Categories
Moving

Wall to Wall

On what was then the hottest day of the year, Easter Saturday, I was in Paris. And I was wondering why. There were travel advisories as a result of the heat generated by both the weather and a renewed vigour to the gilets jaunes protests. Their feelings of economic injustice had been fuelled by flash-funding fury following the fire at Notre-Dame de Paris the previous week.

With this in mind, I had chosen to stay at a hotel outside the city and to take a bus into the city centre. I was going to meet friends at Rue Saint Maur for the Atelier des Lumières Van Gogh Starry Night projection, and we had timed tickets for the late afternoon. The bus was stopped twice by police; the driver questioned, the vehicle checked. After an hour’s journey, we came to a halt at Opera.

I was ready to walk, having no intention of using the Metro; which I dislike. What I wanted was a calm route through Paris (I know, right? I also want to win a major cash lottery prize); away from building injury porn, running battles between police and protestors, and tribes of tourists. So I walked through business districts, closed for the Easter weekend, as endless streams of police vehicles drove past.

To the soundtrack of sirens, I then walked via Les Halles, through the Marais and on to Square Maurice Gardette, where I found a cafe in the shade and took a late lunch. I drank a large carafe of mint lemonade and reflected that walking is always the answer, whatever the question. I met my friends and we went to the novel, overcrowded, film show.

Afterwards, we walked on together up through Belleville towards Buttes Chaumont, punctuated by my stopping to take pictures of walls. We sat, as guests, to take in hazy, panoramic views of the city from a private hilltop garden near community vineyards while drinking ice-cold water provided by our bemused (we were strangers to him) host.

After we’d eaten well, and cheaply, at a packed Le P’tit Resto in the 20th to the sound of Da Capo Duo, I was offered a lift back to my hotel. The roads were clear, the drive was smooth. I arrived feeling content at a day well spent as I realised that I’d enjoyed a day in a Paris with its people quite different to any before. And I was no longer wondering why.

Categories
Moving

Desperately Seeking Lily

On Easter Saturday, walking through Paris, I stopped for an iced drink at a cafe on Square Maurice Gardette. The idea had been to sit in the Square itself, but another day of civil unrest meant that it remained unopened. However, I was heartened to see young children squeeze through the railings and two amorous couples climb over the gates to play boules – it was such a hot, dry and dusty day with little space for respite from the police sirens. I wished them joy of it. In the meantime, Christian was still desperately seeking Lily. I wonder, have they yet been reunited?

Categories
Smiling

La Vie est Belle

As seen in Nice, France by Frank-dog.

Categories
Making

Persepolis

The perfect ice-cream. Rose water, pistachio and saffron – a taste of heaven.

Categories
Smiling

This Year’s Model

My Nice Advent calendar. 

  

Categories
Moving

Of Good Carriage

Notes from a train journey: (iDTGV 2901 Paris Gare de Lyon – Nice Ville, via Avignon, Toulon and Cannes. Carriage 11, seat 61. 18/10/2015).

Note to self: public transport has one drawback – the public

Dark

Fog

Mist

Charolais 

Mist 

Fog

Mist

Charolais

SUN!

Charolais

Mist

Fog

SUN!

Charolais 

Cloud

Avignon

Sheep

Cloud

Drizzle

SEA!

SHIPS!

Train slows

Marseille

More Marseille 

Marseille forever

And ever

Marseille stops

Favourite bit starts

Green

Rain

Green

Vines 

More vines

Lots of vines

Toulon

Everyone loves Toulon

Train empties

Play musical seats

Sit sea side

Vines

Green

Mist

Rain

Sea

Villas

Yachts 

Golfers

Rain

Cannes

SEA!

Put shoes on

Yachts – lots

Antibes

Rain

Stables

Hippodrome

The Urbans

Airport

Easy jets

Nice