Life has many surprises in store for us and some of these turn into opportunities, just waiting to be grabbed with both hands. About 5 months ago, a friend told me about the trip he planning to Europe and how from all the reading he had done on Paris, it seemed to need at least 3 weeks to fully explore the city. That particular combination of words sparked something in my brain and I had this sudden thought, that while a full 6 week tour of Europe across several different countries seemed out of my reach for various reasons, I could possibly do the three weeks in Paris……
The stars all lined up in the form of my sister very kindly agreeing to look after my son Jacob during the school holidays, a very benevolent visa officer at the French Embassy granting me a Schengen Visa over the counter, my bank issuing me with an urgent credit card when my old one was cancelled in the middle of booking flights, a friend agreeing to house-sit and look after my cat, an all clear from my doctor to make the journey and most important of all my very patient friend who agreed to my tagging along on his trip………And I made it to Paris. I also travelled to Rouen in Normandy, and Karlsruhe and Frankfurt in Germany.
To me the journey represented freedom. The freedom to eat what I wanted when I wanted. For the last 6 years my life had been very restricted from a food point of view due to my son’s allergies. In the 3 weeks I spent away from New Zealand, I indulged to my heart’s content. And I have taken as many photographs as I can along the way, so I can share my experiences with all of you.
Here is the first installment…We came across this Food Market in Gambetta in the Northeast of Paris on our first morning there. It was very early in the morning and the stall holders were still setting up. But they did not seem to mind being photographed and some even invited us to examine their produce at close quarters. This was a surprise to us as we had been apprehensive about the “unfriendly Parisians” especially since our French was limited to Bonjour and Merci…….