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    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Cafe de Flores We Love You -Paris - From Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower to St Germain du Pres

    Thursday - Big Day Out

    Breakfast at Le Metro pour moi...blogged and emailed - over coffee, very pleasant
    Back to apartment to pick up Dale and over to Le Metro, The real one.
    We arranged to meet John and JT.
    There were a couple of changes on the Metro and we ended up at the top end of Montmartre .

    We hadn’t been to this area before and it was a pleasant walk to Sacre Coeur. A small hill.
    The area was just as we remembered it, so quaint and beautiful.
    A vineyard in the City no less.
    I tool this shot because I thought "Le Lapin Agile" looked and sounded cute.
    Turns out it is very famous. One of the Haunts of Picasso and Co in the last century.
    Local dogs having a scrap.

    Dominated by Sacre Coeur which has to be one of the world’s most gorgeous churches. And what a view.
    We wandered into the Church, they were celebrating mass.
    It was so inspiring. this is when you wish you had religion. We didn’t want to intrude so we quietly walked around.

    I lit a candle for Michael and Sheryl.
    JT and John came in from the bottom and walked up all those steps.
    Dale took a shot of me on those very steps 41 years ago. What happened to that young girl. October 1968. Where were the tourists then?
    We loved walking amongst the artists and Cafes.

    Bought the obligatory hand painted view of Paris (below). Souvenirs for the kids.
    So we walked back down the hill
    Dale had read about a restaurant in the area
    Trying to find it on the map.
    It was OK, not brilliant, but the staff were friendly. I had hamburger... Yes I know, in Paris... but I was intrigued to see how it tasted. They don’t supply the bun, it was just a burger with French fries and salad. It was fine, I think we do them better here though. The others enjoyed their food.
    JT looking particularly Francaise with the menu.
    So back on the train to the Eiffel Tower. I noticed how they are tarting the underground up. Very flash seats for the punters. great colours and still looking a bit brand spanking new. Took as many shots as I could.

    Cat nap on the Metro. Obviously John was scintillating company.
    We were blessed with the weather... Sunshine everywhere. Nice change.
    (Below) Approaches to the Tower.
    I just love the French and their flowers.
    They just pop pots and gardens and window boxes everywhere. Its gorgeous. And of course Trompe d'oeil.
    Invented in France and past masters of it.

    We arrived at the other end of the Eiffel Tower as well.
    Last time, we came in at the long a photo of that as well.

    Still get knocked out at the majesty of the Tower.

    I just loved these roundabouts. Don't remember seeing them before.
    So nice to get another perspective of the Tower and environs.

    Took lots of shots. Every man and his camera is out there.

    Below in another Era. Dale ,Lana and I at the other end of the Eiffel tower.

    Dale 1968
    JT and John 2009

    There was a bit of fracas.
    There are dozens of Moroccan boys selling crap souvenirs. It appeared that some of them had encroached on some other gang’s patch. There was police and lots of running but nothing much seemed to come of it.
    Here they are regrouping.
    Off to dinner in the St Germain du Pres area. John and JT beat us to it and John was sitting in Les Deux Magots. So famous, of course the seats outside were taken. He was waiting inside, not at the back this time like Le Dome, that was OK, he had a menu in his hand, had ordered water and after 10 minutes it still hadn’t arrived, once again slack service. Bugger Les Deux Magots “The Two Maggots” more likely!
    So once again, we walked, right across the road, to the Cafe des Flores
    Well what a difference. They welcomed us. Our waiters were wonderful

    Once again we had to sit indoors, the coveted outdoor seats were taken, but we didn’t care, we squashed into a table and in a trance we were delivered of our drinks.
    I had the best cocktail
    Cognac, Grand Marnier, Raspberry Coulis and Champagne. It was fabulous. My friend Diana gave me 10 euros to have a cup of coffee in this famous Cafe, it paid for the drink instead. Worth every centime.

    I had Duck Rillettes, they were very good. The nice waiter found a table for us outside and JT and I shared a Chocolate Raspberry dessert.
    There is outside tables and out outside tables for the smokers. This man drove away 3 people with his smelly old cigar
    Cafe de Flores we love you
    Don’t you love those Smart Cars Just pop into a park. Obviously the only car to have in a big city. One day we all be driving them.
    So we made our fond farewells with the Taymacs. They were back to Amsterdam and we were on to Le Mans to stay with our friend Annie. We had a great time with them, we all travel well together. Must do it again.
    St Germain du Pres is full of beautiful shops and buildings. The nearby Church.
    Our last trip on the Metro Dale giving Hannah Montana a kiss from Mia.
    Guess what it was raining again. Last look out of the window.
    We packed the suitcases and made our way to Gare Montparnasse. This time we didn’t even bother to try the train, Straight into a cab. As luck would have it, the cab rank was just outside our cafe, "Le Metro". So it was just a hop skip and jump across the road.

    We arrived with plenty of time to spare Only problem was looking for our train. The message board led me to believe we were on the right platform but somehow it didn’t really bode well. Just not enough information.
    Finally got some advice and of course we were at the the wrong end of the station. I was looking at arrivals instead of departures.
    We are at Platform 20, we depart from Platform 4, a fair trot down the concourse.

    Dale's turn to look after the luggage.
    We hastened down to the right platform. Guess what then our carriage was right at the end. The train was very large, two joined together indeed. So it was once again a bit of rush, running down the platform, to get on board. Not too stressed though. We managed to get the luggage stowed reasonably and took our seats.
    Le Mans here we come.
    Just a little extra. In 1985 Dale and Lana and I traveled on the Orient Express.London to Paris.
    It was fantastic, a little different to our 2009 second class experience.
    Boarding at London.
    Quickly into the Champagne

    Moved through to the Bar Carriage. Getting more relaxed
    Once again we found new best drinking friends
    Party Time Krug was beverage of choice
    Changing for dinner
    Arrived at Paris.
    Farewell friends. No idea what their names are. But Hey who cares?
    This was a wonderful surprise.
    This shot taken in 1985, was taken on the corner just behind us our apartment in 2009.
    How about that of all the streets in Paris.....We had to pick that one. Fabulous. "Paris" You are fabulous. Thank you.

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