Europe 2022: France

Hello everyone!

If you haven’t heard, here are parts 1 and 2 of my adventures so far. While my journey to Europe was riddled with issues to kickstart it all, it quickly smoothed out quite wonderfully, making way for a vacation I couldn’t have dreamt of. This next part takes place in France but is actually split in two: Paris and Provence.

From June 24th to June 28th, it was all about Paris. My girlfriend and I took a bus from Brussels, Belgium to Paris (around 3-4 hours). The choice of destination was mine at first since I had only visited Paris almost a decade and a half ago when I was only 12. I felt like I hadn’t properly appreciated the city for what it had to offer and thought this would be a great opportunity to revisit it properly. From exploring its beloved historical landmarks, whether it’s the under-construction Notre Dame de Paris or the staggeringly-white Basilica of Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, to visiting the Louvre Museum and its most prized artistic and cultural pieces, I can say that I’ve had a wonderful time absorbing the sociocultural environment there.

From June 28th to July 6th, we spent our time at my girlfriend’s mother’s place in Provence. We took a TGV high-speed train there (which was a first for me) and embraced the blazing heat and natural beauty that the south of France had to offer. This wasn’t my first rodeo there, having thoroughly visited many little villages around there, including the city of Marseille, back in 2019. This time around, my girlfriend’s sister and her boyfriend came along as well and we spent most of our time decompressing. From reading to swimming (or at least learning, in my case) in their backyard pool, this is probably the kind of downtime that you’d wish you could have on a daily basis. I also discovered the game of mölkky and gained a reputation for tossing that blasted stick a little too strong, a little too far from the goal. Towards the end, we also went on to discover the city of Arles and its Roman arena (a little taste of what I was going to discover later on) as well as visit my girlfriend and her sister’s aunt’s newborn (jeez, what does that make me to the newborn????). Let’s just say that my time in France was absolutely wonderful.

As it is the case all the time whenever I go on any trip, food was a huge part of my appreciation of my time out there in Europe. While in Paris, we went around exploring so many different dishes, a lot of renowned places, and even a little subtle and cute place near our hotel that did the best boeuf bourguignon that I’ve ever eaten in my life. I swear, I was ready to order the whole meal again. Deserts were also wildly fantastic, with Bashir’s ice cream and Ladurée’s macarons being the most remarkable. Once in Provence, we mostly ate homemade dishes and went out to some of the best ice cream shops in the region. However, what will really stay with me forever is my girlfriend’s mother’s tiramisu. With it already being my all-time favourite dessert, she really set the bar super high for the rest of my life and I already look forward to the next time I’ll get to indulge in that divine creation.

Next destination: Italy. 😉


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44 thoughts on “Europe 2022: France

  1. Icecreeeeeam, so yummy in hot weather.

    Now that I know your secret about your hair, it doesn’t bug me any more. You won’t hear me even thinking “what a long haired hippy punk” 😉

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  2. Looks like you had a great time in France! I’m jealous, as I haven’t been there (yet). I need to get my passport renewed, and after that I’ll start making plans. I may just stay in the north, though. I haven’t explored enough of Iceland yet. I look forward to your report from Italy!

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  3. What a wonderful docent you are. I sure enjoyed the sceneries and foods. You have become a travel stooge. Right? Hope you are winding down… into a revitalizing week.❤️☕️☕️

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  4. Oh wow Lashaan you had a woderful time! But…you don’t know how to swim??? That seems so strange to me as kids at school here learn how to swim in school. I am also biased as it’s my favorite sport with hiking 😂

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  5. Awesome! The areas you visited in this period are all new to me. Once again I love the architecture, both ancient and modern and how it all differs between countries or regions. And of course the food! Great selection you’ve shown here, quite the range. And though I do love foods from many regions, those desserts…. yup, they’re what most catch my attention. Ice cream…. mmmmmmmm… 🙂 I love the memories you’re building with your girlfriend’s family. Nothing beats those wonderful family dishes (like tiramisu).

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    1. You would have a blast, architecturally speaking, visiting Paris, and nature-wise, regarding the south of France, Todd! There are so many stunning and mind-boggling sceneries out there, it was amazing. I wish I could just photo dump all the gorgeous shots I was able to take but I’ll leave some for when you decide to ever go on a trip to Europe again. And you’re right about those family dishes. They are what stays with me the most right now!

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  6. I’m loving this. It’s making me want to book a trip too. I’d love to visit France one day and Italy too — looking forward to traveling there in your next post.

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    1. Hahaha living in a city like mine, I never really thought I needed to learn how to swim (although it is a bit counterintuitive when you realize that I’m on an island…) and I made a habit of using public transportation and whatnot to get around the city, so riding a bike (and getting all the gear and the bike) was never really a priority. But after this trip, I’m more inclined to do both than ever before. 😀

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  7. Great post Lashaan! I’m glad you had fun in Paris and in Provence! Even though I’ve lived there and I’m quite close to Paris now I think I’ll ask for yours and Caroline’s recommendation when I have to pick somewhere to eat ahahah 😂

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  8. Never been to France or Belgium, yet both countries have so much history that it would be great to visit someday. Paris alone has so many famous landmarks, both modern and old.
    As for Italy, when are you planning on going? When you do, be sure to visit Matera. Old Matera is an ancient city where every house is a cave built into the mountain. There are dwellings that have housed the same family for over 1,000 years there, and it’s quite possibly the most unique place in all of Europe.

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    1. And they’re both worth checking out if you ever plan on going to France or Belgium. It’s also quite fun to have them both pretty close to one another too.
      I’ve already been to Italy and back right after France. I haven’t heard of Matera but that sounds phenomenal! After a bit of research, it’s located a bit more to the south than any of the regions I did get around to exploring. One thing’s for sure, there are tooooo many places to check out in Italy and there’s no way I could’ve seen it all just this year. I already look forward to revisiting it now. 😀

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  9. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Lashaan. What would a trip be without trying all the food. So, you can’t swim? It is my favourite sport and I am always surprised to hear others can’t or choose not to do it. There are so many wonderful places and things to see in Paris, maybe someday…..

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