Photo Essay: The Best of August 2015

I had planned for August to be a slow month. With a lot of time for reading and writing and concentrating. August in a German university town like Göttingen means the city is pretty empty and the supermarkets actually still have frozen pizza on stock, which would never happen during the semester. Life feels a little more relaxed and quiet in August.

In some ways August really was a slow month — except that I barely spent a weekend at home.

Paris, France in August

Travel

Ever since my last visit to Paris back in June 2013, I’ve been wanting to return. Paris is a city I just can’t get enough of. I landed in Charles de Gaulle airport back in March on the way home from Florence and saw the Eiffel Tower for a brief second — and was reminded I had to back go back to Paris very soon.

Paris, France in August

So when my friend Kathi rather spontaneously moved there for a summer internship and ended up living in a huge apartment with a spare bedroom (!) I was almost sold. And then I received a bus company’s newsletter informing me that they started offering night buses to Paris for 25 Euros only — and I just couldn’t let this opportunity slip any longer! Although I wanted to save a little money and get a little rest, these conditions were just way too good to not go to Paris for the weekend. So I was off to the City of Light!

Paris, France in August

It was my first time visiting Paris in August and I was really excited to see what it was like during France’s official vacation season. As Kathi and I deliberartly avoided tourist hotspots and spent our time hunting down coffee shops and strolling, Paris felt surprisingly tourist-free to me. I feel a little bad that I didn’t see a single museum or church from the inside on this trip, but honestly, just being in Paris was already enough for me this time.

Paris, France in August

In other news though, I may have reached the point where a trip to Paris and back on public transportation wears me out like nothing else. This is what my trip back home looked like: 30 minutes on the metro, 10+ hours on the bus, 1 hour layover in Frankfurt, 3 hours on the train, 20 minute walk home — I was absolutely crashed when I got home that night (and I had to be in the office the next morning!). I definitely don’t regret this trip to Paris, but I needed a week to recover from all the uncomfortable sitting (I’m really not 20 anymore!). I’ll absolutely go back to Paris, but next time I might just take a pricier but way more comfortable night train there.

Paris, France in August

Coffee

Visting Paris definitely helped improving my August coffee statistics, although many of the coffee shops I was dying to try there were closed for almost the entire month of August. I had the longest list of coffee shops I wanted to go to — hoping they were open in August. But even many of the Aussie coffee shop owners closed their places for renovations or to go on vacation.

Café gourmand in Paris, France

Coffee in Paris

Although my coffee-shops-to-try-in-Paris-list hasn’t gotten any shorter, I still got my fill of proper flat whites and café au laits though — and these combined with a few breakfast dates in Germany, August was a good month in coffee.

Coffee in Kassel, Germany

Life

I let my effort on the blog and social media slip in August, but it actually helped me to have a little more of a social life in reality. I spent comparably little time online, but there were birthdays and late nights dancing under the starts, girl talk during extended breakfasts, and beers and bonfires instead.

Breakfast in Kassel, Germany

Although weather was a constant rollercoaster to say the least, but August weekends were exactly what they are supposed to be: About friends, laughter, pancakes, and the occasional lazy day on the couch with the boy.

Photography

I’ve been too lazy during the summer months and I didn’t bring my camera on most of my weekend trips around Germany. On my first day in Paris, I barely took any photos. I was just happy to be spending an entire solo day reading my novel by the Seine, in a street café sipping my café au lait, and in a sunny park. I know you’d expect a photo of my coffee, my book, and my sunglasses in Paris now, but I didn’t even bother to take great Parisian travel still lives with my book. I was just enjoying the moment, not not thinking about what would look great in a photo. And I’m convinced that this is just healthy sometimes.

Göttingen, Germany

On Instagram

No surprise here: Paris always wins Instagram. Rue Crémieux is experiencing a real Instagram hype lately and every photographer traveling through Paris apparently just has to stop by this little colorful street. All I can say, this pretty street is worth checking out when you’re in the 12eme!

Rue Crémieux, Paris, France

Coming up in September

A proper vacation! I’m so excited to be going on my first real beach vacation ever since Croatia back in 2012! Aside from that glorious day by the Red Sea in Jordan this spring, I haven’t been to a beach (or even to a pool for that matter) in years and I can’t wait to just fall asleep in the sun while listening to the waves coming in.

Packing for a beach vacation

Bonus: I’ll be visiting a new country and I’ll be traveling with Steffen again — it’s hard to believe that in more than eight years of us being together this is actually our first real vacation! We’ve explored quite a few cities together (like Luxembourg City and London in May), but this trip is actually the first time we’re spending more than four days abroad together. (Let’s hope we don’t get too bored with each other too much while baking in the sun.)

How and where did you enjoy this August?

 

PS: I’ll take a little break from blogging and social media-ing (except Instagram, of course!) for the next week as I’m not bringing my laptop and our hotel only has lobby Wifi — and because I just really want to enjoy my time off!

  • Veena

    Lovely photos! I loved my two days in Paris a few years ago because I went with absolutely no agenda — I just spent my time wandering the streets, sitting in gardens, reading my book, and drinking wine in sidewalk cafes while watching the people going by. And it was fabulous. Enjoy your vacation, looking forward to reading about it soon! xx

    • JulikaSarah

      Thank you, Veena! Paris with no agenda is just the best! 🙂

  • Pauline Susanto

    Stunning photos! It seems like Paris was overcast, cloudy, and cool when you were there! Was this the case at all? I vowed to never return to Paris because of the crazy crowds, but lately I’ve been wanting to go back to explore the non-touristy part of the city and have all those delicious coffees… Hmmm…There are just so many places to go to on my list!! AH!! Have a fun vacation, Julika!!

    • JulikaSarah

      Thank you, Pauline! It was pretty overcast, but still warm enough to wear sandals ! 🙂 I know, the crowds in Paris can be crazy, but it’s really not that bad if you avoid the touristy hotspots, or if you go in November or February! I visited Paris in early November a few years ago and that visit was actually the one that really made me fall in love with it!

  • Julie

    Lovely Paris photos although I don’t think there is such thing as a bad photo when taken in that gem of a city 🙂 I’ve been 3x now but each visit was always filled with crossing items off the tourist bucket list so whenever I make it back I really just want to slow down and experience la vie Parisienne properly 🙂

    How awesome about your proper vacation! Your photos of the Turkish coast looked beautiful (also on my list). My August was slow, just a respite from my travels in July and this month.

    • JulikaSarah

      Thanks and I agree, Julie, it’s almost impossible to make Paris look bad! 🙂 It was my fourth visit and there are still many things left on my must-do-in-Paris-list, but I’m still saving a few things for the time I can get the boy to go with me — but taking it slow in Paris might still be the best thing to do there 🙂
      Considering all your exciting travels in the previous months, I think a slow August was absolutely justifiable! 🙂