Decided to take a short break from trip-planning today. Immersing myself in the details of the sights and streets of Paris, while youtubing places of interest, all the while trying to work out a logical itinerary for 7 days (of which 3 days will include my parents), has left me with a craving need for a fix. The solution? Paris, je t’aime. It seems no matter how many times I watch this movie, I never tire of it. I’m not sure you could call it a movie, really. It’s more a collection of short films representing the different arrondissements of Paris. During the film’s editing process, two ended up on the cutting floor, so the final product was 18 short films, instead of the original 20. I love the whole concept of the movie. Each short film was directed and written by different people, from different countries. So the end result is a rather eclectic mishmash of story-telling styles, sentiments and views of Paris. Instead of clashing with each other, they surprisingly blend together rather harmoniously, giving the viewers very different glimpses and perspectives of the beautiful city that is Paris. My favourites are – Montmartre, Le Marais (especially love the young man’s impassioned speech about finding his soulmate, all in French), Bastille, Place des Victoires, Tour Eiffel (love the interview with the little boy), Pigalle, Quartier Latin (I remember crossing the street outside the restaurant), and Faubourg Saint-Denis (my absolute favourite). It’s a good dose of Paris when one misses the city, like I do today.
Really looking forward to our trip this year. It’s not close enough that I’ve started counting down the days, but it’s enough to get me excited. Our trip to France this year will include a week down in the South of France, and a week in Paris. My parents will be coming along with us for most of the trip. We managed to convince them to come with us to see a different side of France, instead of their usual tour-group visits. I’m hoping we will be able to show them the amazing things about France that made us fall in love with the country. Looking forward to showing them the countryside and ‘le joie de vivre’ that is so typically French, which I adore. I can’t wait to be in France again, especially this year, when my French is much improved compared to last year.
I’m planning to bring our iPad with us, with all the information loaded on that device and our iphones. Couple of apps that I’m loving at the moment are:-
- Evernote (so easy to cut and paste info, grab websites, pictures, etc. I’ve signed up for the premium version which allows you to download all the info on to the iPad and lets you access the info offline. Perfect for trip planning!)
- Road Tripper (as mentioned in my previous post. You get to customize your own map. Awesome for a control freak like me.)
- RATP (all the transport info you need for Paris.)
- Météo Paris (weather forecast for the next 15 days. Not sure how accurate it will be as Paris weather can be so unpredictable.)
- Voyage SNCF (train info for all your train booking needs.)
- LaFourchette (convenient for restaurant bookings if you don’t speak the language.)
- Gares360 (information about your train stations.)
- Paris Pastry (for all dessert and pastry lovers.)
- Paris2Go (travel guide for Paris.)
- Paris by Triposo (travel guide for Paris.)
- Patrimap (travel guide for Paris.)
I’m not the kind to believe in choosing a single travel guide as my travel bible. I figure most authors of these travel guides may be knowledgeable but they’re not really locals. So I grabs bits and pieces I find interesting from different travel guides and combine them together (this is where Evernote is so useful). After that, I present my findings to my French tutor for the local’s perspective and she’ll give me her input (which has served me well in the past – like how to avoid the queue at the Louvre). It works well, for me. May not be everyone’s cup of tea. But hey, I did mention I am a control freak. I like to know what I’m getting myself into. I find all the extra research makes the trip even more interesting.