Monday, August 12, 2013

From the archives: my long-ago trip to Paris, part one

**I'm currently in deep-work mode, trying to finish up a trillion things before heading off to a conference in Chicago next week, shows, no good food, no fun, at least for the rest of this week.  If all goes as planned, I should be able to do a little blogging from Chicago next week, but we'll see.  In the meantime, enjoy some auto-posts about my long-ago trip to Paris...

Finally, a continuation of a report on my trip to Paris in May, 2000.  I’m sure you’ve been holding your breath.  J  It took forever to scan and arrange the photos (sorry they’re not better pictures.  The weather wasn’t great, but I guess I’ll never be a really good photographer – a sort-of-former-ish-friend once said to me, ‘gee, for as many pictures as you take, you think you’d be better at it’).  So enjoy, or not, your choice.  There are some observations from my journals, some not-so-great photos, some better photos cribbed from the internet (and it's pretty easy to tell the difference), and some commentary from today (generally in italics)!  I will try to temper my crabbiness at my travel companion as much as possible, though it takes a lot of journal editing.  I'm not always successful, unfortunately.

On a side note, I was recently reading another blog, one that’s really about travel, unlike mine.  I feel humbled.  I probably shouldn’t even post my Paris reports because I’m not worthy.  But...whatever.  I will copy one thing from that blog, however.  I will now place larger photos.  I generally make them as small as possible, but I’m going to experiment with making them as BIG as possible.  Let’s see how it goes.  Moving on, or back, as it were…

May 2, 2000:  Finally PARIS!  We take an early train to Brussels, then onto an express train to Paris.  It’s only an hour and a half, but unfortunately, the scenery isn’t all that spectacular.  It was definitely more scenic on the trains in Amsterdam and Belgium.  Oh well.

We pull into the Gare du Nord and GFFMO (my traveling companion) springs for a taxi.  That was a welcome surprise.  The driver is extremely nice and drives conservatively while pointing out interesting sites.  I don’t really get a sense of the city’s layout, though.  Our hotel is right off the Place des Voges on a very cool street.  The hotel lobby is stunning, and our room is small but lovely.  And finally, a blow dryer!  Woo hoo!  Maybe I can get my hair to look a little more attractive!  Plus, there’s a bidet.  Now I’m REALLY in Paris!  J

After a brief nap, GFFMO and I go out for the “Quai Walk” from the d*mn guidebook.  Oh, no, oops, this walk was apparently from my guidebook, the one I didn’t bring after telling GFFMO I couldn’t fit it in my suitcase.  Needless to say, I heard about this throughout the walk (“if I had only known you weren’t bringing the book…”), but, what was the problem?!  There was one in HIS d*mn guidebook!  Ugh. 


Shaking it off.  We walk through Places des Voges proper, which is rather like a royal-looking Central Park.  It’s very lovely and peaceful.  Then we pass a Monoprix, which I was happy to discover was a French-type general store.  I ran in and bought a few necessaries.  Then we walked over to the Louvre, which was relatively nearby.  We didn’t go in the museum, we just used it as a starting point for another walking tour.  Sadly, the weather was so overcast, I couldn’t get any good shots of the pyramids, or anything else.  We cross the Seine and walk along the river, past Notre Dame and around the whole Ile de la Cite.  We also pass the Comedie Francaise, which is very grand.  The whole walk is relaxing and lovely. 

We try to go to Berthillon for ice cream, but it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (again, poor planning from the gent with the d*mn guidebook).  I’m actually sort of relieved, since dairy still isn’t my friend.  GFFMO is starting to get peeved because none of the cafes recommended in the d*mn guidebook are open, and heaven forfend we should try a place where, I don’t know, Parisians actually go to eat!  Sigh.  We ultimately decide to get some snacks from a local market and eat in the hotel room.

It’s too cold and overcast to go on the river cruise, so we end up just walking through the Forum des Halles.  This was enormous and very shopping mall-like!  My mother would love it!  J  It’s extremely crowded, though, due to the misty weather, so we just decide to go back to the hotel.  We do make one pit stop for tea at a cafĂ© in the Tuileries, which was grand.  Finally, we get back to the hotel.  I choose sleep, as per my usual, and GFFMO chooses to explore the Parisian nightlife.  This will be a theme throughout the rest of our stay in Paris… 
Next installment?  We head to Notre Dame, Sainte-Chappelle, the Louvre and other various stops according to the d*mn guidebook... ;)


No comments:

Post a Comment