Five Things

Here it is, my last Five Things post from Paris! Getting back into the routine of normal life has been an… interesting adjustment. Haha! I’m trying to balance working and writing and photography for December before I go back to school in January, and it’s definitely a new learning curve to tackle.

But, back to Paris!

Vitrines de Noël

Galeries Lafayette is a huge shopping center that takes over several buildings on a few corners in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. It’s big and famous and swanky and essentially every shopaholic’s dream.

When Christmas rolls around, The Galeries Lafayette does THE. COOLEST. THING. that I wish was everywhere.

Their window displays (their “vitrines”) are transformed into special Christmas-themed displays. The vitrines are beautiful, elaborate, and a really cool spot for families to visit for free. This year was all about about the polar bears making their way down from the North Pole to help with Christmas morning! (Although there was no Santa in sight…)

paris galeries lafayette vitrines de noel

paris galeries lafayette vitrines de noel

Coxinha

A coxinha is a Brazilian pastry that consists of a ball of fried dough, generally filled with chicken and cheese. It’s awful for the body, but oh-so delicious!

When I lived in Brazil, we would have mini-coxinhas at nearly any social gathering or we would pick them off from street vendors for an afternoon snack. Que saudades!

It’s funny because during my semester in Paris, I think I made as many Brazilian friends as I did French friends. I’m pretty sure it’s because Brazilians are so friendly. I could hear Brazilian Portuguese anywhere in the world, strike up a conversation, and after twenty minutes get invited to family dinner. In fact, that’s what happened. 

I met the most precious Brazilian couple at church, and we hit it off from the get-go. They graciously invited me to their home and we feasted on coxinhas.

brazillian coxinha brasileira

It was one of the best nights I had all semester.

Seine River Walk

A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a walk along the Seine.

Not only is it fun to walk along the Seine on the street level, but going down along the banks of the river is a whole other level. Literally. Ah ha ha so punny.

The view from the riverside is gorgeous, as expected. But maybe you’ll be lucky like us and come across random people singing and playing instruments!

paris, france seine river walk

Paris Catacombes

Ok. So. The Catacombes are on pretty much everyone’s Paris must-see list for a reason. It is a must-see!

I already knew that the Catacombes were built because of a lack of cemetery space in Paris, but I didn’t know that the tunnels were built with tourism in mind! How nuts is that?! The Catacombes have been open for tourism nearly since when they initially were constructed.

You’ll find signs that mark the specific cemetery and time frame where the bones came from, along with quotes about life and death. Pretty cool, but also a little freaky.

paris catacombes bones skulls

paris catacombes entrance bones skulls

Les Halles

Going back hundreds of years, Les Halles was originally an enormous wholesale food market in Paris. The Big Kahuna, you could say. But not everyone was quite so fond of Les Halles, and it was referred to as basically the armpit of Paris.

After rennovations in the 80’s, Les Halles is a massive underground mall that leads to the busiest Metro Station in Paris.

If you’re facing Les Halles and then turn around you’ll see the beautiful Saint-Eustache Church. What a sight, amirite?! That’s partially a joke. You just can’t see a whole lot in this picture at night.

Here are a few better shots.

paris les halles shopping center mall

paris saint eustache church les halles

Wow.

I can’t believe it’s over. It’s crazy how fast this semester went by! From my first post to now, I’ve learned so much and I’d like to say my French is better 😉

So the question is… now what?

To be as vague as possible, I want to continue writing and photographing. Traveling is always the goal, but we’ll see where the wind blows me!

Stay tuned for more adventures!

-Katie