Oiu Oiu Paris,it feels like visiting an old friend.
Funny, Italy feels like Italy, Spain feels like Spain etc., but being in Paris makes me really feel like I’m in Europe. It’s not just the buildings and beautiful lay out of the city, it’s the people, so chic, so cool, so beautifully and elegantly dressed, I could say so bloody arrogant, but would like to be nice and refer to them as having ‘attitude’ , a whole lot and not always the best attitude, but attitude all the same. It feels like Europe.
I’m learning to order a petite plate of pate (instead of fries) (so much more civilised and appetising) with my glass of Rose as I join the locals at a sidewalk cafe at anytime of the day. I’m trying hard to ignore the clouds of smoke that engulf me (not something I can deal with at present considering my recent experience) as 99 % of Parisians puff on cigarettes constantly, everywhere. Something we don’t appreciate in Australia, how few smokers are left.
Ahhh the patisseries, they are ion every street corner and the aroma of freshly baked croissants wafting out is irresistible, as you enter, the display of the most mouthwatering breads, pastries and gateaux mmmmhhh. However do the Parisians remain so skinny, it is noticeable how slim they all are (compared to home), the tourists really stand out physically.
I had an uneventful flight (even managed to sleep briefly twice, until nightmares woke me up which is not surprising considering the lead up to this trip, but I virtually passed out last night and feel good today).
I spent about 2 hours trying to purchase a train ticket to Bordeaux for Friday, the French railway staff are even less efficient than Sydney rail! I think the most hilarious part was during the 8 am morning rush hour with a mile long queue waiting to purchase a ticket, a cleaner decided to wash the ticket office window, I kid you not, for 10 minutes he wiped, squeezed and shone that window. The little French Ticket selling man sat on the other side watching whilst the people in the queue fumed and tapped their feet, I could only laugh (but was so tired after 22 hours on a plane, could’ve cried). That cleaner certainly had ‘attitude’ or perhaps displayed the quirky French sense of humour I usually appreciate in a movie, it actually felt like a French comedy, watching it unfold in front of me.
After a quick shower yesterday, I decided a long jet lag relieving walk was in order, I am staying in the Bastille area, a very 3 starish hotel, typical Intrepid, perfectly located, clean and efficient with helpful staff, so though a bit ordinary, it’s quite comfy.
I wondered around the Marais area (which is on my doorstep) enjoying the elegant mansions, narrow passageways with boutiques, galleries, museums and so many chic little cafes, bars and restaurants.
I thoroughly enjoyed wondering around the Place des Voges, know as one of the most beautiful squares in the world, and it was. Loved it.
I enjoyed a relaxing visit to the Musee Picasso (my all time favourite artist - just love his quirkiness and try to visit his museums all over the world). I learn something new about Picasso each time I visit a different museum, who would’ve thought of Rembrandt as being used in the same sentence as Picasso, found that aspect fascinating as well as learning more about Picasso’s love of dancing.
I ended up catching the Metro to the Opera Quarter where I wondered around my favourite Paris haunt which is now even more of a favourite, Place de la Madeleine, love it, love the name and great memories of a few special lunches there with Ellen a few years back. A food lovers paradise, specialising in truffles, champagne, caviar and handmade chocolates.
I was intending to enjoy plump frogs legs followed by escargot washed down with champers for dinner, hoping to feel Frenchy, but fatigue caught up with me and sadly all I could manage was a Caesar salad, ugh
I headed over to the Tuilleries but realised that I was way too exhausted to take anything more in and called it a day, a big one but great to be back in Paris.