Quai Branly // NYE

The last day of last year I spent in Paris. Leaving with a bus in the middle of the night, around 9am the grey suburbs of the city loomed. The sun was shining when we stepped on parisian ground, on the banks of the Seine, a little later. It felt good that the first thing we had to do was looking for a place to have breakfast, having just arrived. Eventually we only had a cup of coffee, in a too expensive cafe in the gardens of Musée du Quai Branly, whose building has green plants growing against its walls. The museum calls itself a meeting ground for cultures of the world. Perfect place for me, wasn’t it? Very inspirational place indeed. So I’d still like to share some art pictures.

Oceania/Aboriginal

Asia

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Africa

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Tattoo Exhibition

Americas

A while before midnight we took off from the restaurant in Montmartre and with many, many other people we got (/tried to get) on a metro, which were free these last hours of the year, on our way to the Champs-Élysées. Apparently the French don’t really do fireworks with New Year’s Eve, so the new year does not start as spectacular as expected in Paris. But thousands of people gathered on the whole Champs-Élysées avenue gives you a pretty festive feeling anyway, especially when they all start moving after midnight. Walking around Paris in the middle of the night with a dear friend, a bottle of champagne in our hands, so many elated people around – the beginning of 2015 is something I will not forget.

Père-Lachaise

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Last week I wrote about my trip to Paris, and I thought that the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise deserved its own post. We went there in the morning on the third day. It was all grey and rainy, although sometimes the sun would break through. I had never seen such a beautiful cemetary. The broad, cobblestoned avenues, the small lanes overgrown with moss, the trees and the fallen leaves, and of course all the beautiful and intruiging graves; I thought this place was magical.

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Parijs met Roosje Nov '13 518I found this grave in particular very intruiging. ‘Nadejda & Orphée’. At first it were the wonderful unusual names that attracted me, engraved in this very simple tombstone. Then I saw the dates and realized how shortly they only had lived both – Orphée only got 5 years old. They have different surnames, so they probably aren’t sisters. On top of this, Nadejda and Orphée are resting in the musicians and composers corner of the cemetary. Why there? Why were a 23 and, especially, a 5 years old placed in the same alley as Frederic Chopin?

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Paris

Paris. The city that is both so grand that it is breathtaking and so intimate that it makes you feel embraced and loved.

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My very good friend, Roosje, and I have been wanting to go to Paris together for years. Two weeks ago that city trip finally took place. And every single moment of it has been perfect. The seconds filled with laughter, the silent seconds, the spoken and the tired seconds. The freedom. 

When everyone was still fast asleep – defenseless bodies behind all the hundreds of windows we past – we left for the train station in Liège, Belgium. We got in the cozy train, full of expectation for all the good things to come.

I lively remember our first steps in the city , after having our luggage dropped in the hostel. The first rays of sunshine. The excitement. I remember turning around the corner and facing the Eiffel Tower from Palais de Chaillot. No matter how many times you are going to have that sight, I think it will always manage to take your breath away. I remember the cute French market opposite Palais de Tokyo. I remember resting in those amazing chairs in the Tuileries, simply enjoying the moment.

The morning walks we took to Montmartre, running up the stairs to the Sacré Coeur in the chilly morning air as if we were locals – since our hostel was only a few minutes from there – and rewarding ourselves with the magnificent view over the city. Looking through art books and checking out cute shops. Having lunch in a really nice restaurant, on a charming square. Accidentally finding one of the best views over Paris – at the toilets of Galeries LaFayette (really!). The metro rides. Eating falafel and arabian salads in the streets at dusk. Eating our lunch out of a paper bag and making silly pictures at Jardin du Luxembourg, almost freezing, but very warm from the inside.

In an attempt not to be like tourists too much, we had a look in the absolutely beautiful mosque of Paris, spotted cute little pink hearts on the pavements and took photographs of people.

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So this is my first blog post. Many others to come, about more trips and travels, music, baking and cooking, my life and just life in general!

~ Janna