Hi Everyone who is still dropping by these blogosphere parts. The last few days have been non-stop! I arrived back fairly late (on normal people terms) on Tuesday night from Paris via London, and went straight into a day of work and Girlguiding on Wednesday and work, voting and Spanish class yesterday. So this is my first day to really process my poor wee filled up brain. I realise that you could get a superbly negative feel from my last post, it’s been difficult to answer the question ‘How was Paris?’ I’ve had in the last few days!
Paris was lovely – to see my friend, to make some new ones, to re-take pictures to replace my rubbish ones from the disposable camera I had last time I was there (remember those?!). In my head it was going to be a cool trip to catch with an old friend and see some sights in Paris. I just didn’t expect to feel the way I did about the things I saw that weren’t tourist attractions and feel so impacted by it. Does that make sense? So here are a few snaps from the touristy point of view!
The restaurant we walked for about 15-20 minutes to get to from Luxembourg metro that had been recommended in the May 2014 issue of Lonely Planet. If your budget includes not eating at all – this is your place! ha ha!
At Invalides – we went to say happy birthday to one of my friend’s coursemates. It was fun to see crowds of people with their wine picnics – even a ghettoblaster was seen down by the Seine as the sun was setting.
After dropping off some stuff at a friend’s apartment to be stored, we headed to Notre Dame. I’ve been inside before so we didn’t go in, and it was such gorgeous weather we didn’t really want to be inside anyway!
On a looonnngg walk from Invalides to the Eiffel Tower (because the metro didn’t seem to be running right along the line that afternoon – I don’t know why) we spotted this building that has planted growing in its walls. Water trickled down the walls to keep it all alive and lush!
It was sunny!
We went from the Eiffel Tower to the East side of the city to visit the Café des Chats. It was lovely, but frustrating that they hadn’t told us that we couldn’t get food – only cakes at the time we were there. We hadn’t really eaten all day, and I ended up getting sick from all the sugar and the dyed pink dairy cream they put on the cupcake I ordered. We ended up leaving sooner than we would have in order to find food before R had to leave to meet some medical researchers.I felt terrible that I had to end up going home after spending pretty much the whole time we were in a Chinese restaurant afterward in the bathroom. Not fun!
After farewelling my friend and helping her to get all her suitcases to the taxi at the ungodly hours of the morning, after a bit of sleep I headed to the Louvre. I didn’t go in as I wanted to make sure I ate better that day – also I didn’t want to be indoors. I also had to giggle at some of the ducks in the fountain pond. One came over to me as I was taking a picture to say hello which excited a kid, but then I dropped my phone and the duck freaked a bit! Sorry Parisian duck!
I headed to Montmartre where I figured there would be tons of cafes that might be more reasonably priced than those near the Louvre. After a potato omelette and salad I asked the way to the Sacre Coeur – ‘up’ she said to me in French. I’d forgotten how many stairs there were, and was kicking myself when I realised I could have taken the Funicular to the top! Ha ha!
I love that they had the old fashioned Metro sign at Absesses station. It reminds me of The Aristocats. My friend pointed out that it should remind me of Amelie too. I still wasn’t feeling all that great from the night before, so I decided to get out the sun in the afternoon by heading to the Musee D’Orsay which was free entry and I’d heard some preferred over the Louvre. However, it was closed on Mondays. I met an American dude, and we decided to head East to a part of the city neither of us had explored before where the Bastille and Victor Hugo’s house was…
And discovered that the Victor Hugo museum was closed too.
So we headed to the Centre Pompidou instead which was really cool, and definitely required more time than I had.
This was one of the nicer Metro lines – it was still smelly but some of the trains were newer and cleaner!
Before leaving Paris I decided to stop off at the Jardin du Luxembourg where I’d planned to wander on Sunday evening while my friend was at her dinner meeting. I didn’t have too much time before I had to make my way to the Gare du Nord for check in on the Eurostar, but it was still sunny though you could tell the clouds were beginning to make their way to Paris! I loved that there were chairs everywhere so you could sit and read (or smoke as many were doing – yuk!) or simply watch the world go by. It was a pleasant way to spend my last minutes and was grateful when I discovered how icky, airless, hot and stuffy both the Eurostar departure lounge and eurostar trains are!