Friday 24 Oct 2004

Paris Travel Blog

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Friday 24th October 2008- Paris
Knowing today was forecast to be overcast we had no firm plans for today. Photography in this sort of weatheris no fun as you are usually disappointed with the results.
We got up (After waking many times) and walked to Maccas as it was the closest early opener. They were not open even though it was past opening time. We found a supermarket and got some crepes, bread and cheese to keep us going during the day, returned to MAccas and found the breakfasts there are comprehensive but at €5.30 not the cheap eats we were looking for. (My yummy crepes were cheaper) NO hot chocolate as they had run out. It is 8am and they have not hot chocolate :( David was bummed. The coffee at this maccas is terrible. Beyond terrible. Expresso'd sludge :P
Spent the morning looking out of the 5th floor window waiting for a friend of David's who never turned up. We gave up waiting at 10:30-11am and decided to go to the Bastille markets. They were not open :( But we took lots of photos of the obelisk that stands where the Bastille used to be.(In the middle of a huge round-a-bout)
David has really taken to the Paris metro like a native. It makes travelling so very easy.
We walked for a few streets looking for something David wanted to photograph but we got distracted by the Gare do Lyon, an impressive Railway station. It dominates the local landscape.

On the way to the Beacon that is the Gare de Lyon, we even found a little internet cafe that was not expensive (Relative to other places in the city) David used Skype to ring his missing friend and he set up anther rendevous at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise. It was closer to our Hostel than I had realised. Just up the street really. Apperently the world's most vistied cemetery, it opened its one way gates in 1804. It is HUGE! 43 hectares and around 80,000 people are here.It forms a sort of Sculpture Garden. We saw Abéland and Héloïse (12th century lovers on which the story of Romeo and Juliet is based, they were moved from the catacombes to here in 1817, I released Skyring's book on Parisian lovers here )Jim MOrrison (A sad and sorry Grave d. 1971) The writers Balzac and Proust, Bizet, Chopin, Piaf Oscar Wilde and a JOurnalist Victor Noir (Real Name Yvan Salman) Shot by Pierre Bonaparte.
David and I helped this lady find Edith Piaf's grave which is hidden behind the Salvadors. It was only when David mentioned that it shold be near the Salvadors that I saw it.

After finding everyone on my very short list, David tred to find a coin phone but after much walking, we found another internet café and contacted his friend again.
Now we were off to Port Orleans on a rubber tyred metro train. (!) where we finally met Hatchett. We saw an abandoned railway line and then were led to one of the many known entrances of the catacombes Of course it was a small hole in a dark tunnel but at least the hole was wide enough for my huge frame. I could crab walk with my bag in the tunnels but poor Daid had his huge photography bag. :( HE struggled the whole way poor thing and was not his usual self. I was covered thigh deep in white Parisian mud when it occured to me that I am getting far too old and grumpy for being even remotely Hardcore. :( Still the catacombes are so complicated and so fascinating that we had to go. I would like to do the nice dry offical tour one day. We only saw a few bones as Hatchett had to get back to his girlfriend and David was really tired stooping with a heavy bag. I lost a kangaroo so IF anyone in the C/C finds it LMK! :) It is wearing a yellow vest.
Hatchett took us the short way home, he was not to know I don't do pits. We were 19m underground and the only way up was a few rungs up to a man hole in the street. This exit really did not excite me. In spite of a terror attack part way up the ladder where I nearly hyperventalated (Which would not achieve anything but death to me and David), I made it to the top. (Go me!)
We stomped into the night covered in white mud. Evening commuters were not impressed.

After leaving Hatchett and Dirge, we travelled wet and muddy to the L'Arc do Trimophe. It looked terrific at night. The traffic around it was endlessly fascinating and I know if you stand there long enough, you will see an accident. Very Chaotic! David set up some long exposures but cars kept parking on the corner spot in the middle of the shot.
At the eternal Flame, David got told off by the Police who did not like the use for Tripods. Hmm. The wind had picked up and I was now wet, muddy, freezing and tired.
Down to the Palaise de Chaillor to take more photos of the Eiffel tower this time lit up in Blue lights. IT shines like the beacon it is and with the Yellow EU stars on the front, it is a most moving sight. (But being cold and wet I was over it now)
A stop at our local (But annoying Maccas) and we again couldn't get some menu items. I wanted a burger Royal, NO they had run out, a salad?? No forks but I can have a teaspoon (!) A hot chocolate Still not left but I can have hot milk **Sigh**)The end of another exhausting day but we had to now get all the mud off ourselves and our shoes. My poor sneakers, they will never be the same again. I didn't realise at the time that these sneakers had my NIke+ receiver in them so it was most likely ruined now (D'Oh!)

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photo by: Sweetski