Roomorama in Paris

There’s nothing more supreme in Paris than the ordinary. The tucked away cafes with wrought iron fencing. Elegant, mature women walking their petite dogs. A scruffy man dripping with masculinity and Euro chic walking with intention, a burning cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. My last stay there involved a twelve bed dorm and while the stroll to my hostel along the Seine held charm for me, it’s not quite the same as struggling with a bag of groceries just purchased at the market until I”m standing at a chipped wooden door with a brass knocker, where I insert a key listening for all cylinders to connect and push it’s crafted weight open to a set of creaky wooden stairs that I climb, alternating between balancing a bag of food and my swollen feet, when I turn a key yet again to enter a flat. One that’s been shut up all day and smells like garlic, soap and wine. With Roomorama, I got to do just that. Fantasize for a moment that I’m a resident of the 11th arrondissement, an active neighborhood of cafes, stunning architecture and the mundane. Sometimes I miss the mundane, yet in Paris it’s usually anything but. It was nice to have access to a flat. It was nice to sit down across from a local and talk about his world. I’m not going to tell you that Roomorama offers rock bottom, backpacker prices, because they don’t. What they give you is an experience. That sentiment may sound like a brochure, but that’s the only way I can describe it. See, travel is composed of a series of windows in a building and these windows interconnect, form patterns as much as they veer into nonsensical encounters. The best way to view this building is to stand at a street corner and select a window, any one of them, and once you do – it all makes sense. Places you stay, people you meet.. they are all those tiny windows. Just peer in. […]

By |July 31st, 2012|Girls Running With Bulls, Paris|13 Comments

Paris and Bordeaux: Journey to Pamplona

Have you ever stepped foot in an unknown country and a strange emotion crawls up your leg until it meets the nerve endings in the sensors of your brain? This sense of having been there before. Or you were destined to be there. France does this to me. It’s my second time visiting and still that insistence I was a French Countess in a former life haunts me. Scribes have often called Paris the city for lovers. I couldn’t agree more. For when I roam the streets and openly gawk at an 18th century building intense love overcomes me. The musical language and elegant presentation. Whimsy and form and texture. Paris has done a remarkable job of combining old world aesthetic with the post-modern sensibilities of technology and functionality. I’ve fallen head to tail. In obsessive lust – with Paris. I doubt any real man could surpass it. Along the path towards the bulls, I paused in my Paris. And was heartbroken to leave him. I decided to do an unusual route to enter France by taking a National Express bus from Victoria Coach Station in London to Dover. At Dover you can take a P&O Ferry to cross into France by way of Calais. At the Dover ferry terminal, the scenery was foreboding. However, I was surprised (and delighted) to find two full floors of bars and restaurants on the ferry. All engines at full speed. This fellow kept me company on the viewing deck. […]

By |July 2nd, 2012|Bordeaux, Girls Running With Bulls|28 Comments

Day 3 or 4 UTC: Can’t Keep Count + Surreal Night in Hostel

Day 3 I am seriously losing track of time, but maybe being in a time warp isn’t such a bad thing? You can escape reality fairly easily. After Seville, I boarded another AVE train towards Barcelona. Again, happy to report some comfortable seating and this trip was short and sweet – a mere 5 hours. I can’t get over the washrooms. The futuristic, rounded door! I was propelled into a Star Trek episode. Whee! Seats –  dry as a bone. Look at that floor, clean enough to eat off of. Well, not really, but totally possible in theory. […]

By |September 9th, 2011|Barcelona, France, Paris, Spain, Ultimate Train Challenge|25 Comments