Paris. The Grand

part une

She smiled pleasantly. “That’s 40 euros, please” Quickly and efficiently change was made and tickets were delivered. Another smile. “Thank you, Merci.”
And with that brief exchange we began the last leg of our 12-hour journey. My non-existent French had made something of itself and I was surprised at the ease of it all. But we were struggling under the slumping fatigue of a sleepless night and heavy luggage. Paris had not waited for us, she was well into her day, and, in an additional act of betrayal, she wouldn’t easily give up our apartment.  We searched, our minds on a job, our heads not yet in Paris.

Then, suddenly, we were standing on the Pont Neuf, the Eiffel Tower to our right, Notre Dame allowing herself to be observed to our left, and the Seine flowing under our feet.

Paris comes at you all at once.

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outside our apartment, Quai des Grands Augustins

 

 Heavy, ornately carved ancient stone soars into the sky.

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Notre Dame

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Notre Dame, during mass

 

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tower of St Jacques cathedral

 

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Arc de Triumph

 

 

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Sacre-Coeur

Paris delivers on all of its promises

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petite dejeuner in Montmartre

 

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the bedroom of Marie Antoinette at Versailles and the door through which she ran when the mob gathered outside

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Versailles

 

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evening in the 5th a beautiful brasserie/cabaret on the ancient rue Gallande off Rue St Jacques

 

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petite dejeuner at Deux Magot

 

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view of the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triumph. We walked all the way from the home, then climbed all the way to the top

 

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Laduree
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late night dessert on ‘the Buci’- Rue de Buci in St Germain

Soon after purchasing those train tickets into the city we were immersed in Parisian life. We walked everywhere, we looked at everything, we spoke to everyone. Every minute of our day was filled, quite often with nothing at all. We left behind almost all of our other life, after all, it was only for ten days and France has so much to offer that you don’t want old habits to get in the way of new experiences. In some ways, we had no choice: we spoke little French and had to practice as we went, our computers and iphones failed to work for a myriad of reasons, and even the phone in our apartment didn’t work. But I think it was mostly Paris itself, she brings your senses to the very edge of overwhelmed and while you are there, you are so consciously in Paris, you cannot be anywhere else. Paris takes up all of your attention.

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22 thoughts on “Paris. The Grand

  1. Bebe, you have been missed and Greyfriars Bobby and I have been keeping a vigil til your safe return and you did promise treats?!?!….how about Bobby and I each get one of those delish late night desserts?….we don’t share either.
    Your beautiful prose has us experiencing the life affirming allure of Paris and the overwhelming sensations it has on those who only rarely have an opportunity to go. Looking forward to the next installments!
    Didn’t I spot one of the beautiful young ladies from Woodcock Pocket?!?!

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    1. Thank you for being so very kind about my rambles. And yes, that is one of the offspring enjoying a cafe creme. We have relented and now allow the morning roast.
      Good to be home but I am still there. A Moveable Feast indeed

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  2. Welcome back and what a post this is! Paris certainly has a way of luring you in every possible way – such a temptress! You are making me yearn for another visit soon. I was last there two years ago and spent a week just walking around absorbing all of the beauty. Really, is there anything ugly about Paris? I’ve not seen it if there is.

    Looking forward to reading more from your adventures.

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    1. Hello CD! Thank you! You are right-Paris is a temptress. And really, walking is all one needs to do to get to know her. The sights can be seen, the museums visited, the wine supped, but simply wandering around gives you just as much.
      I hadn’t been in 25 years! I just realized that a few moments ago.

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  3. Paris does hit you all at once and then keeps the attention. Looks like you had a wonderful trip, a perfect time of year to go. Paris is magic, stay in the mood as long as you can!xo

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    1. Hi Dani! Oh I will. We’ve continued the petite dejeuner here at home,cafe au laid, bread and jam. And I’ve sought out the Beaujolais nouveau which is what we drank all throughout our trip.

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    1. oh how sweet you are! Thats MY Em, half of the very sophisticated duo that accompanied Mr Bebe and I to Paris
      Part 2 is coming up next month. Just kidding. This wknd. It will be much less grand and much more Bebe

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    1. Dearest GF
      All excellent questions that I will answer in my next post. I think we reached a point in our highly scheduled family life when the offspring are a little older, the coffers a bit more adequate and the daily focus a bit too limited. One jumps on a plane, and Paris beckoned.
      Comprenez?

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    1. Oh thank you very much Jen! I wanted to bring along a better camera but I know nothing about photography yet so my iphone had to suffice.
      It really is a wonderful city and one could be very happy there. If you don’t drive.

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    1. Oh thank you Wendy, and welcome! I am no fan of the iphone (I miss the rotary dial phones with the cord you can wrap around your finger and sit and have a decent talk without capturing all the ambient) but they do take decent pictures.

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    1. Actually GB was my first choice but family overruled. I have a long standing appt with your island. Ive been planning a trip for years.
      That is exactly what I thought about Paris:a fun place to live. When I was young, it was NYC. As an adult, its Paris

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  4. Hurrah, found you again, have had to follow everyone again for the 5th time on Bloglovin, I keep forgetting my password and then I have to start over. Love the way you’ve taken us through your trip, Lipp is great place, their arrogance is a joy to behold, I love the snooty way they look you up and down and decide which area to shuffle you off to!

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    1. Im so glad that you re-followed me! I have many similar technical set backs with the blogging-I can’t even make a comment on a Blogger blog without great effort and a little wizardry.
      Lipp was beautiful. It was barely open when we went in and the staff seemed surprised by our presence, but in a very nonchalant way, and we made a little game of surreptitiously snapping pix of the waiter as he went about his business

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