Welcome back. Through the magic of computers it now seems to be a week later even though I only finished my last entry this morning. I'll get on with it, shall I ?
On Friday I caught up with young Mr Nicklearse Klau and wandered about with him while the Three Musketeers shot off to Versailles for the day.
Nick and I went to the fairly phallic and prominent Tour Eiffel (obligatory, but impressive nonetheless), then wandered up the Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe.
We decided (rather rashly) to climb the two hundred and something steps to get to the top, but hell I was determined to see that crazy roundabout thing from above with my own eyes!! Of course, by the time we hit the top I was so stuffed I could barely see. I captured a few shots of the organised chaos however, and will upload them when I return to London.
Wandering back up the Champs Elysees we popped in at Sephora – the most incredible perfume store I've ever been in. OK, possibly the ONLY perfume store I've ever been in, but it was still amazing! It was a complete A-Z of fragrance. It has to be one of the few times I've been relieved not to have a girlfriend…
That night I went and grabbed dinner with Jon, and we wound up in a chinese restaurant. Not sure what it is with me and chinese restaurants lately, but anyway… When I went to the one in Scotland we were joking about having Sweet and Sour Haggis, and so when we looked at the menu in the Parisian one, I checked it for Sweet and Sour Frogslegs. Alas, no sign of them. So I had Froglegs in Imperial Sauce instead!!
After dinner we decided to walk up to Montmartre and catch a glimpse of the Moulin Rouge. The neighbourhood's pretty dodgy at night, but also chock full of tourists, so we figured it was OK to stick around for a while. Any thoughts of getting near the place were squashed when we saw the size of the line to get in though. Mon Dieu !
I'll finish with my description of Saturday, because I'm sure you're all meant to be working instead of reading my website…
Saturday I got woken up at 5 by Tim and Chrissy waking Jon up to get to the airport in time for their flight to Spain (via London, of course). This was a fairly tough start to the day.
First cab off the rank was a trip to the train station to buy our TGV tickets to Marseille, and I'm glad I had Nick with me, because I'd have been stuffed without his expertise in French! Mind you, without Nick I guess I wouldn't be going to Marseille…
Next we wandered over the Seine towards the Musee d'Orsay, and stopped in at a little bistro for some lunch. I wouldn't normally go into detail, but this was wild. Fois Gras for starters, followed by chicken in blue cheese sauce. C'est magnifique!
The Musee d'Orsay is more of an art gallery than the name suggests (sounds a lot like “museum” to me!), housing some awesome and also very important works. The bit that surprised me is that unlike in Britain, you're allowed to photograph these ones!! Just so long as you don't use a flash. I got a couple of cool shots of work by Van Gogh, Renoir, Klimt, and Rodin.
On the way out we saw a busker playing a trumpet, an accordian, and a drum kit simultaneously, and about 2 seconds after he spotted me in my hat and glasses, he segued from the song he was playing into “Evrybody Needs Somebody” – Nick and I nealry collapsed laughing, but it was an easy way to score a couple of euros from a couple of amused aussies.
Finally we went back up to Pigalle (the dodgy suburb that the Moulin Rouge is in) and met a friend of Nick's, who we wandered about and had beer with, and then decided to jump on the Metro again and go over the other side of town and grab some beers with some friends of hers. Without itemising every single drink and step we took, we wound up in a bar that reminded me a lot of Worldsend, drinking these minty rum drinks called Mejitos while a band cranked out some wild French tunes.
And that's all from me today. I think next time I'll just skip to the bit where I head to Marseille, cos I've been here a couple of days now and haven't written a thing about it! Sufficed to say that the Mediterranean Summer Sunshine is quite lovely, and I wish that all the lovely people of Adelaide could enjoy it with me.