The girl upstairs had a late night last night. So I needed a bit of a sleep in to recover from all her noise. Katha and Celia are on their way to the South of France so I thought I would tackle the Metro on my own. I walked up to the Metro Republique, it is a very handy Metro station to be staying near as it is a junction for a few lines. I didn’t see the Romanian family that live up outside the Monoprix so I saved myself some coinage. A lady at work gave me a great book that everyone coming to Paris should have. It is small, doesn’t weigh much and includes the little streets and Metro details . It is called “The Paris Mapguide -the one to carry with you” which is a suitable title I think. 😉 I also have one of those crumpled ( cloth) maps that one of my sisters gave me. It is wonderful when you are lost in the rain and/or you need big print. It could also double up as an emergency hankie. I will be buying crumpled maps to other countries I visit. It is a pity that they do not include the little side streets though.
I managed to get over to the left bank via the Metro. I was reading Bill Bryson’s “neither here nor there” while I was on the Metro. It is a very funny book and perhaps best not read while sitting on a Paris train by yourself ’cause if you laugh out loud you no longer have the depressed look that seems to be the only facial expression to travel the Metro with.
I went to a shopping strip on Rue de commerce over on the left bank not far from the Eiffel tower. I found a few shops over there that have clothes I possibly could have fit in to. Being buxom/voluptious in Paris makes it hard to find clothes that fit. So trips in to shops can be rather brief.
I thought while I was over that way I might as well go and see the Eiffel tower. It was gypsyville. I practised my disgusted NO! and managed to get out with all my money,phone and card. I didn’t go up the tower due to my inability to have any patience in a queuing situation.
I did go down to the Seine to see about going on a cruise but as I asked for details of the cruises the heavens opened and a big downpour of rain drenched me. Umbrellas are pretty useless in windy heavy rain. I should have had my parker with me. I managed to get back to the right bank and find a Metro without slipping and made my way back to Le Marais. I thought I would go to Marche des enfants rouge to get some tomato salad but it isn’t open on a Monday. A tradesman told me it had shut forever. I googled that when I got home and I think he may have lost his intended message in translation. Either that or he was just another French person making up an answer to a question. I will find out tomorrow when once again I try to buy some tomato salad.
I really noticed Katha and Celia not being with me , it was very quiet! 😉
It was Katha and Celia’s last day in Paris so we made the trek out to Giverny to see Monet’s garden.
Tip 1 Pre book your train ticket!- we didn’t and made it onto the already overcrowded train with moments to spare.
Once we were on the train it was like a mini introduction into the what life is like in countries where overcrowding on (country) trains is just a way of life. On the outbound train there were no seats in 2nd class.
Tip2 . If there is standing room only on a train pay the extra and go 1st class. There were people with suitcases the size of a smart car blocking doorways. People with empty shopping carts blocking the other and in the middle were families of African French folk sitting on the floor taking up as much m2 as possible with all their legs spread out . So it was 50 minutes balancing on one foot while grabbing for different poles/ pieces of solid furniture depending on what way direction the train was jolting.
Tip3 pre book your entrance to Giverny. We stood in a queue for a while (it may have been not that long , queueing is not one of my strengths in character). After a while we got told in French that we could not go in that way and to follow Renaud. He took us to a back entrance where we all queued again. It was some sort of French happy weekend and the entrance was discounted to 5 euro. So that was a bit of a win. It was all worth it , the gardens were amazing. Even though they were quite crowded with other visitors it was quite calming. No wonder Monet liked it so much living there.
Seriously?! why would you come to Monet’s garden dressed in shoes like this. No one is allowed on lawn so it is not like she could aerate it. Madness.
It was a really nice day, even though the journey out there was a life experience it was well worth it. Katha and Celia were getting very inspired by it all and they were super excited to see a flower called Crocus. We didn’t have time to go and see the Impressionism exhibition though which was a bit of a pity. Well we could have done a quick trot around but at 16.50 euro it would’ve been a very expensive trot. I am going to leave out the details of the bus to the station so as not to slur against Americans.(There was a couple of examples ( over the day)of American tourist behaviour that made me rather proud not to be one) The train back to Saint Lazare was much more comfortable. It was a very nicely decked out double decker train. We went back to our different abodes and got ready for a trip to a comedy show. It was called “how to become Parisian in an hour” by a comedian called Olivier Giraud I have wanted to go and see his show for a while. I have even tried to get his DVD. It is a very funny look at Parisian life. Sometimes when I look forward to see something I am disappointed as my expectations are too high. I was not let down it was very funny. He comes across as very humble and real and double take good looking when you see him after the show. What is it about stage and tv that makes people not look as good as they do normally? If you are in Paris between now and Nov 2015 he is playing at Theatre Nouvelle . Well worth the money 24 euro.
This photo is not very flattering of either of us. Oh well.
This post comes with a disclaimer: I do not mean any of what I have typed with any sort of racial slur to any race,creed or colour.