24 March 2008

Parisian Pâques


It was great to have a bit of a lie-in this morning – well, until nine, anyway, at which point, I went on a run over Pont des Arts and through the Louvre, before heading back to the hotel for a shower and breakfast. The breakfast room at the hotel is a gorgeous, cloistered room in the cellar, which dates back to the 13th century – the ubiquitous Americans were impressed anyway. I was less impressed with my “cappuccino” (hot, watery coffee with a tiny amount of UHT milk foam) but the pastries were good, even if the earl grey jam was a little too much for my tastes.

This being Sunday, most shops were closedso we went on a walk across Ile de la Cité and then through the Marais, the Louvre and the 7th to Les Invalides. There were approximately 324,250 people trying to get into Notre Dame for the Easter Sunday service – in fact, there was a queue to get into the queue – so we just walked on through as quickly as possible, enjoying the bells, the bells.

I then had a bit of a frolic when we got to the Louvre by testing Dad's new DSLR by getting him to take a photo of me leaping through the air with Les Pyramides in the background. Even though I made a complete fool of myself in front of about 5,000 tourists, we got a great photo. By this point, the sun went in and it was bloody cold having lunch outside at a sidewalk café on the Boulevard St Germain before we went to Les Invalides for Maman to see the tomb of her idol (Napolean). We then did a whistle-stop tour of the rest of the museum, which considered the outstanding role France has played in a range of different wars. I’m quite a history buff but even I start to get bored when faced with hundreds of essentially identical coats of armour.

Because it was raining and because it sounded like a cool thing to do, I then went to the tiny, old-fashioned arts cinema just opposite the hotel, that was, once again, like walking into a scene from The Dreamers; I saw Some Like It Hot, having missed The Apartment, which I finally finished watching earlier in the week and which was on at le petit cinema on Friday. I felt very cool, in my own mind if nowhere else.

There was just time for a quick Jacuzzi, shower and internet (stooped hotel only has free “wee-fee” in the sitting room area downstairs, so I’ve been shockingly restrained with regards to connecting to the internet) before we went to dinner at Le Petit Zinc, a cool, smart brasserie near the hotel, where I had a beautifully done steak, although I was plagued with a migraine (probably due to last night’s excesses) so the bro and I only went out briefly afterwards to Café Mabillon for a quick cocktail (him) and Evian (me). Still, I definitely ain't in Nowheresville any more, Toto...

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