Friday 1 July 2011

En train de nous nous amuser

Today I slid into the Gare du Nord, starting point for so many stories I've read, for one of my own this time. A long one, starting with a 5.30am wake-up in London, a two and a half hour journey (but oh so smooth and efficient, leaving on the dot of the scheduled 7.22am) and straight onto a bus tour of the city.

It was a beautiful day and Paris looked fabulous, all the iconic sights bright and shiny and stunning, the traffic marvellously horrendous, our guide unfailingly cheerful. Up the tower, down the Seine, into Notre Dame during a service with a priest singing so beautifully I would happily have paid to listen, and then to a Temple of Mammon, Galeries Lafayette with its glorious stained glass dome. No-one could ever accuse Paris of minimalism.

Lots of queues and waiting too, though, and dinner finally at 10pm in Montmartre, charmed into a tourist-focused very ordinary restaurant by a waiter who snared us out on the footpath. No matter: it was a brilliant day and the daughters were delighted with their first taste of Paris.

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