Paris: Saturday

[NB: All these posts were written on the train on the way back. I'm spacing out the posting to keep you all suitably entertained without overwhelming you with my brilliant prose, and so that Google likes my blog again.]

This morning started way too early, my luggage is too heavy and it has a broken wheel and the train station smelt of wee. This is almost guaranteed to put me in a bad mood, particularly given that I didn’t get coffee until at least an hour after I’d been nominally awake. So, in theory, you will see a slight improvement in tone across the following posts, since I’m now happily installed on the train with headphones and caffeinated. But I guarantee nothing, and anyone complaining moves to the head of the list of people up against the wall come the Revolution.

So, I singularly failed to update you this week on what I’ve been up to. I may or may not tell you why at a later date. Probably not, since this blog is Googleable and I use my real name on it – if you’re really curious, you probably have another way to contact me to ask. It’s not really important or dire or anything, so don’t worry if you never find out...

Anyway, we’d got as far as the weekend, I think, hadn’t we. Saturday, in fact. My darling boyfriend (who is reading this over my shoulder) braved the laundrette while I insisted on staying asleep. When I finally surfaced, the boulangerie provided breakfast in the form of croissant and coffee (2 croissants in fact, since the first was “very small” - apparently my new starvation-inspired look concerns complete strangers now) and then we went for what was going to be the walk in the LP guidebook from several years ago around the Marais. But it started raining, and we got bored of following their directions, so we went for lunch in a very nice cafe on Place des Voges, next to all the art galleries in the covered arches. I promised myself I’d remember its name, but can’t, offhand. When I get internet I might be able to find it again – but it’s not Cafe Hugo, who ignored us for a good 10 minutes til we got bored and walked out. I know Paris has a reputation for crappy waiter service, but that’s genuinely the first time I can remember ever having experienced it. I still think the reputation is generally undeserved.

After a galette, we went for a walk along the Canal St Martin. (Those of you following along closely will notice that my non-wheat, non-dairy diet takes a very heavy battering in this story. This is because I can only concentrate on avoiding one dietary issue at a time when eating out, and nuts are a bigger concern at the moment.) The Canal St Martin is very long, and if I can get Google Maps to work, below you should find a picture showing you how far we walked.

[Google Maps image will go here - my internet time is running out, so it's not going here just yet...]

Along the way, we saw tramps, pigeons showering in the fountains (would that the tramps had thought about doing similarly) and random grafitti telling us that “Paris is slow” - not the usual impression one has of Paris, but there you go. We also pass several locks and bridges, photos of which I may post when I get them up online.

Arriving at Parc de la Vilette, we took the bus – and tram – back to the hotel and a nice hot bath. We went for dinner in Chatelet – escalope de veau, chips and salad – and then went to enjoy a post-dinner concert kindly laid on by the mairie de Paris and FNAC, in front of the Hotel de Ville. My musical knowledge is, well, non-existent, so I’ve no idea if the people playing were famous. I had heard of the last people to play – Nada Surf – but that’s more by accident than design; the others had lovely names though. We were eating dinner while they were playing, but Lonely Drifter Karen and Lily Wood and The Prick have charming names. (And my apologies to the people who came first; not only did we not hear you play, but I can’t even remember your name. You’re probably not reading this anyway, though, so that’s ok.) After that, we followed the crowds into the metro and went home for sweet, sweet sleep.

Anonymous –   – (8 August 2010 at 12:21)  

So you're almost home? Reading between the lines, can see you had a rough week. Allergies are a bastard, arent they? Hope you're feeling better now tho, talk to you when you're home.


PS: We had a wonderful 3 weeks in France, and sadly I'd agree with the service comments, one take away pizza shop told us we needed to order 5 hours in advance! Needless to say, we cooked for ourselves that evening :|

Heidemarie  – (9 August 2010 at 14:47)  

Nada Surf? Isnt' that Martin?? OK, I know that it was just one of his screen names!

Nicole  – (9 August 2010 at 14:49)  

Nah, it's been a good trip, in fact - though I didn't get your text til I got back here, because we forgot the phone charger... Hope Dre's all better now!

Have phone at home (we are back now), but no internet; am relying on the kindness and gouging prices of cafes with wifi - if which, I might make a little list one morning, now I think about it, for other poor benighted heathen souls who lack internet in Nice.

Anyway, if you need to chat, you've got the number...

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