March 15, 2014

There's more to France than Paris

Yesterday, the Paris area saw some of the worst air pollution... ever. At least that's what the news articles keep saying, and judging by the visible haze suspended in the sky, obscuring trees and buildings, I gotta believe them. It didn't stop me from having a lovely little walk through a village outside of Paris, however. Villennes-Sur-Seine, complete with weeping willows over a river, adorable stone houses, and a charming garden on the side of a hill. The atmosphere felt pleasantly warm, thick, and cozy, probably enhanced by the dense smog in the air.

I wouldn't have made the trek out there if it weren't for some official business to take care of - I was picking up some official translations of documents needed to apply for a residence card. I'm glad I did go, because it made me realize that there's more to see here than Paris... small villages and towns with medieval churches, ivy-covered walls, small, quiet streets, quaint cafes, and stone fountains. This short afternoon trek has inspired me to branch outward, see what lies outside of the Paris grandeur.

Here are just a few things I noticed while waiting for the next train back home:











On my first trip to France with my mother during high school, we visited smaller towns and chateaus in wine country, and I have the desire to revisit many of those places - Chartres with it's amazing gothic cathedral, Mont Saint Michel surrounded by water, Rouen with its colourful timbered buildings...

Once spring is in full bloom, the first thing on my to-see list is Monet's house and gardens at Giverny. Can't wait!



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