Friday, August 19, 2011

The Good and Bad of Paris.

Things that happen or you see certainly colour how you remember a place. Paris was like that. The good things far out weighed the bad. The Eurostar journey from St Pancras Station via the Chunnel and across France to Gare d'Nord in Paris was magic.( on the way there ) It was a new train, very fast and we sat by a large window facing the way we were going. Quite a memorable ride. On the way back it was an old train in need of a spruce up we didn't have a window and I developed a sore throat during the return journey.( they never collected rubbish once going that way - mere observation ) So you can see it all depends how you experience something. On our first afternoon we walked as far as we could in the heat from out hotel in Rue des Vinaigriers along tree lined Rue Magenta to the Place de Republique and back.
The second day we spent doing all the usual touristy things and the same on the 3rd day but it rained in the afternoon so we returned early. Of course the rain stopped so not wanting to waste time we ventured out again with our brollies just to cruise the local area. Being me of course I had my camera with me and this is the free unexpected entertainment we got. At the end of our street was Saint Martin's Canal which is crisscrossed with little hump bridges. We were standing on one when we spied this happening.

A large barge was approaching a closed lock.

The lock is filling from the upside.

now the water level is the same on both sides and the barge emerges.
it's quite a big barge.

The next obstacle is not a lock but a road bridge. The barrier arm drops down ; the traffic stops ;  the road begins to pull away. It swings till it lands over the jutting out landing for it.

The barge has the green light.

It proceeds along the canal.

The lights change. The road swings back.( and lands correctly on the 3rd try )

The traffic resumes crossing.
 One young lady couldn't wait and picked up her bike and walked it over the hump bridge.
 Diagonally across the one way street from our hotel was a tiny restaurant; just 8 tables. Bistrot des Faubourgs. We ended up eating there 2 nights as the food was just so tasty.The cherry tarte with pistashio croutons was Divine.The waiter Christain was so friendly he spoke French and English - he loved to chat . Everyone in Paris talked about the All Blacks and rugby and asked about the earthquakes in Christchurch. We were first there on the Monday night and soon all the tables were taken. The next night only 2 tables were taken  - for no reason anyone knew. It must make planning hard.( but I am sure people choose a popular looking place to eat ) When we told Christain about R's stolen wallet he swore loudly in English and had us falling around laughing.The french hate ( for good reason ) the itinerants who are doing all the bad things in their country. 
 Notre Dame

and Sacre Coeur

are beautiful churches with amazing stained glass windows. We were privileged to visit them .( more of paris in another post. )


Fran├žoise said...

Lovely pictures of Paris. Sorry about the wallet, but yes these things happen and not only in Paris.

Janice said...

What a lovely thing to stumble across. I didn't even realise there were canals in Paris. We were lucky on our trip from London to Paris that we had seats looking the right way. It was rotten luck with the wallet. We spoke to people in Paris who had also been the victims of pick pockets. Aren't the churches beautiful.

molly said...

After always hearing how snooty the French were, when we finally got to Paris we found them to be nothing but friendly and helpful! What a lovely city to wander around. I'd love to go back some day and rent a few rooms for a few months!

Unknown said...

I have never been to Paris and for some reason I don´t want to! But it has many beautiful buildings.