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Published: March 19th 2018
There’s one on every trip. Some clown holding up everyone at Border Security because they don’t pack properly. First it was the pair of scissors in the carry on luggage; the bag has to pass through again. Then it was the gaffer tape ( apparently a potential restraint device) , removed; the bag had to go through again! That’s a lot of peeved passengers, so i suppose I should be grateful they weren’t on my flight, as I no longer had tape to bind them up with before unleashing hell with my little kiddie type scissors.
International flights are so boring but there’s no avoiding them. On my 14 hour leg today, part of 25 overall, the irritation knob was turned up to 11, (Spinal Tap reference), by an inconsiderate Frenchman who thought it was acceptable to lean his seat back to the maximum, leaving about 20 cms between my face and my online entertainment screen. The food is bland and the odour hovers like a mushroom cloud over the plane for at least an hour after each meal. The service was constant but not invasive, and who else smiles all the way through a 15 hour shift; only flight
The Boudoir, Paris
A Room With A View. You can see the Eiffel Tower from bed.
The flight was delayed for about 40 minutes, with the all passengers aboard, and then had to be diverted via St Petersburg, Russia, as there were issues with access to China’s airspace. Access denied, I assume.
With the temperature hovering around -2°c, Paris was freezing. We had light snow falling and a stiff breeze that stung your face and ears from the bitter, unrelenting chill.
Paris is also very alluring with its caramel coloured stone buildings mingling amongst redbrick appartments that have come to represent what we have come to view Paris as. There are many terracotta chimney pots casting a silhouetted over the grey evening skyline. In days gone by, smoke would have billowed out, blanketing the sky with a sooty, polluting haze, so the Paris Climate Accord seems to be working. The curved copper rolled rooves jutting out of the old buildings lend themselves to the olden days of French accordion cafe music and Maurice Chevalier types promenading along the Seine; maybe tomorrow for that spectacle.
Checking in early at the Hôtel Des Mines at 8am was a bonus, and allowed us to explore, get lost, eat French pastries and make some solid
plans for the next two days. Our hotel is located only 300 meters from the Luxembourg Gardens. The Luxembourg Palace, which is now home to the French Senate, is a stately mansion, built in the1700’s and is the focal point of this landmark. The area is well used by joggers, tai chi practitioners, and people just out for a stroll. The bare trees had a light covering of snow, powdering the limbs.
After leaving the gardens, I led us in the wrong direction but my mistake was spotted, and after a few corrections, or, to be honest, more mistakes, we were on our way to the Latin Quarter for lunch. The Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter is a short road full of cheap eating options; set menus and street spruikers are the order of the day.
We arrived back at our room at 3.40pm and, as the day was nearly done for us, ( as we were exhausted),, I thought I’d put a bit of this together and finish it tomorrow.
Well, it’s tomorrow and I showered at 6am and went for an early walk. Stepping onto the icy pavement, the crunchy sound of slippery ice,
and the chilly, damp air biting into my nostrils, comes as a reminder to tread carefully. I wondered what the locals do this early; not much as it turns out! They jog, fill rubbish trucks for a living, deliver stuff, rush for the train, open cafes (thank God!), and slowly wake to another day in Paris; just home to them, but exciting for us.
Just a mention of the toy koala that will appear in some pics. Our grandson, Ezra, a 2 year old, thought he was coming with us; maybe his parents told him that, but that was never happening! As compensation , I bought 2 identical koalas, one each, and mine is doing the trip for him. It’s caled Kiah and if you think it’s a bit corny or pathetic, well, that’s a bit sad really.
It’s 8.12am, I’ll post this, and we are heading off to find breakfast. Bye.
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