Category Archives: Across the Universe

Paris tips: Second hand shopping at Guerrisol

Paris tips: Second hand shopping at Guerrisol

Paris tips: Second hand shopping at Guerrisol

Here’s another great tip for when visiting Paris – second hand shopping at Guerrisol. It’s a chain of thrift stores, and they are an absolute must. Prices range from 1 Euro to 30 Euro (most things are 3 or 5 Euro, though). I noticed that Guerrisol is really popular among the locals!
Most of the clothes are in decent shape, but they are all piled up and not very well sorted, which means that these stores are best suited for you if you’re one of those people who enjoys the sport of digging through heaps of clothes to find that unique, Parisian vintage blouse or skirt.
Guerrisol has special outlets for men’s wear and kids wear as well.

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Personal observations in Paris: French women vs Swedish women

A little French girl at Galeries Lafayette

French women

- wear elegant black wool coats even when the temperature is far below zero. In Sweden warm sporty jackets are certainly more popular in winter.

- wear fur, a lot. Like fur jackets or fur elements in their outfits. In Sweden you will hardly see anyone wear fur, unless it’s fake.

- wear high heels in broad daylight. Walking in parks, shopping, taking the subway… In Sweden, heels are generally saved for the Saturday night and festive occasions.

- despite the traditional image, they don’t wear red lipstick in their daily looks. However, you will see a lot of tourist girls wearing “the French look”: all in black, accesorized with a hat and accompanied with a red lipstick and black eyeliner.

- smoke! I’ve seen so many French girls smoke on the streets, in cafés and sometimes even indoors! Overall, smoking seems a lot more popular in France than here. In Sweden you will hardly see anyone with a cigarette if you take a stroll downtown on a regular day, and personally I don’t have a single smoker among my friends.


Paris tips: Eiffel Tower Lightshow

Watch the short video above to see what I saw

Every day after sunset, the Eiffel Tower lights up for ten minutes every hour. It’s quite enchanting, and I highly advise you to see it. You’ll get a great view from the city’s bridges.


Where to eat in Paris? Bob’s Kitchen, an underground vegetarian restaurant on Rue des Gravilliers

Where to eat in Paris? Bob's Kitchen, underground vegetarian restaurant on Rue des Gravilliers 1

Where to eat in Paris? Bob's Kitchen, an underground vegetarian restaurant on Rue des Gravilliers

I want to recommend you guys a really good vegetarian restaurant in Paris. It’s called Bob’s Kitchen and it’s situated on Rue des Gravilliers. I wouldn’t even call this place a restaurant, since it’s very low-key, and the atmosphere here is extremely homey and friendly. Bob’s Kitchen is more of a diner for locals.

Neither Hannes or I are vegetarians, but both of us enjoy vegetarian meals four or five days of the week.

There’s this fresh indie feel to Kitchen, and all the guest sit at the same long table, so you might easily get into a conversation with one of the regular customers or an occasional foreign visitor.

All of the employees wear turbans.

The menu changes often, but there’s always a daily soup, a good bagel and a veggie sushi roll to choose from.

They also have pancakes and amazing smoothies. As you can see, the prices are very democratic, too.

I ordered this carrot and sesame soup with coriander. It was really good and warming, but it did remind me a lot of my own seasonal soup with butternut squash, carrot, pear and coriander! Mine might even be a little better.

Hannes had the Indonesian style veggie stew with roasted sweet potatoes and beetroots. There was also rice with sweet coco milk in it, delicious! I’m thinking of recreating this dish in my own kitchen soon.

So, make sure you visit this cosy little place next time you’re in Paris! As I mentioned before, it’s situated on Rue des Gravilliers (close to Marais), although it’s a bit hard to find if you’re not looking for it specifically. But isn’t that often the case with the best restaurants?


Boy or girl

Whenever I’ve told someone about my pregnancy, they’ve been pretty quick to ask me if I know whether it’s a boy or a girl. My answer is that of course I know. I’ve wanted to know ever since I found out I was pregnant and I’m happy that I found out eventually.

However, some people get almost disappointed when I tell them that I know what it is. They always say something like “I would have preferred to find out the natural way” and accuse me of spoiling the surprise.

