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.
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。
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.
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。
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.
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.
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。
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.
shot on Nikon Df with 24-85mm lens.