TRAVEL BOOK: Paris I

So my spring break travel post to Paris is long overdue, I know. But here I am again, a month later, writing from a sofa in the 5th arrondissement in Paris after a stop in Barcelona. Guess I couldn’t get enough the first time. The past month has been a concentrated period of similtaneously attempting to be a dutiful student and booking flights. More than ever I feel grateful to God and my family for making studying my favourite subject at university and travelling so prolifically possible. So it’s time to share some photos and experiences wit u bbiez. This post is going to cover my first trip to Paris, photo-essay style. The trip to Barcelona and second visit to Paris will come up shortly. Enjoy! x

PARIS / MAR 20-27

DAY 1

Whenever I travel to a country for the first time, I do my best to balance doing touristy things with more local activities. My first ever day in Paris was the perfect blend of the two. The day was spent walking around the major sites of Paris, marvelling at the architecture and just allowing the city to sink in. The evening, however, we spent at a dinner party hosted by a man named Jim Haynes.

me & Jim

In the 1960s Jim was a major contributor to the underground art scene in Edinburgh and London. Now 83 years old, he lives in Paris and has been hosting dinner parties every Sunday evening for the past 37 years. I learnt about him in my Scottish postwar art module this semester and immediately signed up to attend one of his dinners.

looks weird–actually delicious

The party consisted of a delicious three-course meal and an open bar. My friends and I met a whole range of people, from authors, to 40-year-old Canadian ladies who attend the private parties of the Game of Thrones creator, to 23-year-old Norwegian men, to the supposed private chef to Robbie Williams who seranaded us most of the night. It was such a cool and unique experience talking to people of such diverse ranges of age groups and backgrounds as if they were your peers. My friend said it was probably the closest she was ever going to get to the salons and meetings of artists and writers in early 20th century Paris.

Jim’s house
my friend Yeji buying a book from author Martin Walker & getting it signed

 

DAY 2

The second day in Paris began with a hearty breakfast and proceeded with a walk through the Jardins Tuiléries.

at the Tuileries

We went to the Musée de l’Orangérie and I took an obligatory picture with Les Nymphéas, Monet’s Waterlillies.

Later that evening, we went to Shakespeare & Company to attend a book reading. Ben Lawrence, a British author and journalist, talked about his new book A City of Thorns. In the book, Lawrence recounts the lives of nine different people he met in the largest refugee camp in the world. The aim of this book is to dispel the impression of refugees as numbers and reinstate their humanity. I bought the book immediately after the event and copped a picture with the author before we left.

free wine at the event of course
me & Ben Lawrence

 

** EDIT: started writing this post a week ago and left it ’til now, so I’m no longer lounging in a dramatically European fashion on a sofa in the 5th 😥 ***

DAY 3

On my third day in Paris, we visited the Musée d’Orsay. I was enamoured by the details in some of the paintings and the gorgeous museum café where we stopped at for a café crème. We exited to this gorgeous view over the Seine.

We then visited the Opéra! The architecture was so ornate and beautiful. Like a less-grand version of Versailles.

l0l

 

DAY 4

On the agenda for a packed Day 4: Notre Dame, crêpes, Sainte Chapelle, l’Arc de Triomphe, and entering fashion boutiques on Avenue Montaigne, touching all the gorgeous clothes and shoes, crying and leaving without buying anything. The usual.

café corners
stunning Sainte Chappelle
on top of l’Arc de Triomphe!
the view from the top of l’Arc de Triomphe

DAY 5? idk

Later on in the week (idk I’ve lost track at this point it was like a month+ ago ok) we visited Le Marais, which is a super hip area of Paris. There are loads of tiny art galleries (we entered several), adorable jewellery shops, and of course your classic big brands. What I really loved was how local and quaint the area felt. The schools had just been let out for the day as we walked down the streets, and it felt weirdly home-y and nostalgic watching the kids rush out excitedly from class and hearing their laughter from distances away.

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Galerie Perrotin
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work by Jens Fänge
Jens Fänge
Acne Studios

 

That’s it for this portion of the travel book. Stay tuned within the next week for my next post on beautiful sunny Barcelona and Paris part II!

 

Blessings to u & stay trippy xoxo

∙ vienna ∙

exploring itaewon

For the six years I lived in South Korea, I most frequented a town called Itaewon, as it was right next to my high school and I would often hang out after school with friends there. When I was 15, the location was known as a pretty sketchy area, and it was unwise as a female to be walking around Itaewon late at night. Since then, I’ve seen the town develop a lot and it’s become quite a hub for tourists and locals alike! Though I’m so familiar with this place and could literally take you to almost any restaurant or café there, it’s always fun to roam around every time I’m back in Korea for the holidays. Today, after meeting a friend from Edinburgh for lunch at a Hong Kong noodle restaurant, I walked down by the road packed with antique shops and snapped some of the cutest ones.

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Most of these shops are filled with antique furniture and trinkets. I walked into one of them, but it was quite awkward because the shops are usually small, totally packed with furniture so that there is barely any floor space, and as per Korean ajumma (아줌마– translates into “a middle aged to elderly woman”) style, the people who work there stare at you once you walk in. So I stuck to appreciating from the outside, and peeking in through the windows before scampering off once the ajummas spotted me from inside.

I initially walked down this road because it was on the way to my favourite tea house in Seoul. I was so upset to find that it was closed today, however, so I redirected my steps and settled down in Bella’s Homestay, a basement café in Noksapyeong (녹사평) that kind of resembles a retro speakeasy. I’ve come here multiple times both with friends and alone. If you ever visit, order their cinnamon apple pie–it’s to die for. Today, I ordered a milk tea and unwound with George Orwell’s 1984. Despite my overly extroverted disposition, you can’t beat moments like this.

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∙ vienna ∙