6th – 7th July 2013
Well, I timed that right – feeling much better for a week-end full of exploring Paris!
And just because I could, I caught the metro again, but, guess what – the thrill is quickly wearing off, lol. Getting off at the Louvre though was still a tad exciting, not that I had planned on going inside, I was just happy to look around the outside. Somewhere in my travels I’d heard about the Batobus, a hop on hop off boat that stops near all the touristy places along the river. So, towards the river I headed and sure enough, there was one of the Batobus just waiting for me to buy a ticket and hop on board.
To make it even better, the next stop was the Eiffel Tower, just where I wanted to go. It’s a wonderful feeling, motoring along the Seine and seeing it come into view, getting larger and more impressive the closer you get, craning your neck back to get a better view. I wonder what it is about the Eiffel Tower that makes such a strong connection with people of all ages and backgrounds. I know it’s fascinated me for years, and some of the younger ones in my language classes have said they’d happily set up camp beneath the tower if they could.
Being extra vigilant, because of all the warnings of pickpockets, I went with the flow up the stairs and across the street to just stand there and look. Wow, I was really here, at the Eiffel Tower, on my own too, so I could sit and look all day if I wanted to. Which is pretty much what I did for the next few hours, I drifted around the area looking from all directions. I sat and had a chocolate crepe across near the carousel, watched the people with the three cups and a little object hustling people for their money, was asked fifty times if I spoke English by girls trying to get me to sign something – think the green eyes and blonde hair might have been a give-away, but I just kept shaking my head and they eventually went away, sat on the grass behind the tower sketching and people watching, went down by the river for a wine and late lunch.
Deciding I’d best not set up camp just yet, I ‘batobused’ back to the Musee d’Orsay where I spent more hours happily strolling through what I’ve just learnt was once a railway station. Degas, Monet, Manet, Sisley and even the Whistler were some of my favourites I found, but really, there’s too many paintings and sculptures that intrigue me to remember even half of them. Even good old Charles Rennie Mackintosh was represented, and Gaudi too – whose work I’m so looking forward to seeing in Barcelona.
Not really having a plan, and feeling a tad foot-sore by now, I crossed the river via one of Paris’s bridges with all the locks attached, the Pont des Arts , I think, for a little wander along the other side before making my way back ‘home’. Oh, it was nice to arrive at the bar down the end of the street where Josette’s flat is, sit out the front with a cold glass of wine, a few peanuts and just relive my day. Even better was knowing I can do it all again tomorrow if I like – but maybe tomorrow I’ll go somewhere else!