My favourite day in Paris (well nearby anyway)
I have always enjoyed bush walking. Through a quirk of geography and weird bus routes, in high school it was almost exactly the same amount of time to walk to school through the bush as to catch the afternoon bus home. So I would often walk home that way, dressed in my school shoes and uniform, carrying my bag full of books. I have just realised how much I must have enjoyed this because typing that out makes it seem like a lot of hard work. But growing up in Australia I learnt to enjoy the outdoors but was also warned of the many things that can hurt you like spiders and snakes.
I had been reading about so many barefooted adventures though that when I arrived in Fontainbleau by train and started walking through the bush I felt an urge to remove my shoes and try my first ever barefoot hike. And it was great. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The day started late as I slept in longer than planned. This worked out well as Nick's connecting flight from Barcelona to Paris had been delayed and we had lunch at a nice vegetarian restaurant near Notre Dame. I then hopped on a train south while he caught a taxi back to the airport.
I had headed to Fontainbleau and the suggestion of my hosts. There is apparently a nice chateau with awesome gardens there, but I never made it because as soon a got off the train I headed straight into the woods. I walked for ages, saw some cool looking trees, rocks, etc.
Took some photos of bugs
Cool moment about an hour before getting dark was coming across this stone look out tower that had a 360 degree view of everything around it.
I walked around a little too long, it was dark by the time I got back to the village. But I grabbed a cheap but delicious pizza for dinner and waited for the train back to Paris. The pizza was a little difficult to eat because it's not customary in France to cut it into slices.
I've called it my favourite day in Paris because it reminded me (as well as walking around the gardens of Versailles to a lesser extent) how important walking the great outdoors is to me. It is definitely going to impact my plans next year, if not also how I'm going to spend my time after New York. Stay tuned for that as it's hopefully going to be exciting. But also I tried something new with the barefoot hike, and it was very successful. My feet didn't hurt at the end but they were covered in dirt, which is fine by me. But it also brushed off quickly and cleanly as well, which was also nice.