Exploring Paris

I had a few things on my agenda for today. The first  of which was to climb the tower of Notre Dame cathederal…which I did, after standing in a queue for an hour in the freezing cold. The guy behind me made a comment to his wife along the lines of,  ‘oh that poor girl in front, she’s by herself and has nobody to share this experience with’.  I had to chuckle, because after standing in a queue listening to his bland comments for an hour I felt confident -I- was the more fortunate one 🙂 It was great to make it to the top and see all over Paris. Each time I visit Notre Dame I am amazed at how they managed to build the thing nearly 1000 years ago.

From Notre Dame

After Notre Dame I wandered the streets of Ile de la Cite and made my way across to the Marais. It’s an area I know well but I still managed to get lost, which was fun because I came out in the street of my favourite bag shop – Anna Kaszer. To celebrate finding my way, I bought a bag.

Lunch was in a cafe, eating roast chicken and drinking Sancerre, one of my two favourite French whites (the other is Pouilly Fume).  From the Marais I took the metro out to Montmartre. From Pigalle station it’s only a short walk to the Montmartre cemetery. I had hoped to bump into the cat man I met there last time but he was not around. The place was quite crowded. I did wander around for an hour or so…I do spend an unusual amount of time in cemeteries…I like the Parisian ones for no other reason than they are a great repository for decorative arts…as the following photos show.

Montmartre Cemetery

Check out the moustache

Hmmmmm. This has to be one of the most bizzare headstones I've ever seen. Judging from the photo he might have died from lung cancer...or else somebody set his hair on fire.

After the cemetery I wandered around Montmartre and warmed up with a coffee in one of the cafes there…then a crepe with banana and nutella. I caught the metro back to the Champs Elysees and found a little cafe to have a glass of champagne. They had ‘kir royale’ on the menu so I ordered one of those. Cost me about 20 bucks but it was fun. By the time I finished that, I was feeling a bit weary and decided to head home. I am staying in a B&B and my hosts are just lovely.

Kir Royale @ Champs Elysees

I'm not sure if this is a good photo of me, taken by me...

Tomorrow I will go to the Marche au Puces de St. Ouen, and on Sunday I’ll head to the flea market at Vanves, which is very close to where I am staying. And my hosts know of a few other small markets I should try…it will be a busy weekend. I’m amazed, and a little proud, of how good my French really is. My hosts speak reasonable English but I speak to the wife in French and we have no problems at all. I’ve been doing a lot of eavesdropping on the metro and in shops and can pick up most of what is said…what fun!


3 responses to “Exploring Paris

  • Danette Darbonne

    Sounds like a wonderful time! I wish you took a picture of the bag you bought. I hope you don’t mind as I live a little vicariously through you. Don’t do the flea markets until you drop!

    P.S. I think it’s a great picture you took of yourself. You are young to have such an important position at work where they send you so far away from home 🙂

  • Melanie Dooley

    Well, I appreciate that someone is reading my blog! And I’m not that young! Trust me 🙂 I’ll take a photo of the bag today and post it tonight.

  • Mum

    Oooh – I’m so envious!

    I thought you’d like to know that there is a lovely surprise waiting for you when you get home. (Actually, it’s not a surprise now because I’m telling you what it is!!) ………………

    Margie has given me the mourning brooch for you and I think you’ll love it.
    Rectangular-ish – about 3.5 x 3 cm. The (fair) hair is ‘basket-woven’ and it is edged with red stones – not sure if they are garnets but might be.

    As she said, she’d rather you have it and appreciate it.

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