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Published: August 8th 2015
One of those little streets that are fun to explore.
Thursday 6 August 2015
What a lovely sleep. Today we were able to please ourselves. First tasks were to catch up on the washing and fill the fridge with beer. It was going to be hot today. Had hot coffees by using a pot on the cook top. Who needed an electric jug? Not us.
The train to the centre of Paris is a 6 minute walk away and it seemed to be a quiet time of the day. We planned to visit Notre Dame and then just see what happened next. Parisians leave the city to the tourists at this time of year. The trains were quiet, the streets were crowded with people looking confused. Tourists!! Paris would be great without them. They congregate in the middle of footpaths, they spend forever posing in front of everything for that portfolio photo or selfies. Some try to photo bomb every photo. We got to Notre Dame at the same time as everyone else. The very long queue was moving quite well but in 30 degree heat we decided to return later. Entry is free unless you want to visit the towers or other special areas.
This is our
Notre Dame from the St Louis gardens.
fourth visit to Paris so we don't need to see everything this time. But what we want to do is soak up some atmosphere. So we ambled around Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis taking in views of Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville, The Seine and its "beaches", and Conciergerie. A large queue had formed outside Ste Chapelle, an absolute must when visiting Paris. Fortunately we visited it previously during a much quieter time. The noises of the city are part of the experience. From chatter to irritated drivers tooting to the occasional siren. It is all there. The question was asked. How would Polly have coped? There is one challenge left. Drive in Paris and try a circuit of the Arc de Triomphe roundabout. Perhaps next time, perhaps not.
With an all-day metro ticket it is time to wear it out. We plotted a route to the Opera House. One building we have not visited. Like many of Paris's great buildings this one is a living piece of art. The ornate interior designs, painted ceilings, costumes on display, a chance to view the large chandelier in the auditorium, and views from the outside balcony. The Opera
The Hotel de Ville.
House had it all, including the young ballerina posing in a similar stance to that of a ballerina in a painting.
Time had moved on and we were starting to feel weary. With metro map in hand we headed for the train station. Seemed like everyone else had the same idea. Each train was more crowded than the last. Our RER B train to our hotel was packed. Why would someone take their bicycle on the train at that time? What an annoyance to other passengers. We glanced briefly at the route and destination indicator. Something wasn't right. The platform indicator said this was our train. The train indicator said it wasn't. Oh well, if we go the wrong way our day ticket will get us back on track. Fortunately at the junction all was well and we arrived at destination on time.
A quick visit to the supermarket for an in-house dinner and it was back to the hotel for that cold beer.
Tomorrow Paris: Day Two.
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