Hello Again, Paris

I love the idea of a weekend trip. And I try to visit somewhere different for every single one, I guess thats the privilege of living in Europe -- where most cities are just a train ride away. But Paris, oh Paris, is a different story. No matter how many times I go, for work or for leisure, the magic never wears off. It's a place that you can really lock yourself in that romantic little bubble and dream all day along. I know you all might have heard this a thousand times, and so has I've been told, but seriously, Paris is always a good idea.

就這樣,在一個週五晚上,我們預定了星期天出發到巴黎的火車票。或許是因為地利方便,到了歐洲,成了確實的行動派,著手安排週末之旅是常有的事,住宿行程路線規劃等等也越來越上手。除了愛冒險,更多的原因是想考驗自己,這麼多年離家在外獨立了多少。喔,巴黎,明明已不是初次,每一次出發都依然好興奮。灰蒙的天空,浪漫的小陽台,似懂非懂的法文,一切都有些熟悉,卻也相對陌生。相信你們也一樣已經聽過好多遍,但容我再次重複:造訪巴黎,永遠都是個好主意。

The highlight of this trip so far is to finally (finally!) see the Les Deux Plateaux (or Colonnes de Buren). Despite the fact this is my fourth time in Paris, I never had the chance to visit. I have seen these black and white columns all over Instagram, and I just couldn't wait to be there myself. This art installation created by Daniel Buren is located in the Palais Royal. I reckon coming here in an early morning to get a clean shot, since it tends to get quite crowded in the afternoon.

此次的巴黎小旅行,第一個目標就是要親眼看看最近在網路上好火紅的公共藝術作品 Les Deux Plateaux。法國文化部,為了要改變皇家宮殿前的庭院廣場,特別請了概念藝術家 Daniel Buren 進行創作,高高低低的黑白大理石圓柱,模樣十分逗趣可愛,在視覺上也呈現了獨特的節奏感。如果你也是對照片龜毛有堅持的人,建議一早就來,才能夠避開人群盡情拍照。

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If I'm honest, my first experience in the city wasn't all that great. I came with such big expectations, so when it rained the entire trip, I went home sad and disappointed. I was so frustrated that I knew I just had to give it another shot. My second journey allowed me to finally fall in love with the city like every other person. The architecture, the art, the details, and the effortless culture...I can go on and on. And now anytime I'm here, I always have the most amazing time.

老實說,自己第一次到巴黎的經驗並不好,當時整趟天氣陰雨,不管是旅遊或是拍攝都受到了干擾,心情也跟著低落。記得那日下午,手握著回程的火車票,暗自決定一定要重新體驗巴黎。於去年春天重整心情再度走訪,在完成先前未完成的心願的同時,也與所有旅者一樣,開始為她心醉。兩次三次到現在的第四次,待的時間都不長,目的也都不同。為了工作、為了充電、為了看建築、為了看展覽,與巴黎的互動真的越來越多。

 
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Paris is divided into twenty districts, and one of my personal favourites is district 11, around the Canal St Martin. And if you're familiar with the movie Amélie, you might find yourself recognising a few of the film's scenes. It is one of the less touristy neighbourhood, and the vibe is really relaxing. I get so stressed out sometimes when I see a lot of tourist crowds, it just gives me a semi-anxiety. But this never happens here. Here you'll find Paris' largest design bookshop Artazarts (where I spent most my travel money!), loads of hip cafes, and brands like The Kooples & A.P.C...I swear, an afternoon here can definitely be well spent.

巴黎共分為二十個區域,而我個人最喜愛的是位於聖馬丁運河旁的第十一區。有看過電影艾蜜莉的異想世界的人,因為對這個運河頗為熟悉。這裡觀光客與人群都不多,常見到的反而是當地的學生族群在巷弄裡穿梭,正好是我喜歡的悠閒氛圍。在運河旁有著城市十分著名的設計書店 Artazarts,光是在這裡就能晃上好一段時間,離開時手邊都至少多了兩本書籍(笑)街上也分佈了不少個性的咖啡店與餐館,當然想購物的人也不會失望,著名的法國品牌 The Kooples 和 A.P.C 等等在這裡也都能找到。即便只有短短的四天三夜,我還是願意在這兒花上一下午,沿著運河散步,在小道上冒險。

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All that said, I just realised this is my first winter in Paris. But of course this doesn't make it any less breathtaking, in my own stereotypical opinion everything actually seems so much prettier when the temperature is low. No matter what, Paris does create beautiful things. And even though my French vocabulary doesn't come quickly, and is probably limited to Bonjour, Au revoir, Merci & Bonsoir, I'd like to keep coming back. There is still so much to learn and see in this history enriched lifestyle, and how every small element seems to always find its right place.

