How you gonna keep us down on the vineyard, now that we’ve seen Paree?
Well, we’re actually back at the vineyard now, and my computer sulked all the way round the rest of the world after the United States. I guess it didn’t want to leave the Krsuls. Neither did I, but I was more adult about it. So I couldn’t log into the net, and blogging had to wait until now, and since the London leg of the journey was all about whanau, I’ll leave that section private and skip to our Paris jaunt.
We were staying away from central Paris, at the Hotel Ampere, which turned out to be really very good indeed. We were on the top floor, with a private balcony which looked across to these apartments.
Beyond this we could see La Tour Eiffel and l’Arc de Triomphe. Here are two images, day and night: We could lie in bed and look out at this.
I love the rooftops of Paris. I love the fact that the people of Paris, after one modern towerblock was built, thought it was so ugly they banned the building of any more similar edifices in the city and now they all must be erected outside the city ring. The chimney pots remind me of that last scene in the film, “Last Tango in Paris” when the camera pans down and across the rooftops of Paris.
Paris, because of the recession, has suffered badly from a downturn in tourists, but this was good for us. Not so many “les rosbifs” – as the French so disparagingly call British tourists – meandering around and clogging up the Champs-Elysees. We were also lucky as this neighbourhood was very quiet but with good quality restaurants just a stroll away from our hotel. In particular, a seafood restaurant, where we each had half a dozen oysters (les huitres) and a glass of champagne, then grilled carrelet, a white fish, which was excellent, with a bottle of Condrieu. No tourists in sight, just Parisiens.
Next morning, I looked down from the balcony and the streets had been washed clean, creating this pattern on the pavement.
We did the usual walking for miles, Paris being a walking city. Up Avenue Wagram to the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs -Elysees, across Place de la Concorde, through the Tuileries to the Louvre then out and along the banks of the Seine all the way back past Pont d’Alma where Princess Diana met her Waterloo, and home a different way to the hotel. We’d been walking about five hours by the time we arrived home so needed a nap, then drank the bottle of rose we’d bought before going out for dinner at the Bistro next door.
Next day we walked to the Bois de Boulogne. Despite both of us having visited Paris numerous times, neither of us had been here before. It’s worth a visit, though not at night – you can see why it has a seedy nocturnal reputation. Look at the state of this seat and its surrounds after someone has enjoyed a picnic lunch:
But the walk there and back was pleasant, along the Boulevard de Pereire, where gardens and roses line the centre strip.
And here’s CCQC enjoying our balcony back at Hotel Ampere: