Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Dans Paris

I am back after 4 days in Paris which was a gift from me to Pete - an early birthday present for his 40th.

We got up at 4am(!) on Christmas Eve to get to the airport, arriving at the hotel near to the Eiffel Tower late morning. We started exploring - there was plenty going on including Christmas markets.

On Christmas day we had a leisurely breakfast and began a slow walk through the quiet city. A few cafes were open and even a few shops. We walked for a couple of hours and after a beer or two, had lunch on Rue Mouffetard.  It was a fun, crazy and memorable long lunch - I will explain more on the next blog posting.

We then went to the cinema to see the average but watchable New Years Eve (Zac Efron has a small part).  Its surprising, but there are so many cinemas in Paris - far more than London. Afterwards we walked up the Champs Élysées enjoying the market along with several thousand other people! It was packed and the traffic at a standstill. Absolutely nothing like Christmas in England!
On Boxing Day, it was warm with blue skies and we rented bikes and cycled miles and miles. It's a great way to see any city as you take back streets and experience so much. We cycled along the canal and went into the cafe on Rue Le Pic (the one where they filmed Amelie). The staff there looked like models! We cycled all day and were knackered at the end of it. At dinner, there was an annoying 50something American guy who talked loudly so that everyone could hear, disturbing all in the small restaurant and who looked a complete twat with curly hair down to his waist and big bushy moustache - he looked like the Lion from the Wizard Of Oz!

Today we have taken it easy with a walk around the cool area called Passy and lunch near the Pompidou. As I type, we are on our way home.

For those who don't know Paris, it still surprises me how much graffiti there is, homeless people and a lot of aggressive beggars, especially groups of Romanian women hassling you.

Anyway, to sum up... we ate a lot, we walked a lot, we had fun! Here are a few Instagram Pictures to being going on with:


  1. Love the pictures. I'm very happy you had such a great time.

  2. Ah, my very favourite city - at least it was when I used to have the resources to travel extensively in Europe, 20-30 years ago. But no reason to think I'd feel any differently if able to return.

    I loved Paris cinemas, but took me a little while to realise that it was 'de rigeuer'(!) to give cinema usherettes a tip, not to mention bar staff too. The 'quality' cinemas were really splendid - especially those in Les Halles (if that underground multiplex is still there), and also those on the Champs Elysees.

    Always made a point to go to 'Shakespeare & Co' to make a decent number of purchases. (Didn't the owner die quite recently?)

    You mention the graffiti and beggars. Yes, but that came with the territory - as did the pervading smell of piss, especially under the bridges of the Seine which I suppose is also still there (the smell of piss, I mean, not the Seine!)

    Glad you had a fun time! Looking forward to any further pics you might be posting here.

  3. Btw, Stephen, if you'll forgive me for my 'de rigeuer' ('de rigUEUr', of course!) I'll forgive you for the 'DANS Paris'. D'accord? ;-)

  4. Now you've got me wondering! But I'm sticking to my guns - 'A Paris', surely? (You'll have to add the grave accent yourself.) If I'm still wrong and it's an acceptable alternative, profuse apologies. But let's not quarrel.

  5. Well well, Stephen. According to Anon above I do, after all, owe you an apology, which I am pleased to offer. But it must also mean that I ought to demand an apology from the Open University tutors who enabled me to achieve my French Diploma, who used to pull up anyone who used 'dans' with a place name, pointing it out as a frequent, classic error. Perhaps the language has changed in the last 6-7 years!