a t-shirt from Avant Propos (Second Floor)

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This is the tee I particularly adored. The prices were significantly higher than the shops I’ve been in outside the Gallery but at least I got a free key chain and some nice bags in conclusion of my shopping craze.

More love to come from Paris.

Sincerely,

SLS.

AROUND PARIS IN 7 DAYS: DAY 2

Around Paris in 7 days: the Series 

Day 2: Paris in faces.

Reporting to you on top of a big bus proudly called the Big Tour Bus of Paris. The large moving rectangular box with wheels never drives by unnoticed. We’re rolling through history 20km an hour from cathedral to shopping centre. 

So in honor of this moving experience, I’ve decided to sum the hours up in pictures. I do hope you enjoy the many faces of Paris.

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a smile in Paris.

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 A pose in Paris

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Homeless in Paris

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Faith in Paris

Definite more pictures to come.

Sincerely,

SLS.