Say what you like about Disney but they sure know how to do aesthetics! The buildings and colour schemes alone in Disneyland had me in rapture, never mind the extensive sparkly Christmas decorations. And the food – yum!
Walt Disney Studios
The happiest place on earth! I last visited Disneyland Paris aged 17 for work purposes and I didn’t get to leave the main park, so the Studio Lot was my first stop this time. It’s a bit smaller than the main park and felt a bit more adult as it’s home to all sorts of film production based attractions, as well as a Pixar section and a mock-up lot featuring bits of film set and props. I’m not sure little kids would be familiar with all of the set pieces (Umbrellas of Cherbourg? The Twilight Zone?) but I was in my geek element!
Cité des Sciences & de l’Industrie
…but what do you have in your head?
Welcome to an outfit post from the largest science museum in Europe! We went to Paris solely for one piece at this museum. Quite the pilgrimage! Reaching that article was one of the most incredible moments of my life – I started a more specific post but couldn’t articulate the experience adequately, so for the first time ever have been unable to finish a post! This tells you how momentous it was as I am very rarely lost for words.
All of the European museums I have encountered include interactive exhibits which blend virtual reality, puzzles and film alongside traditional displays. It makes for a nice change as many of our UK exhibitions seem to be more object-driven. Highlights included Jeux de Lumiere, a hall of light, vision and optical illusions; the planetarium; the submarine; L’homme et les genes, an exhibition on humans and genetics and my personal favourite C3RV34U, a comprehensive “neuroplay” exhibition about the brain (my top science interest).
Most beautiful of all was the light room. It was so peaceful dancing around in the soft pools of pastel rainbows on the floor, lights gently changing colour. Museums give me such a safe, happy feeling; surrounded by knowledge, learning and research, inspired to think, analyse, and create.
Dress – ModCloth, gift. Bag – €12, flea market in Barcelona. Bunny shoes – £45 (sale), Irregular Choice. Kimono – £35, Topshop, gift.
Christmas in Paris
I spent a wonderful week in Paris back in December – I’ve been travelling a lot recently! I first went to Paris when I was 12. I thought it was beautiful; the pale yellow buildings, the cream and black accents, the navy purple slate colour of the roofs. I’ve been back many times since; multiples times between 12 and 14 with my parents, practising french and visiting friends. In my late teens with school, A-Level French trips and orchestra tours. In my university years, with boys, the New Years we went to Moulin Rouge and the hazy summer festival where we saw Beirut and Arcade Fire. Padlocks on bridges and carved initials in trees.
This time we went for one piece of art, and really just one of us needed to see it, so the other three of us accompanied. The way friends do, out of love. We stayed in a flat overlooking the rooftops of Paris, our living room opening out onto our own roof. We stayed in most nights, playing cards, talking endlessly and getting to know each other, letting the honest truth out over four types of cheese and du pain. Celebrating every hour on the balcony with cold beers and hugs whilst Tour Eiffel sparkled away in the distance, dazzling for 5 minutes on the hour every hour, our preferred form of clock. Paris is even more beautiful at Christmas. The perfectly pointed trees, the cold nip in the air and the magical fairy lights and decorations. It’s very difficult to think about all the tragedy and horror that has unfolded just a couple of short weeks later in this city, I think a lot about the people living there. I’m so grateful to have made these memories.