Thursday, 9 October 2014

Un Américain a Paris.

After my little bit of bad luck at Charing Cross Hospital on Tuesday, I was so glad I did this; just after midnight on Friday me and Robyn caught an Impact Tours Coach for Paris!

It's cheap, there's no security, you don't have to struggle to central London or to an airport and quite frankly it's quite exciting (even to someone as old as me).

Our coach raced across London through the middle of the night - we got a quick glimpse of the Houses of Parliament and the Millenium Wheel on the Thames and then like Harry Potter's magic bus we were off through the dark night to The Port of Dover to catch a romantic ferry across the Channel.

We got to the Place de la Concorde by 11-00am (French Time) and bought our Carnet of Metro tickets.....we were off.

I'm not going to apologise for doing the whole tourist thing - it was Robyn's first visit to Paris and I did some more unusual things back in April when I went on my own - why don't you take a look?

We went to Pigalle to buy lunch in Carrefour and then struggled up the many steps to The Butte at the top of Montmartre.

I don't care if it's a tourist cliché - I love it there. The Paris of Picasso and Impressionism, the Paris of the film 'Le Flic', the Paris of 'Un Américain a Paris' too;

It's a joy to see, even if you have to fight through a crowd to get there.  

Of course, as with anywhere in Paris, there are secrets and tales to tell. The fairytale church at the top was actually built by public subscription amongst the opponents of The Paris Commune. It was a memorial but not to the fallen Communards or those imprisoned and deported but to those who fired the guns.

However, just beneath Sacré Coeur, is Place Louise Michel, a little square commemorating the great female Communard who became such a symbol of those inspiring days of revolution.

A just revenge.

Whatever your views, who could not love these narrow streets of picture book Paris;

Or a vista like this - my favourite view; the Eiffel Tower across the rooftops of Paris;

I took a different view back in April, my favourite shot of my favourite view.

There's street art (I'll do a special posting of graffiti as I usually do) and advertisements for businesses, full of charm like this one;

This is the water fountain at the Rue Azais, where I filled my bottle again like I did in April and which I used to create my exhibit for 'The Museum of Water'. That gets a couple of posts in June.

But I had a proper date at Rue Azais, we went back to have lunch at the best restaurant in Paris;

I wasn't allowed my usual lager - Robyn selected a rather fine Chardonnay (a Millegrand 2013) and it was a good choice.

We liked the Comté cheese which we hadn't tried before.


But we had another reason to be up there, apart from the view and the food;

This place means so much to us both that this was the spot we chose to leave our padlock (R loves N), on the fence in the little square overlooking the Eiffel Tower.
Where we hope it will survive just a little while, to commemorate what that trip meant to us both.
Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
More tomorrow!

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