Standing still is boring. Get outside!

Get an Eiffel

photo-226For Nett’s second Parisian night we did what we do best…packed a big picnic and headed over to the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower at sunset. We had a lovely picnic and watched the tower light up then sparkle as it does every hour on the hour. As we were chilling on the picnic rug we even witnessed a man get down on one knee and propose to his lady friend under the tower! How awesome is that!!! Everyone clapped, she squealed and then they made out for at least half an hour. On the way home we took a stroll down the Champs Élysées and around the Arc de Triomphe. We even stopped for a coffee on Paris’ most expensive street and yes it was Paris’ most expensive coffee.

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photo-220The Palace of Versailles has been calling my name since we got here but I have been waiting to see it with Nett. The Palace is about an hour away on the train from the centre of Paris and is massive, amazing, opulent and ridiculously beautiful. It is the biggest palace in Europe and is where Marie Antoinette lived before the poor and hungry people of Paris stormed the place and eventually took them prisoner. The last three Kings to live there were all Louis’. Louis the 14th,15th and 16th. The best way to remember the Louis kings and Versailles is Louis the 14th built it, Louis the 15th enjoyed it and Louis the 16th paid for it – with his head.

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Weary from a massive day, Nett took us out to dinner at the Bistrot du Coin (Corner Bistro), which was amazing! It is on the corner of our street and is always full of French people. We had a long, delicious and slow meal of three divine courses and a bottle of wine. Jono even ate snails for the first time and he liked them the sicko!

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When we visited the Lourve the next morning we went and saw the Mona Lisa first to get it out of the way, as you do. It was crazy, there were tourists everywhere all snapping photos of her as a tiny dot with about 20 people they didn’t know in the frame. We battled our way to the front and got a sneaky selfie. We spent the rest of the morning checking out all the other treasures this beautiful museum has before we felt death encroaching and we bailed for lunch. It was a beautiful sunny day and we found some lounge chairs in the Jardin des Tuileries and had a laze.

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That night we went north to Heidi and Carmen’s neck of the woods and had a lovely dinner at Les P’tites Indécises on the corner of their street. We are becoming locals here, it’s a super cute cafe that makes delicious French food and is frequented by real French people.

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Nett’s last day was a chilled one. After a patisserie breakfast (one of Jono’s favorite things) of croissants and coffee we visited Rue Montorgueil in the Les Halles area of town. We ooed and ahhed over the array of pastries and fresh goods in the very old boulangeries and patisseries and had a coffee. We saw Nett off to the airport and then wandered home. It was an absolute pleasure having Nett visit us and lots of fun being tour guides in a foreign city. We will miss her until we see her again in August!

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On our way home we found ourselves in front of a wandering brass band that was playing super cool music and had a whole street of followers. They’d stopped all the traffic and no one was honking or anything. I find the French odd like this at times. You could be verbally dressed down for putting a glass bottle in the general waste bin by a passionate French recycler however on the whole the French are extremely (or it seems this way to an Australian) passive. They accept rules and regulations and respond to people in authority with no questions asked and seem overly chill when things don’t go as planned. Imagine you’re in inner city Sydney and a group of young people starts playing music in the middle of the street completely blocking traffic…it’s a crazy thought! Every driver would be on their horn, yelling and shouting within 1 minute. The French however didn’t bat an eyelid and calmly kept driving 5-10mins later when the band moved on. Bizarre, but cool.

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2 responses

  1. Barbie

    Hi Jono & Clare, just loving your journalism style, pouvoired avec funny expressions! Your pique-nique pics have my tummy rumbling audibly – in the LIBRARY! Was the brass band walking in the Palais Royal area? Those beautiful lamp posts looked a little familiar! Is it respect for precious old French traditions & history & a strong sense of keeping them alive in a challenging multicultural world, that has the French sitting patiently in a brass band traffic jam? Add to that the beautiful locale & an excuse to linger legally in the middle of the road?? Love, Barbie xxoo

    May 6, 2013 at 2:44 am

    • haha i think you might be right re the Palais Royal area! As for the respect of traditions, I’m really not sure. Did you hear about the riots re the Paris football team. Crazy stuff.

      May 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

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