A weekend in Paris – 20th November 2019

Radiotherapy has started, I had my machine line-up on Friday last week and then I went to catch a train to head to Paris. This last minute trip came about as a friend was flying home from a conference and had to go via Paris, so we decided to catch-up for the weekend. I arrived to a very wet Paris, but thankfully I knew that my hotel wasn’t too far away. So off I headed, one of the things I love about old cities is you can turn a corner and just find something, such as the Fontaine George Cuvier – here is the link to the Wiki page – I didn’t take a photo as it was dark, raining and I had my bags and an umbrella – https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontaine_Cuvier
After getting to the hotel, I dried off, unpacked my bag to check for anything that had got wet – thankfully nothing and I went to meet K at the Metro. What I wasn’t expecting to see on my walk to the metro was the burnt Notre-Dame cathedral – it is interesting you can still smell the burnt wood, and that is from across the river – I smelt it before I saw it! After K and I meet up we popped into a nearby Brasserie for our dinner and low and behold another fountain in our view – Fountaine Saint Michel – this wiki page is in English – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fontaine_Saint-Michel

The following day, and after breakfast at our hotel, we headed out for a walk across the river through the Louvre heading for Galleries Lafayette Haussmann as I had always wanted to see the building. It isn’t that much from the outside, but my goodness the inside is fantastic. And they had their Christmas tree up – which I actually co-ordinated with as I was wearing a bright pink jumper. After a very expensive and very nice glass of Champagne we headed off to find somewhere for lunch. A small creperie was located after much searching – we wanted something light – we headed to the Metro to only discover that we couldn’t get to the station we wanted to go to because of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests). I hadn’t realised that it was a year since the protests had started, and to be honest I hadn’t seen any protesting since summer. So after a rethink about what to do we walked back over the river to the Musee D’Orsay – took one look at the queue and decided it was insane and I must admit by this stage I was shattered, I had just done too much walking. So instead we headed for Café de Flore – one of oldest coffee houses in Paris – where we sat for 45 minutes drinking one of the best hot chocolates I’ve ever had. Then back to the hotel for a bath and a rest before heading out for dinner. My fit app on my phone stated that we had done over 10km of walking!!!

Sunday we decided to head out of the hotel for breakfast, so after signing out and leaving our luggage, we headed off to a local café for an omelette and a coffee – coffee in Paris is much more expensive than my local area – around double the price! But as we both felt like eggs for breakfast it was a much an enjoyable breakfast. We were again on foot – off to the Musee D’Orsay and as it had only been open for 30 minutes – no queue – we headed through security and dropped our coats off at the cloak room (interesting that we still call them that and not coat rooms?) and off to the top of the gallery to see the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. It is interesting what art speaks to you at different times of your life, I loved a self Portrait by Van-Gogh (the shades of blue were just wonderful) and I was really enjoying work by Odilon Redon – someone I hadn’t recalled noticing previously. There are some photo’s below. We finally had to leave the gallery and by this stage decided that taking the metro as far as we could back to our hotel would be a good idea, so this we did. We then went to a restaurant near our hotel, called Le Passage, for both of us definitely the best meal we had the whole time we were in Paris. We parted ways, both feeling incredibly full and I walked back to the station to get my train – this time through a garden – which had a Wallaby enclosure??? Back on the train with a snack and the realisation that I was getting a cold, so as I write this, I’m in bed trying not to feel sorry for myself as I have a sore throat and a bunged up nose. But it was worth the cold for a wonderful weekend in Paris.

For now, à bientôt, from our wonderful part of France – Delia

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