Something a bit different today. A bit of a photo/travel blog with some old memories thrown in. We travelled light so I only took a baby camera with me, so the pictures are not the quality I’d like. (Please click on pictures for larger version)
Paris! It’s been far too long since I last visited. Paris is one of my happy places. I love it for a whole raft of reasons. Yet, this was the first time I have visited with my OH. We went on Eurostar, the first time I have travelled this way. So much easier than plane or ferry. And it takes you from the heart of one city to the heart of another.
Leaving St Pancras.
And arriving at Gare Du Nord.
We stayed in the Latin Quarter. Just down the road from the Sorbonne. The Latin Quarter has so many memories for me. Some of them go back to childhood; but on through into adulthood. Memories of being cheered and made happy during a very unhappy and depressed period of my life. Knowing the area well is good as it means you can get off the beaten track and find restaurants etc that are not part of the tourist trap. I love all of Paris but the Latin Quarter is one of my favourite areas.
And of course a view of Notre Dame from Rive Gauche
When in Paris it would simply be rude not to sample the bars, cafes and bistros. So this is where we found ourselves early in the evening. I tried a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau. Somewhat late with the first glass this year. It is never a great wine. However, it used to be a bit of a tradition with some of my friends. So it was good to toast present and absent friends with a glass of it in Paris. I thought it was better than usual. In any case, it’s a good wine for just knocking back!
Then onto the main event of the trip. Florence and the Machine in concert. They were magnificent. If you’re not sure if you like Florence go and see a concert. I guarantee you will love her. She had the audience in the palm of her hand. So much energy, drama and charisma. And she looks so good. Especially when she let her hair down (literally) for the second half of the show. My OH is nowhere near as keen on her as I am but she loved the show, especially the drama of it. As we left the venue you could really feel the audience were buzzing. Another nice thing; the audience was such a cross section of people.
We had enough time the following day to do a whistle stop visit to some of the sites. Not enough time but we’ll remedy that in the near future. Following a a lovely breakfast a short walk through the Quarter, a little way along Rive Gauche and over the river to the Louvre. The bridge we crossed was Pont des Arts. So many memories associated with this bridge. This prompted an emotional chat with OH on the train on the way home.
The afternoon was spent largely in Montmatre. Whilst there the sun burst through what had been rather dark and threatening clouds and the sunshine added to the fantastic panorama of the city. It’s a breath-taking view of this beautiful city. Another old memory sparked by this area. We walked past a bar; a bar where some years ago one Sunday lunch time I over indulged in Ricard. Then staggered down some of the very steep steps you find in Montmatre. I ended up in Pere Lachaise drinking red wine from the bottle. I say I remember. I do remember it happened. I don’t remember all the details.
Then a walk through Pigalle and back to Gare du Nord for a much needed beer. Here we experienced the british tourist at the very best (irony alert!). Man in front of us at the bar to woman serving at the bar. “Hello love. I want a beer and one of those cheese things like my mate had” Woman at bar looks blankly back. Man then calls to his friend. “Hey, I’m having trouble with my French give us a hand.” His friend then says to the woman at the bar (loudly, of course, and as if talking to an idiot) “He wants a pint and a sandwich”. This is not a joke; it actually happened.
Then onto the train to rest out very weary legs. The train started to run late once it got to the English side of the channel. Obviously!
A few more general pictures below.