Paris, Je T’aime


Here is the abridged version of the blog that I spent two hours writing last week (and saved) only to see it disappear when I published it.

As you probably have seen on Facebook, last month I was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Paris, staying in my cousin’s apartment overlooking the Seine.  As payment for this amazing opportunity, I was tasked (after completing my two-day induction training) with providing one-on-one aged care to a 19 year old cat that is deaf, has dementia, sometimes requires feeding during the night and doesn’t always make it to her kitty litter box.  Nothing was going to make me say no to a trip to my favourite city though, so I bought my tickets and up I went.

The weather throughout France seemed to switch from summer to autumn on 1st September, with 34 degrees in late August and 18 degrees three days later.  The whole time I was in Paris, it was grey and rained for at least part of most days.  It was Paris though so it didn’t really matter what the weather was like.  Paris in autumn is really quite beautiful and many of the trees past the Grand Palais to the Place de la Concorde and on to the Tuileries, as well as the Ile de la Cité had turned a beautiful russet colour.

This was the first time I’d stayed in Paris and used the bus instead of the metro.  The 16th arrondisement (where I was staying) has some fantastic routes that give you a good glimpse of the city.  My favourites were the #70 and #72.  One crossed the bridge and went through Saint Germain on the Left Bank and ending at Hotel de Ville, on the Right Bank.  The #72 travelled along the Seine on the Right Bank, past the Trocodero on one side and the Tour Eiffel on the other side of the river, then past the Grand Palais and Place de la Concorde.  It was a great way to see the city and only cost one euro.

Parisiens and their love of dogs – above right getting exercise at la Place de la Concorde (although I’m not sure it counts for the dogs in the pram) and on the left at Le Bon Marche.

The highlight of my trip (and I put many photos on FB), was the Dior exhibition.  The hour-long queue – even before opening time – was well worth the wait.  The number of dresses on display was huge and they were exquisite (and all with impossibly tiny waists).

Finally, my two weeks were up and I headed back to Bordeaux on the new TGV, which covers the 600kms journey in 2 hours 5 minutes.  The following 80kms from Bordeaux to my local train station took 4 hours though.  A cancelled train and work on the track meant a train/bus combo trip home.  Lee was kindly there to ferry me back up the hill to Saussignac.

Deb M arrived the following evening after her meetings in Bordeaux and the next morning we made the long trek back up to Paris, this time with my car.  Mum arrived that night and we were going to one of France’s largest antique fairs the following day.  I’d anticipated a purchase or two, hence the need for the car.  It was just as well I took it as two large planter boxes (fortuitously painted the same colour as my shutters) and a beautiful 18thCentury barometer made the journey home with us.

Nina RichardsComment