Notes from Paris

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It’s 4 weeks today since we left our fair shores and we seem to have packed in so much already. When we think about our adventures our heads fairly spin! Are we homesick? Let me think, 27 degrees here, shorts & T-shirts and no ATO.

Hobart? 11 degrees, snow on the mountain and an ATO Office. I know it’s a difficult choice, but I think Paris just takes the edge. (C wants me to add that I’m writing this and not her….)

We have spent 2 days hopping on and off L’Open Tour buses plus a cruise on the Seine where I got to kiss the guide – she said it was a tradition and you know how I like to stick to tradition!

When we visited here in 2004, we came for 3 days. We had a definite list of ‘must do’s’ and we followed it with grim determination. Actually it was great fun – but we just about ran from attraction to attraction using the Metro and popping up and down like gophers. So we never managed to get an overview of the City.

This time we don’t have the rush to do all the ‘big’ things in a limited time, so we can take it at a much more leisurely pace. (well, I said leisurely, actually it’s been full on, but in a different kind of way). The tourist buses have been brilliant from that point of view. We’ve been able to hop on and off at will and obtain a great overview of the City along with a lot of history that we were unaware of.

Of course we had to go back to Sacre Coeur and have a photo of Cheryl on the steps. That’s the photo above. Last time it was over 30 degrees, much more enjoyable 26 this time! The village of Montmartre surrounds the church. It’s a bustling area busy with artists, hawkers and tourists. Crowded when we were there, but great fun.

It seems that one of the major things to do in Paris is to gather at the cafe’s and bars for coffee. However, it’s all about seeing and being seen. So most of the outside seats all face the pavement, so you can sit in a line and watch the passers by – and be seen by them. The seats and tables are touching each other, so there’s no place for privacy – just like their loos!

The photo below is me having beer at one such cafe in Montmartre. The area I was facing was absolutely packed with people. Beer was expensive though!

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However, at least I was able to drink the real stuff!!!!

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Today (Mon) we visited the Louvre. It was meant to be the morning only but somehow stretched until late arvo. We took a break for lunch and escaped to the Jardin Des Tuileries which is just outside. Magnificent park.

Sat on a bench next to another couple. There were bird droppings at one end of the seat so I said to C, ‘You sit here & I’ll sit on the bird crap.’ Bloke said, ‘You must be Aussies?’ Universal language eh?

They were from Taree and there’d been another Aussie couple sitting there just before we’d arrived! Had a good yak. Then back into it.

I wasn’t going to go & see the Mona Lisa because I had last time. Long queue, attendants pushing you through and no photos allowed. Then I thought I probably should since I’m here. When I walked into the room I realised that there were no queues, it was just a free for all and photos were allowed.

Well, nothing like a challenge! I ended up right in front, immediately in the centre (that’s what God gave us elbows for!). This is what I saw:

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Still not sure whether she has eyebrows though.

If you come to Paris, I reckon the Louvre is probably worth a visit.

In the morning doing the Musee D’Orsay, then Off to Monet’s garden at Giverny. Waterlilies ad nauseum I suspect!

Finished the day with a man sized thirst:

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8 Responses to Notes from Paris

  1. Didn’t know you were a beer man, Jim.

    Here’s a tip for young players in Italy: if the bathroom has a pull with a red tag on it, it’s NOT the fan! Jean pulled one and set off an alarm in the corridor. All the bathrooms seem to have one. Elderly tourists, I suppose.

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Actually I’m not normally Alastair, but I do like this European stuff. I’ll remember the tip for Italy – step away from the re’d tag!

  2. BILL PERRY says:

    All this beer Jim? It’s a wonder you didn’t time your trip to coincide with Oktoberfest.
    Now there’s some culture for you!

  3. Peter Grant says:

    Arrr Jim & Cheryl – finally getting around to commenting. We’ve been enjoying your posts a great deal, and have especially noted the cultural sensitivity with which you are approaching things French.

    We’re not at all jealous – 11 degrees with snow on the mountain and the sun setting before 5pm is just how some of us like it! Keep yourselves nice, and remember not to peak too soon,

    smooches

    Peter & Lynne

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Arr good to hear from you Cap’n. I’m finding that cultural sensitivity comes naturally and I’m fitting in well. This would come as no surprise to you I’m sure!

      Pacing myself well and looking forward to mixing with the Eyetalians soon.

      Buona Serra

      Moi
      Xxxx

  4. Lynne OCB says:

    Well nothing’s changed Jim – you always like to sit with a view and ‘people-watch’!! We now go out to cafes etc and certain chairs are called ‘the Jim seat’!! Sounds like yr having such fun (and take note TimO) -it’s yr 2nd visit!! So much more to see and quite different!
    Love and hugs OCB

    • Jim Wilson says:

      Arr OCB, the idea of a ‘Jim seat’ tickles my fancy. The seating at the cafes is fascinating! And note Tim O – I’d come again! Another great day again today, see newest blog.

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