Friends and Family, Travel
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Part V: Paris

You know how Paris is beautiful in the springtime?IMG_8582 (Copy)Turns out it’s also pretty fine in Summer.

We’re back on a ‘Throwback Thursday’ style post, so I can finish sharing some of our holiday snaps from our Giant Vacation last summer. If I keep going at this pace, who knows, perhaps I’ll even be done in time for this summer autumn.

So. Last summer, after all of our frolicking in the slight west-north, ueber-north and east-north (start here), we touched back down in Berlin for a few days before rocketting off to meet up with my mother and her friend-from-childhood Irene in Paris.IMG_8601 (Copy)

That’s them!

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^In case you weren’t convinced we were in Paris. IMG_8603 (Copy) IMG_8607 (Copy) IMG_8608 (Copy) IMG_8609 (Copy)

It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, so I’ll just show you some of the highlights.

In chronicle order…

#1, Above. We went on a boat tour. Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours, and kind of fun to view the city from a different angle.

#2. Andy took these photos of me with my mother, which I believe to be objectively, universally and eternally hilarious.

They also sum up my relationship with my mother fairly well.IMG_8613 (Copy) IMG_8623 (Copy)

#3. We visited Chinatown in Paris. You can argue with me all day about how you think something like Chinatown is a bad thing in a city, because of the implications regarding ghettoisation.

Sure. Ghettos bad.

What’s not bad, however, is having the critical mass of a certain culture or type of people in an area to allow cultural traditions to survive and thrive.

And by cultural traditions I mostly mean food. But did you know that I’ve never seen a New Year Lion dance in Berlin?

And did you know that it’s possible to miss the smell of Durian?

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#4. I mentioned that Paris is pretty right? Well we definitely too some time to walk around in the sun and see the gardens in all their glory. Very lovely, but not nice enough to keep us above ground for too long….

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… we headed into the catacombs.IMG_8737 (Copy)  IMG_8743 (Copy)

I think it was my fourth time in Paris and neither Andy or I had been down to the ‘combs before.  Possibly because it seemed like something a bit too museum-y (with not enough modern art), something that would always be there to come back to.

Having been there, I kinda get why it’s such a thing.IMG_8744 (Copy) IMG_8745 (Copy) IMG_8748 (Copy) IMG_8750 (Copy) IMG_8751 (Copy) IMG_8753 (Copy) IMG_8757 (Copy) IMG_8759 (Copy)  IMG_8762 (Copy)

The bones were pretty impressive, but the most impressive of all for us nerdy plant scientists was this:IMG_8766 (Copy)


Hidden in the corners, feeding on the light and condensation, many metres below ground.

Life, uh..uh.. uh..finds a way.

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Cool huh?

Although, as I said.. the bones were impressive…IMG_8770 (Copy)IMG_8773 (Copy) IMG_8775 (Copy) IMG_8777 (Copy)  IMG_8779 (Copy) IMG_8780 (Copy) IMG_8781 (Copy)

Only problem was, I was generally left with the nagging question of where all the ribs, spines and fingers were….IMG_8782 (Copy)

And Lo! There was a giant ceiling hole!IMG_8791 (Copy)

By the time we popped our heads out of the catacombs, the afternoon was wearing down. So (#5) Andy and I trotted off to meet up with our friend Alix.

One of the sad and lovely things about science is that your friends keep leaving you and they go to other places where you can sometimes visit them.

Alix showed us her new place, and filled us with crepes and stories of her life and pro-Berlin arguments (the dominant one being- Berlin is filled with space and Paris is not). We walked outside and sat at a bar and watched people pass us on the street and drank and were merry.

I don’t really have any photos, but here is proof that you can see the Eiffel tower pretty much from her apartment.

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Good eh?

#6- We frolicked in the sun again, I took 1 million photos of Notre-Dame and Andy stood at the centre of the universe city.

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I am wearing covered shoes because sometimes I forget that I am not in a lab and that it is ok to wear sandals in the summer.IMG_8814 (Copy) IMG_8815 (Copy) IMG_8817 (Copy) IMG_8819 (Copy) IMG_8820 (Copy) IMG_8822 (Copy) IMG_8825 (Copy) IMG_8827 (Copy)

And that’s pretty much it. Except of course that we saw some art.

But I’ll have to fill you in on that next time.

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