"The last time I saw Paris..." Paris by themajor
Paris Travel Guide: 22,630 reviews and 55,564 photos
It's hard to talk about Paris without stumbling into cliché but having used my first acute accent in record time let me answer the question posed above. Although it dates from nothing weightier than a 1950's Elizabeth Taylor flic (ahem, a totally different meaning in french) this expression evokes part of the romantic Parisian dream honed by Offenbach and his operettas, carried by soldiers returning from two world wars, and polished to perfection by Gene Kelley and countless Hollywood films. The last time I saw Paris was in May 2009. The last time before that? Never!
This all comes from living on the English coast slap opposite our chums in La Belle France. It was so - 'er, relatively - close that it was always put on the back-burner when it came to holidays. We could go there anytime! But we never did. Up to this point,my last dip into France had been a school day trip to Dieppe in 1971. We went to see the castle but the teachers had failed to do their research (pre internet days my friends!) and it was shut. But we were happy and fenced gaily with baguettes as the ferry slowly ploughed back to port.
Of course I had come to Paris in search of it's culture. Historical, musical, artistic. I wanted it all! But preferably not an artist's garret. No. What I wanted was all the experience but none of the poverty and disappointment...I have quite enough of that at home! As I didn't have time to rattle off a first novel, I contended myself with putting on my louche dressing gown, donning my 'intelligent look' spectacles, sucking knowingly at my pen and producing some of the funniest and finest postcards the world has ever received. Honestly. Next time I'll send you one...
So come with me now as we stroll along the boulevards, berets aloft and our pockets full of escargots. Well perhaps not as there are quite a few gendarmes knocking around at the moment. Parles-vous français? Non? Then we shall speak in english...
First built in the 17th Century as a hospital and nursing home for injured soldiers, Les Invalides is best known... more travel advice
We could not avoid the Eiffel Tower. I felt I couldn't possible ignore it's existence so I went for a quick crawl... more travel advice
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