Monday, June 29, 2009

Bonjour and Bonsoir from Paris

We are homeless in Paris.

After a very busy 46 hours we checked out of our hotel 6 hours ago and have been wandering the hot and humid streets of Paris while waiting for our flight from CDG2. We can get there easily from our area on one of the RER lines, so the journey there should be a piece of patisserie.

Paris is truly gorgeous. We are staying in the 4th between the Pantheon and the Luxembourg gardens, so breakfast and the afternoon nap were spent under the chestnut trees - in the afternoon the park was teeming with folk (Don says 'frogs') escaping the heat with a glace from the van outside the gates. They were doing a roaring trade! We have been jumping on and off the metro across lines to visit or revisit our favourite bits-The Eiffel Tower this morning, and Saint Chappelle without all the scaffolding. Then across to St Germain des Pres, and lunch from a great boulangerie by the Seine with aching feet watching the tourist boats, to Saint Sulpice and gasping for water to catch our strength again then back to Luxembourg

Our hotel has one of the smallest bathroom in the known universe. I kid you not. I can't stand side-on to the basin with the door shut and dry myself without scraping and thumping bones and causing much swearing. Sitting on the toilet is a particular art - luckily I am good at bellydancing cos there's a moment when you have to swivel in a half-circle as you sit to avoid the basin without hip-bumping the door. Of course this may more about the diameter of my hips than the decor....However...when in Rome. - I'm sure there are many Parisiennes with permanent facilities just as cramped, and the location for the price!

Last night we had dinner with a colleague of Don's from Perth in a little neighbourhood wine bar/restaurant in the ?14th i think. It was delightful. Very limited menu - which is usually a sign of good cooking we always think. We even had a couple of fragrant soft cheeses and I had an orange creme brulee which was really, really good and well worth the wait. The staff were run off their feet and you could see their minds going at a million miles per hour but boy do they know their stuff. Its fascinating to see the really professional and slick french waiters in their uniforms of one sort or another, black vests, sometimes a cap with tailored pants in a traditional style. We were in Monmartre yesterday and it was quite a side-show to watch them as they coped with all the tourists flagging in the heat, efficiently seating them and reviving their spirits with beer, or in my case tea.

The flights home are a slightly daunting prospect. I have my oh-so-sexy white TED stocking to avoid swelling up to my thighs and I plan to indulge in a movie or two as we have been a bit limited in access to English language stuff for a few weeks, but hey - it IS Europe and it has been fabulous to see a bit more of it. I am a lucky, lucky duck.

I suspect my time may be up soon so I had better post this and move on.

Au revoir!


mtnchild said...

Oooh, I can hardly wait to see all the wonderful pictures to be posted.

I will wait a few days so you can rest, but don't push your luck and wait a week or more!! LOL


Frogdancer said...

Sounds wonderful. (Except for the swelling thighs bit...)

Lisa L said...

I need your advice...knee highs or thigh highs on the Teds... I always swell up on the plane and have a 27 hour journey ahead of me. Can't decide which ones to get...

Lesley said...

See you real soon!

Alby Mangroves said...

Mr M loves the French, They're a constant source of mirth and general amusement to him. He would NOT, however, be amused to hear about the loos. He takes his loo-time very seriously indeed. Just while we're on the subject, Mr M says that the French designed and built their own tank in WW2. Apparently, it had 5 speeds... in reverse. Ba da boom.

Natalie said...

Can't wait to see your pictures... it should all look very familiar!

Stomper Girl said...

Isn't Ste Chapelle divine? Gosh it's a long time since I saw Paris.