Uni has finished. I’m in a new flat (well the one just above my old one but that’s a whole other story). I’m currently looking for jobs. So as the real world beckons me I’ve taken some time out on Paris to try and run away from the city. There are things that are truly wonderful about living in a big city. Decent public transport, varied nightlife and cosmopolitan atmosphere to name just a few advantages. But sometimes it is quite healthy to get away from the over-priced pints and the smoggy pollution.
France has a truly excellent rail network. I can’t fault them in this respect. Reasonably priced and clean trains are what the UK desperately needs. I’ve never even seen a replacement bus here. Recently I went to Giverny to visit Monet’s house and gardens with my Gran and in a shocking display of common-sense there was a shuttle bus from the train station to the visitor centre the likes of which you’d never see in the UK. Shame however that this didn’t happen when I visited Fontainebleau with my Dad this last weekend. We decided that the best way to get from the train station to the boulders we were going to climb would be to take a taxi. Easier said than done. I rang the number the tourist information centre had given me to have the man at the end of the phone hang up on me after saying he had never heard of such a place. After a second time of trying he said there would be a taxi ready in 45 minutes. He must not have like my Parisian accent. Instead we exploited France’s rail network again and go back to the next stop where we walked to our new destination.
But after the distinct hassle/non-hassle in both situations I had a delightful time pootling around nice gardens and peaceful forests. Watching the wildlife and sitting in the sun is just what everyone needs after a few weeks of intense stress. I’d recommend it to everyone to reorder their lives and to get themselves feeling more human.
Also the bonus of being outside a capital city is that everything is cheaper - 50 cents for a bottle of water! It really does highlight the daylight robbery that goes on in my beloved metropole. Despite the Parisians snooty attitudes to les provinces I’d implore you all to visit the surrounding areas to this delightful city. It is hard to remember sometimes that France isn’t just Paris and harder still to remember that it’s really very easy to take a day trip away from the city.