The way I see it, there’s nothing wrong with taking full advantage of modern medicine to find out as much as possible about your baby, even if it can’t be considered strictly natural. Everyone seems to think it’s perfectly natural to check for pregnancy with a test, but to me it was equally natural to check whether I’m carrying a boy or girl as it was to see if I was pregnant. What I’m most excited about is seeing and getting to know my child, and I’m certain that the fact that I know beforehand what it is won’t diminish that experience the slightest.

I can tell you that it was a big surprise when I found out, although I already had a hunch what it would be. It’s a baby boy, and his birthday is calculated to be on February 14, which happens to be Valentine’s Day.


Tips for a Paris visitor: Short guide to the masterpieces of Louvre

Tips for a Paris visitor: Short guide to the masterpieces of Louvre

Tips for a Paris visitor: Short guide to the masterpieces of Louvre

Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. It’s situated in the Louvre Palace, which is absolutely huge, and looking at every piece of art in its collection would probably take days and days.
So before going to Paris I carefully planned our visit to Louvre. We ended up spending about three or four hours there and while it sounds like quite a lot of time, that’s what it takes to see the most important parts of the museum!

Here are some tips and a short guide to the masterpieces you absolutely can’t miss when in Louvre.

The entrance of Louvre under the glass pyramid

To enter the museum you have to go through the famous Louvre Pyramid. This enormous pyramid of glass has become one of the symbols of Paris, along with the Eiffel Tower and the Triumphal Arch!

One of the courtyards of Louvre

My advice is to go on a Friday after 18.00, because that’s when there are fewest visitors, so you don’t have to wait in lines and you can actually see the art. Also, this is the time when everyone under 26 gets a free entrance to the museum (which saves you 11 euros, if you are).
There is also free entrance for everyone on the first Sunday of each month, but I strongly recommend you to stay out of there on that day, because that’s when the crowds are at their peaks.

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Of course, you want to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa! Soon you will notice that she’s everyone’s goal. However, you simply can’t miss this legendary painting, because there are signs pointing towards it everywhere!

Here she is in the photo below (and yes, she’s all that):

If you're lucky, this is what it will look like when you get there. However, there are times when the room is full of people!

Another must-see in Louvre is, of course, The Dying Slave by Michelangelo. The Rebellious Slave is right there beside him, too. A lot of things can be written about these masterpieces, but I’ll just say once again that Michelangelo is my all-time favorite artist. I could (and have!) spend hours admiring his works.

The Dying Slave by Michelangelo

The Dying Slave by Michelangelo, Louvre Museum

Another remarkable Italian statue is Psyche and Cupid or Psyche revived by Cupid’s kiss by Antonio Canova:

Psyche and Cupid or Psyche revived by Cupid's kiss by Antonio Canova:

Psyche and Cupid or Psyche revived by Cupid's kiss by Antonio Canova, Louvre Museum

This is probably the most famous work of art depicting the heartbreaking love story between the mortal beauty Psyche and the divine Cupid, Venus’ son. (Although, they do end up having a daughter.)

Among the ancient Greek statues you will find the celebrated Venus de Milo, famous for her mysteriously missing arms:

Venus de Milo, Louvre

It was actually much larger than I imagined, and really well-preserved, too!


Another piece of art I was looking forward to seeing was The Lacemaker by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (you know him for his Girl With a Pearl Earring). This one:

The Lacemaker by Johannes Vermeer, Louvre

However, we wandered around in the Dutch rooms for quite a while, before Hannes finally saw it! It turns out that The Lacemaker is a really tiny painting, not larger than a postcard!
For some reason they put it in a corner, too:

While wandering around we saw quite a big collection of works by the Flemish painter Van Dyck and a wall of portraits by Rembrandt:

Now, these were my highlights from the museum of Louvre. If you’ve been there, I’m sure you have your own ones. And if you’re only planning your first visit, I hope you’ll find my little guide helpful!


Surprise from the boyfriend

I just got some really exciting news from Hannes!

In a little more than a month he is going to Paris for his work, but he’s taking some days extra there and, the best part, he’s bringing me along!! So it means that very soon I’ll be in Paris again, what a nice surprise!

So now I’m checking out your Paris tips from this old post – again! More tips are welcome, though.