Monday, March 17’Th
Farewell to St-Malo. The weather is dry, but it’s freezing cold today.
takes me to Paris at 12.13. It’s fast, but for some reason the seats in
TGV’s are pretty uncomfortable. I arrive at Paris Montparnasse 3 hours
there it’s a 10 minute walk to my Hotel Petit Palace. It’s chosen
because it’s close to Montparnasse where my train arrives, and because
there’s a good connection from a local RER-station when I have to go to
this is not my first visit to Paris – so I have seen most of the sights.
So I’ve made no particularly plans for the next few days.
by going downtown to Les Halles, just to feel the city. From here I take
a walk around, before heading for Ile de La Cité, for at least seeing
one sight today.
Notre Dame Cathedral the 6 o’clock show is underway. The congregation
doesn’t seem to mind all the tourist walking around. And the tourist
sees this as an extra bonus to their visit.
this I cross to the left bank, walks along Boulevard St. Michel, and
some small streets behind Jardin de Luxembourg, before I find myself in
a nice neighborhood at Rue Vavin. From there I cross some avenues before
I’m back at Avenue de Maine, where my hotel is located. Dinner is at a
local, empty but pretty nice Chinese restaurant, just beside my hotel.
Tuesday, March 18’Th
this day at Versailles. That’s a major mistake.
leaving by train from Montparnasse at 9.30. It only takes about 15
minutes on a local train to Versailles, so I’m at the castle at about
a long line at the ticket-office, so it takes about ˝ an hour before I
get my ticket to the castle. But that’s not enough. Now you have to wait
in line for the castle. And that line is even longer, and is not moving
at all, since it is overtaken by the tour-groups that pass on the
skip this for the moment and head for the park instead. The park is very
nice. The huge Grand Canal is in the middle. It is 1.6 km long. I head
for the north side of the park, and the smaller castles of Grand Trianon
and Petit Trianon. The latter was Marie-Antoinettes. She was a bit on
the eccentric side, and also had a replica of a small village called
Hameau de La Reine in her backyard. She used to dress up as a milk-maid
when going there.
it’s back to the castle then. It was built in the 17’Th Century by Louis
XIV – The Sun king. It’s very luxurious. There were about 30.000 people
called in to build it. But it has to be huge, since the king had to
employ 6.000 people in order to live a decent life. Later Louis XVI and
Marie took over, until they lost their heads in 1789.
queue is still long, but at least it is moving now. But inside the
castle it’s all hell. There are way too many people for not enough
space. There’s no chance of seeing anything. And you have paid 13.50
Euro to see nothing. So I head out again as quickly as I can and head
back for Montparnasse as soon as possible. This has been the worst
Montparnasse is the target for the second tour of the day. Tour de
Montparnasse is 210 m high, and from the top there’s a great view across
Paris, and especially the Eiffeltower. Here at sunset it’s very nice.
Wednesday, March 19’Th
are 2 nice walks today. The first is partly inspired by a famous book.
at the Madeleine-church. From there I head over for Place Vendome and
Hotel Ritz, where the book starts as well. It’s a filthy rich
neighborhood. There are no price-tags in the jewel-shops around here. As
the main character in the book – who stayed at Ritz – I then head for
the Tuilleri-gardens and Louvre. I don’t get inside, even though it is
open. That means that I can’t jump out the windows to Quai de Louvre,
but have to take a route round the museum instead. But we can follow
each other across the Seine – on Pont de Arts.
here I walk through an artist-area with galleries etc. before finding
the old church of St. Germain. What part it played in the book I can’t
recall. From here it’s a short walk to one of the most important places
in the book the church of St. Sulpice. I can’t get inside today, since a
funeral is going on, so I don’t have the chance to meet Silas or find
the rose line.
with this book-thing, as I head for one of my Paris favorites – the
Luxembourg-garden. Unfortunately it’s to cold to sit outside, so I take
a RER B further on to Denfert-Rochereau. Here I will try to visit the
catacombs, but they are closed for repair.
I take a good lunch at a local brasserie, before walking back to my
hotel via the nice Rue Daguerre.
few hours rest, it’s time for my second trip of the day. First I take
the metro for Arc de Triomphe. It’s not even closed, but we get kicked
out after 20 minutes because some celebrities are coming because of the
anniversary of the French retreat for Algeria.
continue down Champs Elysees. Here you find Cartier side by side with
McD. I turn left at the Elysee-palace hoping to get a glimpse of
Monsieur Sarkozy and Mademoiselle Bruno. But I don’t. Instead I continue
towards the Opera, before taking a RER back to Denfert-Rochereau and a
short walk to the hotel.
Thursday, March 20’Th
usual – 2 walks today.
take a metro to La Defense to see Le Grande Arche. It’s almost in line
with its brother at Champs Elyssee and the tiny one at Louvre. The trip
to the top is spectacular in a elevator made of glass. The view from the
top is nice as well, and they show a nice little movie about the making
of the Arche. After that I take a walk around La Defense, before heading
back to the hotel.
pretty tired of being a tourist, but I still have metro-tickets to use,
so I have to continue. Second tour is a kind of weird figures tour.
First the weird figures at the fountain right beside Centre Pompidou. I
always try to visit this place when I’m in Paris. The next figures are
the one placed on Pont Neuf, which is crossing the Seine and has done so
since 1607. These are pretty dramatic and quite funny. There are
barbers, dentists, pocket thieves etc.
Se the thing turn around here
I’ve had enough. I’m heading back to my hotel, only with a stop for a
good dinner on the way.
Friday, March 21’St.
It’s time for
my last cup of coffee and my last baguette at the hotel. Then I check out – walk
to Denfert-Rochereau – take a RER to Charles de Gaulle – check in – get on board
my Sterling-plane – flies to Billund – wait a little – and take 907X to Vejle.