Sarah Burgess is back with another installment… this time from Paris….
“I used to think New York was the best city on earth and then I went to London. Then thought London was the best city on earth and then I went to Paris.”
At 06:30 in the morning even the music playing directly from my generic mp3 player into my ears couldn’t drown out the shrill coming from the American tourist sitting across the Eurostar train table from me.
But she did have a point.
After my third trip to Paris last weekend I am beginning to fall more in love with the Haussman designed boulevards and variety of architecture, the social acceptance of pain au chocolat for breakfast, people watching from the front of café’s, French baguettes and the overall acceptance of dogs and their owners…. everywhere!
It was just a short weekend visit this time around- a quick train journey under the English Channel after work into Paris on Friday and back again on Monday morning straight into the office (as you do!) I stayed with a friend who lives in the 6th arrondissement on the “left bank” (they all refer to each sides of the bank, which I still can’t figure out the significance of apart from the obvious, of course.) The 6th is known for its café culture, intellectual history and some of Paris’ most famous monuments such as St. Sulpice Church and Jardins Du Luxembourg – the second largest public park in Paris. So this weekend we simply “did” the 6th.
We had a cafe breakfast (with the pooch in tow) on Saturday morning and then the universe decided that I needed to have that true local experience with real local people. And by real local people, I mean a 24hour locksmith. The apartment door decided to simply eat the key I put into its lock and not let go.
It was a laugh or cry moment.
2 hours and €836 later I’m pretty sure I saw some real tears fall down to smudge the ink of perhaps the most bitterly written cheque in history. A wine bar later that evening helped to take the edge off that which from herein will only be referred to as The Incident.
The rest of the weekend was not nearly as expensive however our trip to The Catacombs (yes, I know it’s not in the 6th) was very much as unbelievable. A brief history lesson in 2 sentences: Pre mid 1700’s as the city grew, the cemeteries quickly became overcrowded and poor burial techniques meant contamination to nearby areas. They decided to move these bones to an underground section of quarries, which now houses the bones of about 6 million Parisians.
The history of the city is something that I won’t go into, partly because there is just so much of it but mostly because I wouldn’t know the half of it! It just means that there will have to be more Parisian weekends on the cards, for educational purposes of course.
And so onto the pictures which is what we’re all here for really. Feel free to watch the theme song that played in my head all weekend as I attempted to use the only French line I made sure I learnt before going: “Je voudrais encore une bouteille de vin blanc s’il vous plait”
Foux Du Fafa