這幾天,氣溫偏低,裹著圍巾大衣到處張望,才發現這是自己頭一次在冬季來到巴黎。我喜愛冬天,在我眼中,枯枝空樹有著自成一格的風味,天色灰蒙是不一樣的浪漫,當然靴子皮夾克也是原因之一。天冷不打緊,找個戶外座位咖啡館,手握熱飲暖手也暖心,再眺望遠處的法式建築,相信你也會覺得完美。另外,法國人並沒有刻板中的冷漠,他們幽默、開朗,交錯著英語單字的笑話也時常令人莞爾,實在可愛。看來,不熟絡的法文,也無法阻擋我邁開步伐,一再重回巴黎的懷抱。

 
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Another place I absolutely loved is the Palace of Versailles. I really wish I could have the whole day just dedicated to this place. I know this is one of the more well known spots, but trust me you'll know why once you visited. The palace itself is gorgeous, though what I love most is the massive garden. It comes with beautiful fountains, alleys, walkways and many many historical statues. And the gold details around the entire palace is so unique, I can't wait to bring the rest of my family along next time.

四天三夜的行程,我們選擇在最後一天下午當個稱職的觀光客,目的地是凡爾賽宮。看著一幅幅的畫像,一間間的禮堂、鏡堂與寢室,由不得開始想以前的皇室到底是過著怎麼樣的生活(笑)但比起宮殿,更吸引我的是那佔地八百多公頃花園。一望無際,伴隨著讚嘆聲按了幾下快門;心想,如此富麗堂皇的景色,下回一定要帶著楊小妹來親眼瞧瞧。當天我們沒有搭乘小火車,想說走多少算多少,看看噴泉,看看雕像、看看樹林,一晃眼天就暗了。

Angelina is known as a world famous Parisian cafe, and surprise surprise, you get to enjoy it in the Place of Versailles. It is a bonus stop between the Palace and garden. You can either grab a sandwich as a quick snack, or sit down with a proper meal and some delicate dessert and cakes. We knew the garden would take a good while, so we decided to stay and rest a bit. And I'm so glad we did, the food here is amazing, I'm not normally a fan of mont blanc, but this one is really delicious that I almost finished the entire thing!

由宮殿前往花園之前,可以在 Angelina Cafe 休息一下。Angelina 在巴黎十分著名,市區的分店時常都能見到排隊的人潮。除了巧克力飲品,蒙布朗也是店裡的招牌之一。而在凡爾賽宮的分店共分為餐館與點心吧兩個區域;正餐除了提供熱的鹹食,也有精緻的法式甜點,點心吧則是有三明治沙拉等等的輕食。因為知道接下來的花園會花上許多時間和腳程,我們決定好好坐下來喝熱茶吃甜點再繼續。Angelina 的蒙布朗的確令人驚喜,淡雅的栗子味甜而不膩,是個很好選擇。

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So as I sit here and write this, I find myself into the last day with the City of Lights, the past three days has been short and sweet. The one thing I'll miss the most is seeing all those tiny balconies. We do have beautiful historical buildings in London, but never these dreamy details. I tried my best to capture how magical they make me feel, hopefully you're feeling what I'm feeling. If only that makes sense.

To my dear Paris, you were good to me this time, real good! Not long until we meet again.

你們有沒有過這種經驗,明明不是第一次造訪,也知道不久一定會再回來,但每一次的離開都還是有些離情依依?巴黎之於我,就是有著這樣的含意。在寫這篇遊記時,同時也是即將回倫敦的前一晚,在心理細數回憶,也不得不由衷佩服這城市的魅力。會想念小陽台、想念聽不太懂的法語、想念獨樹一格的灰色屋頂,這清單可能永遠都列不完。我盡量透過鏡頭讓你們明白她的迷人之處,也期待你們分享自己與巴黎的各種點滴;希望你們覺得有趣。

喔,巴黎。這趟與你相遇,好令人滿意,期待我們下次再聚!

shot on Nikon Df with 24-85mm lens.