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Published: March 20th 2018
With Sue lingering in the foreground
Well, they were all great suggestions but they are closed on Mondays. Picasso Museum, closed but had an interesting door with an interesting sign. Le Marche Des Enfants Rouges, oldest covered market in Paris city since 1628, closed, as were many adjoining shops. Regardless, Le Marais is simply an intriguing district to visit. It has many parks and playgrounds dedicated to whoever; important locals I guess, and a very eclectic range of buildings, restaurants and shops, winding their way through small lanes and busy boulevards. Wandering these areas of Paris, I often consider that, if it wasn’t for Hitler‘s arrogant view that soon it would all be his, this historic, cultural part of the world would probably have been destroyed in his quest for dominance.
Today was very cold again, with snow still evident well into the afternoon. After walking for about 4 hours, Sue had seen enough ‘closed’ for the day and we headed to the Latin Quarter for an authentic French meal. The spruiker at the door of a favourable establishment proceeded to unload his vast knowledge of Australia on us and finished by asking why I could not speak French. Perhaps it was because I feared I
would sound as overbearing as him; prut-être. That last bit is just to make you look something up, and then be disappointed it’s not a swear word. The meal was French, cooked by an Indian. I had french onion soup, beef burgundy and apple tart, and Sue had the same, substituting the soup for a very delicious cheese crepe. Can’t complain, it was the most sensible meal I’ve eaten since arriving and hopefully has given my system a much needed break from sugar based pastries and cakes.
Tonight we are walking to the Montparnasse Tower, reputedly the best 360° view of Paris there is. It’s about 15 minutes walk from here, assuming I navigate correctly, and is the only skyscraper in Paris. That is possibly a large factor in the charm of Paris; nothing is taller than about 7 floors high and the constant variation creates nice surprises as you turn corners or just look down a side street. Your exploration is often dictated by the spire of a building peeking through smaller buildings or a bright dome inviting you inside. Often we just join a crowd to see what’s interesting them.
Smoking is still a popular pastime
in Paris and the smell is a constant companion as you wander the streets. I must admit I do enjoy some of the sweeter, more aromatic fragrances, most probably coming from a pipe or a ‘roll your own’ smoke; Bank was always a favourite of mine. Unfortunately spitting is also still in vogue, but these days seems to be confined to a well aimed shot at a rubbish bin, or one peeled off with a sideways glance into the gutter. Not confined only to men, I’d say there is an opening for a ladies competition out there. Last, and probably least, is the vigilance required to avoid stepping in dogs’ poo. Walking past a theatre today, Sue gave me a nudge around a well disguised blob on the footpath, just avoiding having to scrap the sole of my boot clean on the edge of the gutter, or stomp like an angry bull on a nearby patch of grass.You see, what I had mistaken for a sad child’s choc top ice cream falling from the cone onto the footpath, was actually a turd topped with the last remaining snow from the night before. I really must visit Specsavers when I return
An Enchanting Playground
Near the Sully-Moreland. I know, that means nothing to me either.
I hope the previous paragraph doesnt sound too negative about Paris. I happily view those few blemishes as part of the charm and fabric of the town. Leave them in, I say! It would be interesting to compile a list of our own town’s idiosyncrasies. For starters, the tiny lift to our floor, or I should say the one below us, we have to climb the last floor, is licensed for 4 people at a maximum of 300 kilograms. You do the maths; you would have to be careful selecting companions in Melbourne.
As the Everly Brothers sang, it’s time to ‘ wake up little Suzy, we gotta go out’. I’ll report back on the Tower.
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