Photo journal : visiting the Opéra de Paris

Visiting Opéra | effervescent life by k

i highly recommend visiting the Opéra if you have a few free hours in Paris; it really is beautiful. here are some shots to make you want to go !

The beautiful entrance
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k Amazing ceilings

Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k

Beautiful dresses used in ballets
Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k Opéra de Paris | effervescent life by k Worth the visit, i tell you!

xo, K.

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3 day weekend in Paris

coming to the prettiest city for a 3 day weekend? here’s what i recommend:

Paris a 3 day weekend - what to see | effervescent life by k

my friend Marianne came for a short visit last month, and wanted to see as much as possible of the city, so i whipped up a little itinerary that i’d recommend for anyone wanting to see the classics in a short trip!

day 1:

of course, start with the eiffel tower.

eiffel tower | effervescent life by k

then, walk to Les Invalides.

les invalides | effervescent life by k

 

les invalides | effervescent life by k

walk to Les Tuileries, passing by Le Grand Palais and Le Petit Palais

paris | effervescent life by k

palais | effervescent life by k

shop on Les Champs Élysées and make your way to L’Arc de Triomphe

arc de triomphe | effervescent life by k

day 2:

get to le pont des arts

pont des arts | effervescent life by k

check out the beautiful view of the cityparis | effervescent life by kthen, make your way to Notre-Dame-de-Paris

notre-dame de paris | effervescent life by k

The Saint-Michel neighborhood beside the catedral is worth checking out, with lots of cafes and restaurants. Before the sun sets, head over to Montmartre to see the Sacré Coeur basilica and check the amazing view!

montmartre | effervescent life by k

 

day 3:

Le Louvre is not to miss, and you can easily spend the whole day there, because there are so many things to see

le louvre | effervescent life by k
le louvre | effervescent life by k

then end your day at Jardins du Luxembourg for some fresh air.

xo, K.

 

2015 travel plans

hi there!
you probably know now that i love to travel, so i thought i’d share my travel plans for this year.

Paris, vue de l'Arc de Triomphe | Effervescent Life by K

Confirmed:

  • Studying 6 months in Paris – happening now, january to july!
  • Belgium: Brussels & Bruges – we went in february
  • Weekend in Lyon, France – first weekend of may
  • School trip to Dublin, Ireland – end of june!

ideas not yet confirmed:

  • Weekend in Bordeaux, France
  • Hiking trip in Corse
  • Weekend in Frankfurt, Germany

do you have any suggestions for quick weekend trips while i’m still in europe?

x, K.

 

What to do in Belgium: Bruges

What to do in Belgium, Bruges | Effervescent life by K

remember when i shared the first part of our trip to belgium a few weeks ago? well, it’s coming late, but after 3 days in brussels we decided to check out bruges, a beautiful and romantic city.
IMG_0725we arrived a bit early for lunch, but were hungry so we decided to eat right away. we walked a few streets and ended up in a very weird restaurant, but in a good way. called archi’s, the decor was… special; but the food delicious, though a bit expensive for our taste.
IMG_0566IMG_0576then we walked in the center of the city to check out what all the fuss was about. the architecture is simply gorgeous!

IMG_0582IMG_0584

IMG_0585
IMG_0618sadly, it was raining a little bit.

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just around the center, you have the water canals that makes bruges called the venice of belgium. it is VERY pretty.IMG_0635IMG_0638

IMG_0651we decided to go on a boat tour to get around the city.

IMG_0652again, awesome views

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by the end of the tour, it was raining, a lot! we decided to take shelter at the beer museum. after all, belgium is renowned for its beers!

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the museum was interesting, and we ended it with a beer tasting, of course!

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IMG_0719After, we ended the day with a waffle (of course), before hitting the road to go back to Paris!

Have you ever been to Bruges? What was your favorite part? 

Safe travels, K

It’s a question of principle

avoid paying for the toilets in europe | effervescent life by kHi there! I’m very happy today to have my first guest post! My friend Marianne is living in Brussels for an internship and has a few tips for you. Keep reading, because she’s so funny! Enjoy!

I am in Belgium since almost 3 months now and I still cannot get used to the fact that you have to pay for most of the public restrooms. There are thousands of things I love about the city of Brussels. Only to name a few, the beer is delicious, strong and cheap, people are welcoming and funny and cafés are open after 3 am (which differs from Quebec where everything is dead after 3). It is a very nice place to stay BUT you have to pay to pee. Ok, let me get this straight, I am not miser, but I do have principles. For example, you cannot make me pay to go to the restroom if I bought something from you, for example in a bar (especially in a bar because they want you to buy beers and drinks which makes you need to go to the restrooms), in a restaurant or even in a train station. In fact, in most public restrooms, you have to pay. It’s not that expensive, but still if you have to pay 0,50 € each time, at the end of a trip, you could have saved up for a few more beers instead of paying to evacuate them… Because of that, I decided that during all my trip in Brussels I would NEVER pay to pee! Question of principle 😉 So I developed a few strategies that I want to share with you, if like me, you want to bypass paying.

