Monday, 1 October 2007

I love Paris...

It rained, so we went to Paris. It rained more there. We did the fastest tour ever, (almost) visiting 6 major tourist attractions in one day.

First we went to Notre Dame, where Caroline lit a candle and prayed for sunshine. We think that our irreverence might have offended someone in the sky because its been a bit damp ever since.

Then we stood outside the Louvre and admired the gallons of water pouring through the fountains. Lovely. The glass pyramid was pretty too, as were the queues to get in, so we we stayed outside.... in the rain.

By the time we walked to the Musee d'Orsay it was more like a monsoon than just rain.

So we relented and took a bus half way to the Eiffel Tower. We couldn't work out which bus to get next so we just walked; we were wet anyway. Climbing the Eiffel Tower was a bit of an anticlimax. It seemed that half of England's rugby fans were there with us. But it is quite an interesting bit of metal work. I reckon Monseiur Eiffel had more than a GCSE in Technology ;-)

Then we walked up to see the chaos that is the Arc de Triomphe. Wow. Suicide, is the only word I can think of. The French don't appear to be very good at roundabouts at the best of times. This was just a free-for-all. Unbelievable. We eventually decided it would be (marginally) safer crossing it by bus. I am so glad it wasn't me driving. At one pont the bus driver got out and tapped on the window of the guy in front. I've no idea what he said, but he clearly was not happy.

Our next stop was Sacre-Coeur. We were again relieved to catch a bus there; it would have been a long and wet walk. By the time we got there it had stopped raining...mostly. We wandered around Montmartre, which struck me as being a bit like Soho, but smaller and a bit more quaint than urban. Very interesting.

We thought it looked like a good place for catalogue poses...

As it started to get dark, I started to panic that my confident understanding of the "dernière train à Fontainbleau" as 22.30 might actually have been 20.30. So we ran, from bus to bus to station, and jumped on a train at 20.27 which said "Fontainbleau" just as the bleepers went to close the door. Then the train didn't stop.... and didn't stop.... and didn't stop. As we were starting to freak it stopped at Bois le Roi, which is the one before Font. Phew. I had visions of us ending up somewhere close to Nice in the dark and the rain.

But then the following day was nice and sunny. So we went back to 95.2 and ticked some 5c things which was lots of fun, as was soaking up the sunshine. We might be acquiring some reptilian traits with all this damp weather!

PS. The French cannot make maps for toffee. It's definitely not my map reading. I can forgive French cartographers for the maps of the forest, since there are so many boulders the temptation to retreat for another glass of vin rouge would have got me too. But they can't make maps of Paris either!! We are lucky to still be alive after our visit to the urban jungle that is gay Paris.


Kati said...

Hey sweetie!

Sounds like you're having fun - despite the rain. If it makes you feel better I went to Cornwall with my sister last week and it poured for most of the time.

Big kisses Kati xxx

Anonymous said...

Ever thought that may be you should have used the Paris Metro? Lots of it is overground so you wouldn't have missed the views (and you would have stayed dry too).

alpinedreamer said...

We did think about the metro, but decided we wanted to see Paris on we suffered the rain. My Grandpa always says that you only ever get to know a place by walking around it. I think he's right, although I wouldn't say I knew Paris yet!