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August 18th 2010
Published: August 18th 2010
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This blog was written three days ago. Pour les commentaires de Chloe voir la fin du blog

We are now in France. Again this year, I really do not know what to think about this country. We spent splendid nights and some horrible days. However, I have to admit, Paris is still one of the pretties city in the world.

We cut our trip to Belgium short because we heard bad news concerning the guy we were supposed to stay at and did not feel it was right to ask him anything in those circumstances. Hopefully, we met two really nice French guy in Dublin who offer us their couch for two nights. We slept at Guillaume and Nadege apartments and it was so good to have a bed and a quiet place to sleep after two months of not so good dorms. Thank you very much Nadege and Guillaume for the warm welcome and your great tour guide skills. You are both more than welcome to visit us back home once we make it back.

Guillaume and Nadege place is 30 minutes of train away from Paris. Three months ago, I insist on not buying the seat tickets that my travel agent wanted me to buy. They are way more expensive than the others. So it took us six hours and four trains to get to Paris from Brussels, but it is doable and not that bad. We met Guillaume on the champs elysée and spent the day walking around Paris with him, his girlfriend and Marie, a friend of them visiting from Toulousse. We walk around the Latin Quartier and Montmartre. The Sacre-Coeur church is an amazing building and the view from it is the best of Paris and is one of the free things you can do!!! On the second day, we went to Versaille to visit the famous castle. We really wanted to visit it last year, but it is very expensive to visit it in a tour. However, you can take a train to Versaille from Paris and visit the castle and amazing garden by your own. You can visit the gardens for free during the low season. The gardens are beautiful and very large, renting a bike is a good idea. We did not have the chance to visit the castle due to the insane four hours long queue. We will go back one day. We spent the night drinking some Rose and play Play Station 1. I also try the Guillaume s weird skateboard.

Guillaume drove us to the train station the next morning and we check in are hostel in the 11th. After a quick lunch we run to the Eiffel Tower, not to climb it (we did it last year and did not feel like we had to do it again), but to join the Fat Tire Bike Tours. We really like our experience last year and were not sure it was a good idea to do it again and get disappointed like we were in Berlin. However, the guide was even better that the one last year and had amazing time on the boat drinking more that enough wine. Not sure, it was saved to bike back to the shop. I recommend this tour to anyone who has 20 euros to spend and do not know what to do of their night. The small boat cruise is great and is a must do anyway.

The second day was a day off. We relax for once and wake up late and only walk along the river. We treat ourselves to a small picnic on the Pont Des Arts. We did not lock our love however. The third day was the museum day. We went to the D Orsay museum first and it was not a good idea. You have to know that visiting France in August is not the best time. Visiting a museum on a rainy day in August is a suicide. The place was more than full, but our tickets were already paid and did not have the choice to go. Chloe was in heaven and I had to force her out after three hours of jubilation introspecting Van Gogh, Renoir, Pissaro, Monet, Manet, etc. masterpiece, one of my personal favourite museum. The place is into massive renovation and is a bit more chaotic than usual, but it is still a must go. We were supposed to spent the night at the Louvres, but had a surprise e-mail from J-P, the other nice dude we met in Dublin, and spent the night with him and one of his friend watching Les Bleus lose again. Nice night out however, and it was great to see you again.

We spent our last two days running from one side of the city to the other end trying to get a work visa. We first call the Quebec house and ask them what they think of our situation. They told us to go to the Canadian embassy. At the ambassador, we wait in line for one hour for nothing, wrong door. We then talk to an agent who told us we should try another country. According to him, the French are really picky and will ask us to go back to Canada and come back with our Visa. However, he said that we can go to the police office and we may get one from them. He insists on the fact that being a girl may help...not my case sadly. We then walk back to the hostel, where I sent three e-mails to the consulate in Canada that all told me the same thing: Go back home and we will give you one. The next day, we show up to the police office near Notre-Dame. They ask us an address and told us that we need a permanent address in France to get one. After I gave the address of one of my friends, she sent us to another police office completely at the other end of the city. We wait four hours at the police office where they simply told us that we cannot get one in France and the people that were allowed to get one here who have no papers and are illegal resident for a least six years. Conclusion: Nice guy always finish last.

To take out my frustration of the horrible French bureaucracy, we spent the night visiting the beautiful Louvres Museum. Like Chloe told me at least 15 times that night, she could spend our life walking in this majestic building. I have to admit that I would have love to play hide-and-seek as a kid in this place. The last was a fun one. We walk in residential neighbourhood and went to place we have never been, like the Bois De Boulogne.

