Well, eating my words. A bit like cardboard with a side of dust. For years I have sworn that I would never visit France. I have refused to buy any French produce, cheese or wine. While it has been many years since a group of French terrorists sank the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior in the Auckland harbor, killing a man in the exercise, it happened in my country. They got away with it. It hurt my heart and soul very very badly. So I swore that I would not support a country that these people came from in any way. I have been pretty staunch about that.

I did not book our flights for this trip, that was PilgrimBrenda and was not impressed when I found we were to spend a couple of days in Paris. Quite unimpressed. However, over the year of planning the idea grew on me.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, via Dubai, a journey of 32 hours from the time I left home. Jet lagged and hungry and dehydrated we found the trains, worked out how to buy tickets, and set off into the intricacy of the Paris metro. Apart from a weird thing with a man who seemed to be helping us and a wrong train, we found our way back to the point we had missed the direction, the right train and found our hotel. Thank you Google maps!

A client of mine hearing I was going to be in Paris suggested visiting Sainte Chappell. We Googled it and discovered there was a petite classical concert and bought tickets. Probably not smart when we had been on the go for so many hours.

Sainte Chappell is beautiful. Stained glass that is breathtaking. Part of the original French palace complex, close to the Seine. Gothic in style, the huge arching ceilings and the stained glass is pretty special. We looked and enjoyed, had dinner in a small cafe across the road and then returned for the music. The group of 3 violins, a 1794 Giovanni Battista Guadagnini played by Frédérik Moreau, a cello and the voice of soprano Cécile Besnard made for a stunning evening with amazing the acoustics.

Wandering back to the hotel, the age of the buildings and the history of the city made me realize how young we are as a country and a people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Next post, our trip to Chartres.

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I live and work in a beautiful place with a river and beach and the wild west coast. Having grown up without a TV, as a family we read a lot. This lead to me writing a lot which in turn lead to a habit of writing poetry to make sense of my world. My grandmother painted. Lovely oils and water colours which she encouraged me to try. For many years I did very little, life was not conducive to creativity until came a time when life turned on its head and suddenly I found expression in creativity with the Intentional Creativity method taught by Shiloh Sophia McCloud in her Color of Women training. So here I am, writer, artist, ritual maker showing my offerings to the world.

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