Friday, January 05, 2007


One always forgets how beautiful and interesting Paris really is, so this trip, the first with the kids was worth it in all sorts of ways. Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle then RER to our hotel. A quick bite to eat in a local brasserie then down a street that had nothing but costume jewellry.

Great to go back to Chartier, near to our hotel, the 19th century canteen with its wooden panelling and lovely lamps. It hasn't changed one bit. If anything the grumpy waiters have lightened up a bit. Everything there is simple, excellent and cheap - predictably good. We ate a couple of times close to the Place de la Republique. but three times at Chartier.


Carl loved the Metro and was always willing to trace our route on the map then guide us to the right platform and spot the changes. Our travel card was superb value.

Spent a lot more time looking at paintings this time, especially Fouquet, Poussin, Prudhon, Gros, Le Brun, Watteau, Boucher, Chardin, David, Ingres, GĂ©ricault and Delacroix. The Mona Lisa, of course. But who could visit the Louvre and not get to the sculpture with the Venus de Milo, Michelangelo's two slaves and Gladiator.

Musee d'Orsay
Enough nudity to amuse the boys, especially Manet's pubic hair picture but also enough to get them interested. Afterwards we went up to the Arc de Triumph. The Champs d'Elysees is looking a bit tacky these days.

Boys loved this, guts on the outside, and strange goings on inside. We watched some whacky dance videos then headed down to the River Seine.

Picasso Museum
Visited the Picasso Museum with its exposition about Guernica, now back in Spain. It traced the evolution of the work, layer by layer. This Bastille are is very nice.

Notre Dame
Got to be done.

Eiffel Tower
Right to the top. Windy but well worth it!

Back on the RER to the airport through the grim northern suburbs. This remind me of the similarly grim journey to Docklands through the ugly east-end.


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