Had later on

We visit Lyon and Bordeaux during our last five days. First-of-all, it is very different from what we visited in the past. Some cliches are true. The food is good, the river is beautiful and at night the old town is fantastic, simply elegant. However, Lyon is not beautiful (except the old town). I did not feel like I was in France. What do I mean by this is that mostly all people we met were from another country. I love meeting people from different place and learn from their culture and past. However, I also love visiting and talking to people that live in their city for years. I do not want to offence anybody, but when I am visiting France I want to learn things about their past and their culture and not learn about the Magreb culture. However, I am looking forward to be in Northern Africa and learn more about this fantastic part of the world. The old town is amazing and after a day of laziness in our first hotel room in two months, we walk around the old town and visit two beautiful church. We also visit two old roman theatre and a nice garden. We then finish the day sampling an Irish beer in a pub. On our last day, we ate with Mathieu and his boyfriend in a very Canadian restaurant. It is always funny to see friends from your place at the other end of the world.

After a horrible train ride to Bordeaux, we discover a city that we both like. It is smaller and the architecture is spectacular. I am not even talking about their great wine. Lots of walking and wine sampling.

The Hostel:

Paris: Absolute Hostel:

It is a very cheap hotel with bad staff. I will never go there again. The hostel itself is ok, but way to expensive for what you get. Not clean at all. The breakfast and the kitchen is the worst I have ever had in a hostel. Worst one since I was in Salvador.

Lyon: Les Carres de Pegasse:

Nice location, very clean and modern, kitchen in the room and the rate is OK. Very quiet! Perfect if you want to take a break from the crazy party life. Staff is not good, but I saw worst. Will go back.

Bordeaux: Hotel Studio:

Cheapest private room in France for sure. Great location, staff is not bad. The room was clean, but the building is very old and need fresh painting. The room is small and not modern but of a great money value.

Spain for 1 month!!!!



D entrée de jeu, il est important de mentionner que je conseille a toutes personnes voulant jouir pleinement de leur sejour en France de ne pas y aller durant le mois daout. Effectivement, les francais prennent tous leurs vacances donc plusieurs commerces cessent leurs opérations, le réseau de trains est engorgé et les villes, surtout Paris, sont pleines de touristes. J écris ce blog a partir de Lyon et ici,ce stationner dans la rue est gratuit puisque les agents de stationnement sont en vacances. (Nick: hihihihi)

Nous aurons ete déçus par le manque d organisation bureaucratique qui règne ici, le fait que certains francais croient avoir toujours raison meme sils ont tord et qu ils le savent et lattitude peu accueillante de certains d entre eux. Sans blague, on devrait tout savoir avant meme davoir fouler le sol de l hexagone.

Sur une note plus positive, nous avons logé chez deux francais beaucoup plus sympathiques que le portrait que jai depeint precedement. Jai grandement apprecié ces deux jours de tranquillité. Puisque nous restions pres de Versailles, nous en avons profité pour visiter les jardins du chateau; mais impossible dy rentrer a moins dattendre 4 heures! Le jardin est immense et majestueux. Le domaine de Marie-Antoinette tout au fond du jardin est un havre de paix tout a fait coquet. Paris reste la magnifique ville lumineuse ou il y a tant a voir et a faire: Montmarte, le musee du Louvres, une croisière sur la Seine, le musee dorsay.... Jadore ce dernier. Je suis une grande fan de la periode impressionniste de lart ce qui fait donc de ce musee un incontournable avec ses toiles de Renoir, Monet et Van Gogh parmi tant dautres. Il a ete agreable de marcher a travers Paris et de contempler ses beautés architecturales. Le fait que les français intègrent beaucoup de mots anglais a leur vie quotidienne m a cependant choquée. Est-ce que c est parce qu on est majoritaires chez nous qu on ne doit pas faire attention a la langue. De l avis de Nick, le pire la-dedans est qu ils ne se contentent pas d utiliser un langage entremêle d insertions linguistiques étrangères, mais ne se donnent pas la peine d utiliser ces dernières de façon adéquate. La transformation des mots tirée de l anglais et presque tout le temps complètement fausse ou mal utilisée (changement énorme de la prononciation).

Nous sommes allés a Lyon pour la fin de semaine. Puisque nous y avons passe le dimanche et le lundi, la ville m a semblee plutôt inhabitée. La vieille ville plutôt banale de jour, cachait une grande élégance de nuit. La Basilique offrait un point de vue magnifique de la ville et du Rhône. Pour descendre de la montagne ou était situe la basilique, nous avons passe a travers des jardins et près de deux théâtres romains.

Bordeaux, notre dernière destination française, m a plutôt charmée. Il y a un secteur de la ville qui est réservé aux piétons qui est vraiment...chouette. Il y a de beaux édifices anciens et de charmants petits restaurants abordables. J espere terminer mon sejour a Bordeaux avec un excellent vin.



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