P is for Paris, & Penguin

Welcome to the A to Z challenge, a blog post everyday of April apart from Sundays, covering every letter of the alphabet. My theme is travel, that thing that we haven’t been able to do over the last 12 months, so it seemed appropriate to reminisce about past travels we’ve taken, looking forward to when we can travel freely again.

Today we’re visiting the city of love and a town on the northwest coast of Tasmania.

“Paris is always a good idea.” Audrey Hepburn

The city of love, Paris, I’ve been to three times, but only once with my beloved which seems a bit remiss to me. When we were there together we stayed in a hotel that was just a short walk from the Moulin Rouge, the famous cabaret that opened in 1889.

We also discovered an Australian pub just round the corner from our hotel so it seemed rude not to go in for one drink. My beloved was asking the barman where in Australia he was from, which turned out to be Adelaide, so he then asked him what made him leave Australia to come to Paris, to which the barman turned to me and said, you’ve not taken him to Adelaide yet have you – it made me laugh, but I have been to Adelaide and I thought it was lovely.

Now don’t roll your eyes, but we did visit a cemetery in Paris. Pere Lachaise is the largest cemetery in Paris, opened in 1804 and covering 110acres, it’s a beautiful space to spend some time in. It truly is like a city of the dead with street signs, cobbled lane ways, and so many tombs almost on top of each other.

There are some really famous people buried within this city, including Georges Bizet, Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. When we visited, Jim Morrison’s grave was still accessible, there was just a guard nearby due to previous incidents of graffiti and vandalism – apparently now there is also a metal barrier to stop people getting too near it. Tributes had been laid on the grave, not just flowers, there were also notes, photos, and cigarettes that I don’t think were tobacco.

Below are two photos, each taken from the structure in the other – so the Eiffel Tower taken from the Sacré-Cœur, and then the Sacré-Cœur taken from part way up the Eiffel Tower. I love the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, it’s such a beautiful building and it’s in Montmartre which is an area of Paris known for it’s artists, cafe’s, and amazing views. There’s even a little train that you can catch to take you up the hill to the Basilica and get a mini tour of the city on the way.

Because of the queues we decided to go up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower to just get the view from the second level, rather than get the lift to the top. As you can see, you still get really lovely views from this lower level, and it also shows really clearly how Montmartre is the highest point in Paris.

On the northwest coast of Tasmania is a small town called Penguin, named for the little penguins that nest along the coast. It’s believed that more than 110,000 little penguins, the smallest of all penguins, call Tasmania home whilst rearing their young, and there are tours you can do at night to see them – we did one in nearby Burnie, watching the parents return to the nests at night to feed their very fluffy young. Anyway, back to the town where there is lots of evidence of their love of penguins, with the most obvious one being the ten foot penguin that my family have posed next to often throughout our lives. As you can see he also gets dressed up for special occasions.

I love this church in Penguin, the windows are so stylish.

Penguin also has one of the largest covered markets in Tasmania, and it’s well worth visiting as they also have live music.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you visit other bloggers who are crazy enough to be doing the challenge with me – Click Here to visit the master list of participants.

Stay safe and have a lovely day.

Previous A to Z posts:

2018 – P is for Painting & Pyjamas

2017 – P is for Plockton

2016 – P is for Pitlochry

8 thoughts on “P is for Paris, & Penguin

  1. Audrey Hepburn is a wise lady, and she’s right.

    As a young adult I spent the weekend in Paris from time to time, but I haven’t been back many years until 2019, we finally went there as a family. I was shocked about how “Americanized” it has become in terms of retail. Luckily the classics are still there, still as gorgeous as ever, and I agree, Sacré Coeur is one of them.
    We visited the Tour de Montparnasse. No waiting at all! Very few tourists. great view, not expensive. Highly recommended.

    How cute are these penguins! The only ones I have ever met outside a zoo were in South Africa.


    Liked by 1 person

    • The last time I went to Paris was in 2010 with one of my girlfriends from Australia, and I noticed how much more touristy it was in some areas. We tried to avoid that and explored slightly off the popular routes. Always good to find a cafe that does perfect coffee.


  2. I like the idea of Paris but mostly, the movies make me like Paris but I’m wondering if I’ll even like it if I ever go there.

    I certainly do not think of cemeteries when I think of Paris but every city has cemeteries. Not sure I want to visit famous people’s grave but that’s just me.

    Have a lovely day.


  3. How lovely to pop by today and hear and see about your Paris and Penguin adventures. Paris has always been on my want-to-visit list, but Penguin has me smiling as well and perhaps wanting my own picture posing with a ten footer.


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