Friday, December 10, 2010

Paris & Strasbourg

So I've had a pretty good few weeks and its all going well although I think all the assistants are looking forward to a rest and most of us get to return home. This past week I took 2 trips out of Reims. Last Saturday, I alongwith several other assistants went to Paris for the day taking advantage of the proximity & high speed rail to go and spend a day there sightseeing, shopping or meeting other hands. I had gone primarily to see one of my very good friends who was visiting from Italy & celebrating her 21st. It snowed quite a lot whilst we were there and I have to say the weather wasn't great but highlights of the day included a walk down the Champs Elysée including going stores like Louis Vuitton & Cartier & going to La Durée. La Durée is a famous macaroons, cakes & pastries store founded in 1862. It was lovely & the macaroons were delicious although expensive. I also met up with friends from Bristol & went to the Sacré Coeur which is my favourite religious building in France (perhaps in the world).

The day, however wasn't successful for all. Unfortunately one of the other assistants was pickpocketed on the Paris metro & lost some money and her cards etc. I felt really bad for her especially as I lost my camera just before the October holidays so know exactly how she feels. Nevertheless it was a nice day & it was great to escape Reims for the day.

I also went to Strasbourg on Wednesday to do the wonderful christmas markets known as the best in the world! The tickets were considerably cheaper thanks to 'prems' which are special, non refundable tickets which occasionally come out. I'm glad I went and felt I used my day off wisely as I normally sleep in till late, do very little and then go to the pub on Wednesdays. Overall a great day was had. Strasbourg is a really cosmopolitan city with both a very German & European feel to it. It has a very interesting past and present & its Cathedral is very very impressive. The Christmas markets are huge & it takes a really long time to cover all of them. Some of the markets are really good, others are more clichés; having the same, old tacky stuff. The food is amazing - we went to a traditional Alsatian restaurant where I had a pigs head & snails- I felt very French!! The weather however was absolutely terrible. It poured down all day so I had to buy an umbrella although I brought a EU brolly which looks pretty awesome. Also there were delays on the way back due to snow in Reims so I had to wait at Champagne Ardenne station for around an hour and a half. Despite the weather, I had a great time & it was lovely to get out of Reims & explore a new city.

Typical Strasbourg Marché de Noël

La Cathédrale de Strasbourg

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