Our stay in Paris was far too short and, sadly, our last morning in this beautiful city was as damp and cold as the previous day had been. We began the morning with breakfast in our hotel. The meal was served in an amazing cellar room that was even quirkier than our lovely little attic room. I could have kicked myself for leaving my phone behind. Luckily I found some pictures on Tripadvisor and have shamelessly stolen them.
With thoughts of a nice warming coffee and maybe a cake in the Jardin du Luxembourg cafe evaporating, we peered through the locked gates and wondered what to do next. It was one o’clock and both of us were cold, damp and feeling rather hungry. Our early breakfast seemed like a lifetime ago and we’d been walking more or less the whole time since then. The little cafe we’d stopped at before on Boulevard Saint Michel sprang to mind so we headed towards it.
The last few weeks have been difficult and disappointing in equal measure but I’m not going to elaborate or dwell on them. Suffice to say I felt an overwhelming urge to run away and hide from a situation that was not of my making and a lot of questions I didn’t feel at liberty to answer. Damned if you do dammned if you don’t kind of stuff. Luckily, Commando had just the thing to put a smile back on my face. While I’d been hiding away he’d been booking a weekend in Paris.
Today I was going to post about Commando’s marathon finish in Toronto. Instead, I’ve been watching events unfold in Paris, a city I love, with horror. It’s unimaginable that the streets I walked not so very long ago were running with blood and echoing with gunfire on Friday night. My heart goes out to the people of France and, while the Eiffel Tower remains in darkness, it’s good to see the rest of the world is alight with support and love. Continue reading liberté, égalité, fraternité
When I wrote about my Tuesday walk I mentioned that I’d paid a visit to the doctor and promised to tell you more later. Well, it’s like this. Since my stomach bug in late November, just before we went off to Paris, I’ve been suffering on and off with an intermittent stomach problem. It seems to ebb and flow like the tide with a few days of pain, burning and feeling nauseous followed by a few days of slowly feeling better before it all starts over again. Thinking it might be something I was eating I looked closely at my diet but, to be honest, half the time I didn’t really feel like eating anyway. Continue reading All things must pass
Commando collects football scarves from every city we visit and, once he’d had a shower, he wanted to go back to Boulevard Saint Michel to look in a shop he’d spotted where he thought he might be able to get a Paris St Germain scarf. With all the getting lost and the extra walk around Jardin du Luxembourg time was getting on and, when we found ourselves back on Boulevard Saint Michel passing La Croissanterie St Michel, we realised we hadn’t had any lunch. The display of baguettes and cakes was mouthwatering and, after a lot of drooling, we finally settled on a chicken salad baguette to share and a muffin each. Delicious. Continue reading Doing the tourist thing
Just as I was about to sink down onto the steps where we’d sat the day before watching the toddler playing football and put my head in my hands in despair there was a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around there was Commando. He’d been sitting on one of the green chairs in the sun waiting for me and I hadn’t noticed him when I passed. He was pretty cross but I fell, sobbing into his arms, so relieved to see him. Continue reading Reunited
Everyone knows I have a talent for getting lost. It’s something I do with monotonous regularity and, usually, it doesn’t bother me. In fact I’ve found some pretty interesting things that way and I always know it’s only a matter of time before I find my way back to somewhere familiar. Ok, so there has been the odd time, in the middle of the woods, when my stomach has tightened momentarily and I’ve had visions of being found as a skeleton under a tree. GPS has often been my saviour but, on Sunday, it was a different story altogether. I was lost, frightened and in a state of panic. Continue reading Lost in France
Leaving the catacombs behind we wandered, slightly dazed, onto L’avenue du Général-Leclerc, quite some distance from the place we’d entered l’empire de la Mort. Our first priority was finding somewhere to eat. We found a little place called Indiana Café where we thought we might get a snack and a coffee and went inside. The snack turned out to be a huge meal, a beautiful hand made burger that surprised us by coming with salad and fries. Of course I had coffee too. Continue reading From ossuary to graveyard in one afternoon
The walk to objective number two took us through two more small parks one after another, Jardin des Grands Explorateurs and Jardin Marco Polo. We passed the Fontaine de l’Observatoire, designed by Gabriel Davioud and opened in 1874. The four female sculptures by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux represent Europe, Asia, Africa and America and the horses bursting out of the fountain were the work of Emmanuel Frémiet, but the thing that really drew my attention were the turtles sitting in the water. These gentle images full of movement and life were in stark contrast to the dank tunnels filled with old bones that lay ahead. Follow if you dare! Continue reading L’Empire de la Mort