On Tuesday (I think – I’ve rather lost track of the days!) we went up to Paris by train with MiL…She was taking the train back to the UK but was concerned about negotiating Paris by herself, so as part of her Christmas present we took her for a night in the city of light before popping her on her train. Mr FD booked everything, and chose an Ibis hotel close to Gare du Nord where she would be leaving from.
We took the train from Vichy and checked in at about 1.00. We bought some sandwiches from Marks & Spencer at Gare de l’Est – maybe not exciting for most of my readers but it was for us. I was SO keen to buy British sausages & bacon, and other British delicacies that were on sale, but Mr FD persuaded me that really we had so much food at home that we really didn’t need any more. It was a sad thing but I decided that I would have to let this opportunity pass me by. Sigh.
We wandered around aimlessly looking for a green space to eat lunch. Well, it felt like that, but Mr FD assured us that his GPS was leading us to a park, which we finally found. We scoffed the sandwiches and flapjack, and then headed to Montmartre and Sacré Coeur. It was beautiful, but so crowded; the queue to go into the cathedral was so long we decided against it and just wandered the streets…
Now, Mr FD & MiL are great walkers, but I’m not, so my feet and knees were getting a bit sore, but, although Mr FD kept saying “You could go back to the hotel, if you want” I didn’t really want to go back by myself. So I kept on going, getting grumpier by the minute! After Montmartre we walked along the Viaduc des Arts
which is basically an old railway line, planted as a walk through Paris. It’s above street level so you see a different view.
I was exceeding grumpy by now though and took no photos of my own. After a restorative nap back at ther hotel, we found a very good restaurant, just a couple of 100m stagger away.
I had a starter of caviare d’aubergine with prawns, followed by a lump of steak and giant chips. After a week of vegetarian/fish based meals (MiL doesn’t eat meat) it was good to have some meaty goodness again! I finished with a Café Gourmande – coffee plus little desserts. In this instance it was a tiny crème brulée, a mini financier and some pear purée.
After dinner Mr FD suggested we went to see the Eiffel Tower lit up, so we hopped on, the Metro and went to Trocodéro for the view…Here is the Eiffel Tower
The following day, my legs a little refreshed, we went for a walk along the Canal St Martin,
and then into Le Marais district. Here we found ourselves in the old Jewish quarter where there were Yiddish bakeries galore. We bought two magnificent bagels which we had for supper when we got home.
There was a memorial, which I didn’t photograph, in a garden named for an educator who tried to save Jewish children during the war.
It marked the names of those children deported and murdered during the war who did not have the chance to go to school – with ages ranging from 1 month old to 7 years it was a very poignant. Unfortunately it seems that there are many children today who are facing a similar fate – while not deported, they are being murdered, by bombs, by airstrikes, by people smugglers, by terrorists…How many memorials will be raised for these children, I wonder.
We walked towards L’Isle St Louis and then across to Notre Dame where I took photos of Mr FD & MiL
After our wander we returned to the area near the hotel for lunch. As timle was marching on, we went back to the same restaurant as before, for a very good 14€ Menu du Jour. This time I had a Croustillant de Saint Marcellin (cheese in filo pastry) followed by a whopping great veal chop and mashed potato. No time for dessert (but we bought a muffin at the station on the way home!!)
All in all we had a very nice 36 hours away – leaving Tuesday morning, arriving home Wednesday evening it felt like we’d been away for at least three days…And I certainly haven’t done so much walking in quite some time! The conservative estimate is about 20 km!