Paris in the Spring
We had to leave the house at 6.30am and it’s a half-hour drive to Montbard to catch the TGV to the Gare de Lyon. There had been a very heavy frost and the countryside – rolling hills, fields and forest, mediaeval villages - was an unearthly white, with thick mist in all the hollows. We paused to look at a signpost and two deer ran round the field next to us.
Freezing cold at Montbard station with a few shivering commuters and a picture of the train so we could see where our carriage would be – what a simple yet brilliant idea.
The train was clean, comfortable, quiet, uncrowded and exactly on time in just the way that the Pennine Express isn’t. In fact I am surprised that there wasn’t an announcement “We apologise to any passengers from the United Kingdom for reminding you that your train service is so CRAP”.
We went to the Eiffel Tower first as I guessed the queues would grow as the day progressed, and I was right – we only had to queue for ten minutes or so. We chose the “stairs only” option as the queue was shorter, and I was pleased that I could manage the climb without the aid of a defibrillator and me with my bad leg an’ all.
Here’s the queue seen from above:
By now the mist had turned to sunshine so the views were wonderful – our tickets didn’t let us go right up to the top, but believe me, it’s high, and I love heights, as long as there’s no chance of falling off them. We could see right to the edge of Paris, see all the flats and the squares and imagine what it would be like to live there - -
We cruised along the Seine in a boat and then walked along it in the sunshine where we met the only disappointment of the day – the Louvre was closed. I expect Tuesday is the Mona Lisa’s day off.
Not that we were planning to visit the Louvre: we were planning to visit the Musee d’Orsay across the river to see some French Impressionists - - but because the Louvre was closed, every single person who had planned to visit it had arrived at it, cursed, and crossed the river to the Musee d’Orsay. There were thousands of them, literally, and I think the queue must have extended until past closing time. We were really disappointed but quickly changed this to A Good Excuse to Come Back to Paris.
So we wandered round in the sunshine, sitting in cafes, watching the people, looking at the many beautiful buildings.
I don’t like cities, generally. But I loved Paris in the Spring.