Europe: Part Eight (Paris!)

By Erika Moen on February 15, 2012

(This is part of my series of recaps about traveling to England and France last year from October 25 – November 8th, 2011)

At last we arrived at Paris’ Gare du Nord!

Though I didn’t realize this when we were setting up our trip, Paris Nord is the place where Matt and I met in France for the first time almost seven years ago. I mean, we met for the first time ever in England a couple months before, but it was this train station where we met up in France to go on the month-long travel adventure that would result in our falling in love.

While we were walking through the lobby I was overwhelmed with emotion when I spotted the same place I had been standing when Matt found me through the crowd all those years ago. For a moment I relived all those intense feelings of worrying that I was making a huge mistake (Committing to traveling for a month together with a guy I barely knew?? AND I was still sick with heartache for my ex! What was I thinking!?) and then feeling all of those concerns completely melt away as we made eye contact through the crowd and had that first hug and kiss that inaugurated one of the most amazing adventures of my life. (Haha, I should have taken a photo of that spot, sorry!)

First things first, once we found our hostel (more on that in my next entry!) I changed into some cuter clothes than my standard travel uniform of jeans, tank top and sneakers. Man, I dunno what it is about traveling, but even just a couple hours on the train kicks my sweat glands into overdrive and I come out smelling like a gym locker– even with pre-emptive deodorant shlacked into my armpits! (Sorry ladies, I’m taken.) But it’s nothing that a quick shower and clothing change can’t cure.

Second things second, Matt and I headed out to the nearest grocery store to stock up on the essentials. Specifically, tea.

Man, how cute are these little guys?

Then, exploration!

Finally it was time to meet up for the first time with my long time Flickr pal, Mr. Pan!

We have been internet-friends since maybe 2006? He stumbled across some of my tentacle photos in a Flickr group for octopuses back in the day and started following me, then after checking out his photos I started following him and, y’know, a photo-sharing-friendship was born! We have a mutual love of museums, classical paintings, tentacles, red hair, interesting self-portraiture and each others’ native language. I even based my painting, Je Ne Suis Pas Un Faun, on him two years ago!

He led us across the city to his favorite book store, we had a drink in a cafe, and then he helped us find the right bus back to our hostel.

(From Mr. Pan’s camera)

Dang, our first day in Paris was pretty full.

Read all the Europe entries together, in reverse-chronological order.

Erika Moen’s Posters, books, prints and original artwork

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