  1. Hold it.

Seems obvious, but sometimes if you just can hold it for a few minutes, you can probably find another option you won’t need to pay for. For example, if you are planning to visit a museum, make sure to do what you need to do before you go out. Usually, they offer free restrooms. So wait till you find a museum or an attraction you need to pay anyway, most of the time, there are free restrooms. But not always! In those cases…

  1. Avoid eye contact with the restroom employee

It could seem rude, but if you avoid eye contact, they usually don’t ask you for the money. If they still do…

  1. If the toilet isn’t properly cleaned, you can refuse to pay

The fee you have to pay to use the toilet, is to keep it clean and filled with toilet paper. If there is no paper or it’s dirty, you’re in luck… well no you aren’t but at least you have a good reason not to pay! And plan ahead, always have a tissue in your bag or pockets, that way, you are never screwed!

  1. Speak another language, fake to misunderstand

Sometimes it’s the best way when they really want to make you pay. Fake to speak another language and go in there anyway! Maybe they will try to make you pay after but… too late for that! Just run!

  1. If there is no employee guarding the doors

In that case, the door probably unlocks after you’ve put a coin in a mechanism. Sometimes, you can be in luck, and someone left the door cracked. If it’s the case, make sure that when you leave, do not close the door entirely to allow that luck to someone else 😉 I hope those few tricks can make you save a few euros during your trips! And you, do you have other tricks?

Thanks Marianne! Personally, i’ll definitely be using those tricks, since paying for the restrooms seems to be very common in Europe! Comments are always appreciated! x, K

What to do in Belgium: Brussels

What to do in Brussels Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and i went to Brussels for 3 days. Brussels is a pretty but very small city, especially compared to Paris. You can easily walk the whole city in a day, so no need for a bus pass or a taxi. Since we’ve already been for a weekend last year, we didn’t start by the most visited attraction, and went on our last day. If it’s your first time in Brussels, i’d suggest going to the Grand Place first!

Brussels | effervescent life by k

Day one:
We arrived in the afternoon, so we didn’t really have time to do lots of visiting on this day. We actually know a few people living there, so after lunch, our time was spent with friends.

friends in brussels | effervescent life by k

We went for a few drinks at a bar named Cirio, which i would recommend for the decor, and then we were off to dinner at our friends’ place.

Beers

Day two:
On the second day, we drove to Louvain-la-Neuve (about 30 min drive) to visit the Musée Hergé, a museum about Tintin’s creator.

 

Musée Hergé | effervescent life by k

The museum is quite new (it opened 5 years ago i think) and the installations are modern. Audio guides are free (and a necessary part of the tour). We really enjoyed it. You can learn about Hergé’s other works and it was very interesting, especially its advertising career. Who knew? The visit inspired me to start collecting all books (there’s only 24), so i bought the first one the day after. After this we went to eat lunch (don’t try to eat lunch at 3 in the afternoon in Brussels, everything is closed – we ended up eating Lebanese food, not very Belgian), and walked in Les Maroles and Les Sablons neighborhoods. In Les Maroles, there are lots of decor and antique shops, and Les Sablons is the chocolate makers part of town. We, of course, bought a few delicious chocolates to eat. I recommend Neuhaus, since Jean Neuhaus invented the pralines and these are just so good!

Quartier les maroles | effervescent life by k

Day three:
On wednesday, we walked again to Les Maroles, passing Porte de Hal, to go eat at a restaurant recommended by friends where they cook with beer: the Resto-Bières.

Porte de Hal | effervescent life by k

We ended up eating mussels, a belgian specialty. It was good!

Resto-bières | effervescent life by k

After the meal, we finally made our way to the Grand Place. Beautiful! (If it’s your first time, you have to check the Manneken Pis, but since we’ve already seen it, and it’s not THAT impressive, we skipped it this time).

grand place | effervescent life by k

grand place brussels | effervescent life by k

Right beside, there’s the chocolate museum.

musée du chocolat, demo | effervescent life by kmusée du chocolat | effervescent life by k

The museum in itself is very average i’d say, but there’s a demo made by a chocolate maker and you can taste different chocolates, so i’d recommend going since it’s not expensive at all (i think it’s 6€ or something, the quantity of chocolate you eat makes up for it)! The best thing was a chocolate fountain with speculoos cookies. DELICIOUS!

That’s about it, at night we visited another bar, but it has nothing special, it was just again to meet with friends.

Belgian specialties:
French fries
Mussels
Waffles
Chocolate
Beer
Be ready to EAT and DRINK good stuff !

Brussels' roofs | effervescent life by k

Have you ever been to Brussels? What would you recommend doing?
Remember, comments are always appreciated !

Next tuesday, i have a guest post about Brussel’s toilets! So funny, so don’t miss it !

Travel safe, K

Travel: discovering France

The other weekend i went on a small road trip with my boyfriend and his brother to see their dad and stepsister in Rozier-en-Donzy. It’s a small village about one-hour drive from Lyon and a six-hour drive from Paris. I was really excited to discover the countryside of France! We left at 6am Saturday in the rain, and were surprised by snow around 9. Rozier-en-Donzy | Effervescent life by K At first, i was really happy (snow reminds me of Canada) but then i was a bit scared. Their cars aren’t built for snow, and people aren’t used to that, and were driving very slowly on the roads. But everything went fine, and we got to our destination safely. Rozier-en-Donzy 3 | Effervescent life by K The weekend was very simple, full of quality-family time. We ate good food and drank wine and walked a bit in the village. We also played basketball. All in all, it was a very fun, refreshing weekend that reminds me that spending time with your family is so important, and so valuable! Rozier-en-Donzy 2 |Effervescent life by K I really like a good road trip and was amazed by the variety of sights that we could see on the road. Here’s a mini video to show you a part of it!

K.