Friday, 8 April 2016

Paris - Day 2

Yay - the first post worked so here goes with number 2.
We were talking today about the last time we were in Paris - 19 years ago. The same week that Diana was killed in fact and we went to pay our respects at the tunnel where it happened.
Paris is a different place now - there's certainly a sense of fear in the air. Not helped by the ever-present armed police and army around the city.
I'll be honest, I had some worries about coming but when you're here you realise it's such a huge city so even if something did happen, you'd be very unlucky to be in that wrong place at the wrong time. I guess we also have the perspective of being from Belfast - a city that many avoided during the troubles yet life went on rather uneventfully for the majority of Belfast's residents even at the height of it all.

Today we headed on the metro towards Musee D'Orsay - top of my son's places to see.
Scarf - Zara
Cross Body Bag - Boden (past season)

We got on a very full coach and had to stand....and here's where you wonder just how small the world really is. A man standing beside us said 'I don't hear that accent too often over here'. Yes, we managed to stand beside a guy from Belfast who now lives in Paris. You couldn't make it up! It was lovely to talk to him - he's a press photographer called Iain Statham who works in war zones around the world - yet another reminder of perspectives.

After getting off the train, we had a bit of a walk along the Seine, which allowed us to grab some breakfast and see parts if the city you'd miss if you stayed on the metro. Like the Golden Goose store!
I didn't go in - we had art to view and the Musee D'Orsay didn't disappoint
It has an unbelievable amount of paintings you would recognise and it's great how close you can get to them all. The Monet above was my favourite.

The building used to be a train station so it has some impressive clock action going on, outside and inside 
I especially loved how they bring in local artists to set up an easel and recreate a masterpiece - helps you appreciate the work involved!
After the Musee D'Orsay, we grabbed a takeaway baguette and boarded the Batobus - a water bus that makes a circular trip up and down the Seine and which you can jump on and off over a 1 or 2 day period, depending on what sort of ticket you buy. 
It allowed us to rest our feet before getting off at the Eiffel Tower - number 2 on the 12 yo's list.
Not only was he intent on heading up it, he wanted to take the stairs! Which I couldn't argue with as the queue was significantly smaller and it was cheaper too. It really wasn't that bad - about 600 steps in total with a break halfway
and the most amazing view from the top
After heading back down the 600 steps, we got on the Batobus again, this time to Notre-Dame, where we wandered for a while looking for a good restaurant (unsuccessfully). But we did find the Diptyque shop where I sprayed myself liberally with No 34 (their address - 34 Boulevard Saint Germain!)
After much wandering (22k steps in total!) we ended up dining in a gorgeous French restaurant near our hotel - called Bistro de l'Oulette. Classic French cuisine and full of locals - always a good sign!
So I'm back in the hotel now and despite plans to run the Paris ParkRun tomorrow morning, I'm drinking champagne from the local supermarket - out of a plastic toothbrush cup no less! All the glamour here 😂

Watch this space to see if we made it to the Bois de Bologne for the 9am start....
Ax
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2 comments

  1. Love these posts. My sister used to live in Paris when I lived in London, so we used to pop across on the Eurostar regularly (the years before children obvs!) Still one of my favourite cities in the world.

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    Replies
    1. Oh that sounds fabulous-you'd get to know the city so well. I'm hoping to visit it lots post children living at home....it's definitely easier without them lol x

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