I can’t believe it’s a fortnight since I went to Paris with Ruadhri and Benj for the day.
My excuse for not blogging about it sooner is that I’ve been concentrating on getting jobs done before I disappear off to Canada on Thursday to visit Caiti and see the sights of Montréal.
Benj wanted to meet with a friend in Paris, so since I’d be having to drive him to Chateauroux to get the train from there, and return in the evening to pick him up, and since Rors has never been to his capital city, I decided to make it day out for the three of us. Chris was left at home on farm duty, but he’s not one for cities really so didn’t mind.
I’ve tried twice before to visit the Catacombs but on each occasion the waiting time was going to be several hours. It seemed a nice creepy halloweeny thing to do (our visit was the 28th October) and I was sure Paris would be fairly quiet, so now seemed to be a good time. It wasn’t! The queue was even longer than ever. Given that it was cold and drizzly, and, having been promised 17 degrees by Météo, we’d come coatless in fairly light clothes, it wasn’t conducive to hanging around. So we hopped back on the Métro and went to Notre Dame.
There was a huge queue there too, but at least it was moving quickly so we tagged on the end. There were the pigeons and sparrows to watch as we waited and take our mind off freezing!
Rors was suitably impressed and we bought him a souvenir medallion.
We set off on foot to walk across the island and watched the bateaux-mouches (sightseeing boats) pass under the bridge. One looked exactly like our polytunnel! Rors was thrilled to see seagulls for the first time since he left Ireland eight-and-a-bit years ago.
We got onto Rue Rivoli and walked along it for a while (this time in the right direction – Caiti and I famously set off the wrong way on our first visit to the big city and were heading out of the city!). I was looking for a Métro to take to the Louvre, but realised we were nearly there, so we carried on by foot. We looked at all the wonderful buildings and the glass pyramid, and then strolled along the Tuileries. It was still grey and chilly, and we were also quite hungry by now, so I don’t think Rors was that fussed by all the opulent grandeur around him. There were some modern art statues on display. Rors bore a striking resemblance to one.
I’d promised him a trip to WHSmiths so that was our next port of call. We treated ourselves to very expensive English salt and vinegar crisps and chocolate bars, and felt a lot better after our snack.
The Eiffel Tower was next and this was thoroughly enjoyable. We hadn’t been able to see it properly from a distance due to the mist!
I’d tried to book tickets to go to the second floor a few days beforehand but they’d been sold out. That should have been a clue that Paris was going to be busy! Anyway, I think we had as much fun looking up at it as we would have had looking down from it. I’ve been up it once, many years ago with Mum, but I’d love to go up again. One day!
I’m definitely out of touch. I’d seen a few people carrying sticks with either their phones or a camera on the end. I thought these were devices so they could get a good shot of something over the heads of the crowd. But no, these were selfie-taking devices! Talk about the ‘me’ generation! Anyway, not to be outdone, but using the old fashioned way of holding the camera out at arm’s length, Rors and I selfied, as you saw at the top of this post.
Our last visit was to the Natural History Museum, in particular the Galerie de l’Evolution. Except we got sidetracked by the zoo just behind it which I hadn’t realised was there. Live animals are preferable to dead ones, so we spent a happy hour and a half there.
And then another happy half hour at McDo’s, just around the corner! We were both starving and sore-footed by then, so ready for a rest and some tea. We passed these lovely animal head sculptures on our way to our chips.
We had a bit of time to fill before meeting Benj at the station, so we sat in the waiting room and read for a while before Benj arrived and we headed off for our train home.
As usual, the trip to the capital was exhausting but fun. I’m pretty sure my trip to Canada will be the same since there’s lots I want see – in the snow! North America is experiencing a cold snap but Creuse winters have toughened me up to cope with the cold so it’ll be a doddle. I hope!
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