up all night to get Paris

This weekend was Paris, it was Nuit Blanche, it was staying up all night. It was fantastic.
It was – finally – the Lomography Store, an insiders tour of Abyss, the Jewish quarter, drinking wine and fireworks on the Seine, catching not even the first metro home, 2.30am photos at the Champs Elysées, fantastic brunch cooked by my lovely host sister, wine (again) at sophisticated intellectual bars (!), new blisters, plenty of people, panacotta fraise ice-cream. It was more Australians – with bigger bedrooms than I.
And though somewhat overwhelming, it was pretty great.But still, arriving back in Montpellier, it was a grande realisation that this right here is a nifty little town. Cool bars, free gigs, the tram, students. Everywhere.
Living in Melbourne, growing up less then a minute away from everything (and more then) I could ever need…let alone want, I never realised how great I have it.  I didn’t realise…a lot of things… But now I have. That’s right I’ve been sheltered. I had it easy. More then once I’ve thought of myself as the Ronald Weasley of the group, never having lived away from home, always with a full pantry. Used to a full stomach and the extravagant delights of the house-elves of Hogwarts or the hearty feeds provided by his mother, when out searching for Horcruxes, Ron became irritable by the small dinners and frequency of skipping meals. That’s me! Saddened by the fact that there is often no cheese in my small bar fridge (I come from a family where there is at least 2 blocks of tasty or cheddar, a bag of parmesan, some however small or squishy remains of brie or camembert and 1 packet of cream cheese in the frigo at all times), and perplexed by the concept of empty shelves, I’m lost without an oven and find that I spend far too much time thinking about what I’m going to try and rustle-up next.
But. It’s great here too, that’s thing, a different kind of great. 
Still no Eiffel Tower, nor the Mona Lisa … those can wait till next time Paris…
In the meantime, to sum up the picturesque Paris lifestyle, I offer you this; motos, coffee, cigarettes…  and tourists.

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All that is gold does not glitter

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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
Tolkein

I have two great friends who travelled to Europe last year – one had this quote as the header for her blog, but for some reason I always read it as, Not all those who wonder are lost… good one Jess.

But this is my top take of the travellers getting into the European spirit. On my love for tourists scale, it rates highly (note to self: in order to best continue the attempt to disguise my touristic ways ensure that you remove luggage tags when wandering).