Thursday, 31 January 2013

We'll always have Paris

My first holiday with the Boy was to Paris. Not Paris in the springtime, but Paris in the winter.

The winter was still far less cold than here, mind.

We walked through the Jardin des Tuileres, I had a crepe and mulled wine along the way. The mulled wine lady was quite nice about my rusty French. The lady selling the crepes was quite fierce about my pronounciation - which was absolutely fair in my book.

We finished our crepes and went to gawp at the Arc d'Triomph, and its unique traffic management system, where a man pretended to find a ring in the ground in front of us and tried to give it to us. 'Bonne chance', he said. Nae luck for him though; I shook my head and kept feeding the Boy a jar of salmon baby food.

(Interestingly, you can't get baby food with fish in it here - although the French stuff smelled very fishy, enough so that it made me feel a bit queasy at times).

We had problems finding a baby change; we ended up having to do a nappy change as quickly as possible on a bench, outside a stall selling Christmas trees. It seemed quiet when we started, but as soon as the Boy's nappy was off, suddenly the whole of Paris seemed to descend. Put us down as ignorant tourists - there must be a better way that we didn't work out.

And then we walked back along the Grandes Boulevardes, stopping off at the Grand Food Halles and a lovely wine bar on the way, before retiring to our apartment to eat the day's haul, via a baker, where we bough quiche Provencal and a baguette.

On our second day there, the Sunday, barely anything was open. We walked down to the Seine and looked up and down the bank. My husband had the most abortive attempt ever at speaking French, to the chap in the ticket office for the Bateaubus. He skipped 'bonjour' and muttered something about 'billets', and the ticket assistant gave him a basilisk stare until he reverted to English and ceased his assault on the French language.

Then, soaking up the Sunday atmosphere, we walked past Notre Damme and got on the boat, sailed up the Seine, and disembarked at the Eiffel Tower.

I must admit, things where you stand in queues are not my thing. I derived far more amusement from the reaction of other people in the queue to the Boy eating a pain-au-chocolate; "Tres bien!", "Ah, mom-mom-mom", than I did from getting herded around for hours (to be honest, I always find stuff like the local supermarkets and pubs more interesting than big, set piece monuments). But hey, the view was nice.

Then it was the Jardin du Luxembourg - beautiful and busy on a cold, clear day, and then a croque monsieur at a cafe near the Sorbonne. The Boy stayed asleep and let us eat in peace. I could remember all my politeness words by this point and even managed a tiny bit of banter with the waiter.

And then back to the flat, for a Lebanese takeaway and some more wine.

Tres bien, you might say.

1 comment:

  1. Tres bien, bien sur.

    Sounds lovely. I'm like you - I hate doing tours or being in groups or big queues, and always enjoy poking around local supermarkets and pubs.

    Can't believe they're still doing the "did you drop this ring?" scam!