Monday, March 31, 2008

Last five minutes at work I have found that if I click on one of our photos I get a huge blow-up. Hence the very long time they took to download. Also playing with Frostwire for the first time last night.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

These are the last two pictures of our trip. Incidentally all the subway stations in The 11 ieme were in the old Art Nouveaux style.

The trip cost us a lot even though many treats were paid for by other people. Kim gave me some family money the first day up on the mountain along with the lap top he promised me for my sixtieth. He got all the guests with digital cameras to download their shots onto it and then tried to make a disk of 2800 pictures. The system crashed.

I have used the laptop a few times, but this old desktop is still easier for me. I was very frightenned of the computer and of carrying the money (in cash) at first.

Here are the things I forgot to mention. Perhaps I will enter them in the right places later. Long line, motorbike rides offered. Raised railway. Tent floor, carpets. Lunches Monday and Tuesday in main square, salad, viande hache and frites. gas driven heaters. Meringue cookies and Easter chocolates. The tartiflette and its enormous cooker. The journeys down, one driver and two taximen, the second in heavy snow without chains. Croissants, french baguettes and jam, lots of cafe express. Dinner at Palestinian's. The louvre pyramid. In-flight movies: I can only remember August Rush, Juno, Mr. Bean, Enchanted and Blades of Glory. Glad of William's Apacer MP3 player. 15 year old highlands single malt bought at the airport. Customs declaration. Emotional pleasure at being back in my homeland.

We took the metro to Bastille where the track overlooks the end of a broad canal, Got lost at Republique where I also bent my glasses and lost a glove, which I went back to recover and eventually got back to the flat flat broke. Some worry that we would not be able to find a bank. We walked down the Avenue de la Republique, were relieved to get money from my account wandered around through a kind of student section and finally settled on a tourist trap called Bistro du Parisien, (25 Rue moret). At first we were the only people there, but it turned out to be expensive and fantastic. I had raw tuna and lotte in a cream and butter sauce which was delicious. Cathy had a hot salad plate, a tender, tender steak and wine. We were very, very happy as you can see....

As we walked the rain let up. We stopped at Movenpick for the best cafe creme Cathy said that she had had in France. French milk is often weird. She admired this tree and we shot the Quai D'Orsay museum across the river and this enormous spider, which, again, we thought William would like, (he did).

The bus took us in rain back along the South side of the river, hardly Rive Gauche, and across where Princess Diana was killed to Avenue Montaigne with the depressingly rich designer stores. Champs Elisee and Grand Palais . We got off on the far side of the Concorde, where the Fountains made Cathy laugh. Across in front of the Jeu de Pommes to the head of The Tuileries.

Down the road where my father's office was in a temporary building back in the fifties, and then it started to rain lightly and we took refuge under the tower, which was guarded by soldiers with ominous looking guns. I saw a bus cross the Champs de Mars in the distance and we walked that way along luxury streets.

We took the metro to Trocadero and walked down the Palais de Challiot steps, all of marble, where I used to roller skate as a boy....
Here are some pictures filched from Panoramico.

This is very similar to the one Cathy took which was spoilt by over exposure.

Outside the cemetery Cathy took this for William to show the very common graffing on everything in France, even between stops on the subway.

I asked her to take this shot just before the restaurant as I thought it typical of the ungarnished walls I remembered from the Paris of my youth.

We found a fabulous Beirut Restaurant and then got the Metro at Voltaire.

Down the hill again we looked for Jim Morrison's grave, but camera shake and over exposure ruined the shot. The long avenue at the end, near the main gate had Pissaro at the end, but by then we were tired. We walked down the hill.

Along the ridge a little more. We were, in fact, very close to Oscar Wilde's rather awful grave at the North east end of the cemetery.

We wandered around without a map until we saw views through the trees out over Paris....
See also this excellent interactive site:

Pere Lachaise. Up the hill, and along the ridge.