Today was meant to be an easy day, a bit of mindless wandering, tick a few things off the list, a bit of shopping, maybe somebody might buy me a Fathers Day present?
A late breakfast, this is good as Genelle’s mobile rang at 3.30am, some scamming mob trying us on, and to be sure Genelle called our bank to confirm nobody had been in doing stuff in our accounts that they shouldn’t be doing, all confirmed as Ok, then try to get back to sleep?
We wander out to Boulevard St Germaine, to the North Face shop and Mark buys himself a Paris momento, then we walk over the Seine, twice, that’s because of the island in the middle, to get to Rue De Rivoli and my bit of shopping at C&A. I’m happy to say that I’ve bought my summer wardrobe from Paris for €70, Mark also buys a pair of jeans and Genelle a pair of socks. A f….g miracle, maybe the stuff wasn’t expensive enough for her? As we leave C&A I set off the alarm, get the full security check and search ” welcerrm to Pariii mon deu, now ferrrk ouf back to Ostralee……”, don’t you feel welcome sometimes. Mark gets the same treatment but he’s bigger than me and the security bloke and gets straight through.
We wander into Les Halles area, don’t know Les and certainly don’t know the Halles family ( that’s a joke!), anyway it’s warmed up a bit and I’m happy I chose to drag out the shorts for the first time of the trip but I figure that it’s looking like rain tomorrow and they might not get another run. The sky is a little grey, it’s pretty muggy, and while it’s only 26 degrees, it feels warm until you get into the shade or pick up a breeze. Good news, the streets are almost free of school age children, the place is a lot more civilised.
We find a little Italian cafe for lunch, the 2 pizzas are great, Genelle though she liked the sound of one but the prosciutto threw her a little so I had to eat it all by myself with liberal splashes of a chilli olive oil, delicious! The Peroni washes it down nicely.
Now a big challenge, we walk a fair way into the gay area to a “rugby” shop, but I’m not sure what sort of footy these lot play, so we then Metro it up to Sacre Coer at Mont Martre, a few changes of trains and the Navigator ( not navigating today) gets a bit winded with the up hill and down dale train changes and needs the puffer, I’m struggling but don’t try to show it, Mark watches out for his mother with a concerned look. The Metro station Abesses exit is about 10000 steps to get out, it’s exhausting, a tip for anyone with bung knees, legs or lungs, there is no lift, so suck it up buttercup.
The funicular up to the church is one Metro ticket ( €1.45 each) and its well worth it the steps are many and steep up to the church. It’s a great view over the city but the church is something I’ve been to twice so I hold the bags and sit outside watching the gypsy drink sellers and African Eiffel Tower marketers ply their trade.
We wander down the hill, it’s not a long way to Pigalle which is the red light area, then down past the sex paraphernalia shops and live sex shows towards the Moulin Rouge, the area full of tourists and tarts. The park area in the middle of the main road between Pigalle Metro and Blanche Metro has a lot of suspect looking young men trying to make eye contact, I might have a hotel room next to Diane but I’m not the least bit interested chaps.
A quick Metro trip, 2 stops only keeps the Navigator happy, we’re off at Mauberte Mutuale Metro , a quick walk up to a little shop off Boulevard St Germaine called Mr Rugby and I find my Fathers Day present, it’s a Stade Du Paris Rugby polo shirt, I now have one for every time I’ve been to Paris, that’s 4 or 5 now I think? I support French Rugby, I like eye gouging, kicking, shoulder shrugging with upturned hands “whaat are you talking about ref ? ” French rugger buggers.
We amble back to Rue de Ecole and the Familia Hotel at 7pm for a rest before dinner , our last evening in Paris for 2018. Now that’s an easy day, coulda fooled me!
A big decision, dinner, what will the Navigator and Mark eat? As the sky in the north darkens, I’ve finished the can of Heineken and I think Bonvivant Bar and Restaurant about 20 meters from the Hotel looks like it might win the votes tonight.
TIP – use the Metro in Paris, it’s easy, you need to know the end station name and then work out the trip plan, there are a few apps that help plan the trips and the best way is buy a cannet of 10 tickets ( you buy them at the Metro stations, can only buy with a credit card, 1 x ticket = €1.90 but a cannet of 10 costs €14.90) each trip on the Metro costs 1 ticket as long as you don’t exit “Sortie” the Metro system) have a go and get the hang of it.
Dinner on Rue Monge fills the tank again and it’s 10pm back to the hotel for the pack. Tomorrow we’re on the Eurostar to London Town.
Au revoir from Paris 2018