Gérardmer ; France

Autumn shows how beautiful it is to let things go.

Here are some pictures from our 2 day road trip to France .

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This is my favourite picture , taken directly at the lake of Gérardmer a french city close to the german border. What I love about it especially , is the colour scheme . The white boats in contrast to the dark water and the deep green forests. It looks like it was taken when we first visited the city about ten years ago , still timeless and beautiful. Like an old picture from my parent’s old picture collections.DSC03331

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On our trip ,we visited an old Celtic monastery. It was a beautiful place. A little chateau built on the top of the mountain , as I was told they Celtics always build them on high ground so that they would be closer to their gods. The place had beautiful flowers and a breathtaking view on the are around .

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The trip , even though it was short and unspectacular was special to me . It brought me back to a place I could only remember  and where I had the happiest childhood memories.

In France , autumn had already begun and on the days we spent there , the sky was grey and misty . And I loved it .

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VEGAN IN PARIS – my travel experience

Hello lovely people ,

While writing this blog post , I am sitting in our little holiday cottage in France ready tog o to the markets soon and get fresh fruit and vegetables. distance to the sea : 1 min.

Distance to the sea : 1 min.

It’s a little bit crazy being away from home for three weeks , and I miss working out and my cats a lot , but then this place on the coast of South-France kind of feels like my second home because I’ve been here every year for two weeks.

Yet the topic of this post won’t be this place, it will be a place more in the north of France : exactly, Paris. Last week from Monday to Friday my class went on a trip to Paris and I decided to tell you about it , what I did there , what I learned and how I managed to be vegan there.

First of all a little disclaimer : I didn’t take that many pictures , but I made a little travel video about my time there which I will insert here as soon as it’s uploaded on my youtube channel.

On Monday, we took the TGV ( high-speed train with up to 300 km/h) and arrived there about 3 hours later. It took us another hour to get to our hotel , and driving with the metro was very stressful but sooner or later we got there. The hotel we stayed in had small rooms stuffed with our beds,  but as I got a three bed room with my best friends that didn’t matter much at all. On Monday, we visited the museum of the Louvre and it was very impressing , yet very full and big so that it was hard to orientate and take in everything. Nevertheless I saw the Mona Lisa and other beautiful statues .After a quick walk in the park behind the building we marched to the Arc de Triumph which was not the highlight of the week , but then I had already seen most of the buildings a few years ago.

On Tuesday, we took the Metro to the church of Notre-Dame and climbed to the top . After thinking a moment about going in the church ( I could have started to burn ) I went inside and it was breathtaking even for a non-religious person. After that,we walked around the block for a bit and then visited the Grand Mosquée , guided by a confident and funny french woman . The moquée was very beautiful and it was nice to learn about the principles of  the Islam and their religion . Because it started raining pretty hard we went to a small Moroccan café and had the most wonderful mint tea.

Wednesday was one of my favourite days : we went to a place called „place de la vilette “ and visited the museum „explora“ It had different expositions including one about mental disorders , which was very interesting. Even though my french wasn’t good enough to understand the science expositions everything was created very beautifully. Later that day ( after a short stop at our hotel) we walked to Sacre-Coeur passing a big wall where “ I love you“was written in so many languages. The church on top of the mountain was nice and we had a great view on Paris and the Eiffel tower.

On Tuesday, we went to another museum : The Rodin Museum. I learned that he was  an artist , now very famous for his sculptures that show a lot of movement and show the people real , just how they looked , something unusual for his time. We walked around in the beautiful park , where I almost fell asleep , then we continued our tour to the EIFFEL TOWER. Climbing to the top was a lot of fun , especially when your friend is a bit scared of heights , but yes we all survived it and also got a pretty nice view on Paris.

What we did on Friday was a surprise until Sunday : we went to Versailles. I was very happy and so excited to get there as I had seen a movie about the gardens just recently .The chateau was incredible , one room more spectacular that the other , gold gold and more gold  , but also a lot of mirrors  because mirrors were a treasure at the time it was built. But what I loved the most was the garden of Versailles . It was so huge that you couldn’t even see the end of it and you could get lost in the maze , I wish we could have spent more time there but that was already the end of our trip.

 

Now for the intresting part: What was it like being vegan in Paris ?

In one word ? Unspectacular and simple. Why ? I took a lot of food with me . If you follow me on instagram you might have seen the three boxes of food I took. Of course it was way too much and we even had a supermarket 50 metres behind our hotel. There was breakfast , but unfortunately no fruit , so instead of cooked oats I had plain oats with milk and a banana in the morning and if I was still hungry , baguette with peach jam (I checked it , plantbased)

For Lunch ,I had everything from chickpea soup straight from the can, canned vegetables like corn , beans and chickpeas , and for dinner, me and my vegetarian friend ate taboulé ( cous cous salad ) or  filled Tortilla wraps with salad and veggies. Once I even found a vegetarian/vegan restaurant which had some very nice options !

So my tips : If you are inexperienced with travelling like I am , bring some food just to be safe , I would recommend canned foods that don’t need to be refrigerated , so in case you want to buy some fresh produce , it’s not a problem.

 

And now finally : my personal experience and what I have learned or realised :

  1. I am one hella introverted person. The french people are very open and direct , I on the other hand am quite timide and like to observe more than act.
  2. In Paris, I realised how great having cooked food and your own kitchen is , and that I should appreciate that more. At the end of the five days, I absolutely missed warm food in my stomach.
  3. Again , as an introverted person, I get my energy out of the time I spend alone. Being in a group all the time and not having the luxury of having my own room , but sharing it with 2 other people really drained me and made me feel exhausted . I now appreciate moments I spend alone more than ever.
  4. In Paris, I was once again reminded how lucky I am to be able to live the way I do , with a roof over my head and all the luxuries I possess – Paris was full of people begging for money and food or simply attention , a situation I didn’t really know how to respectfully handle it other than to walk away. I hope that I will be able the deal with the situation better one day.

Paris was a bit messy and wild but I really exjoyed the experience , and maybe , who knows , I will be going back there some day !

I will upload my travel vlog soon hopefully , for now I wish you a good start into the week , take care x.