This weekend in France it is the Journees Europeennes du Patrimoine where hundreds of buildings all around France are opened up to the public. Yesterday I went to the Palais du Luxembourg which is where the French Senate is. It is a beautiful, grand building located in the Jardin du Luxembourg which I've already spoken about. Tres joli. Not only was it wonderfully decorative and ornate, it also is home to the best library I've seen in a while -a long room with bookshelves going write up to the ceiling with pulley ladders to climb and find the books with. If only the ASS library at Bristol had been so nice!
Unfortunately we weren't able to see the Palais d'Elysses (where the President lives) as the queues for it were horrendous, people said they had to queue for up to 5 hours. Not so keen. So instead, we went for a wander round St Germain des Pres and had some very expensive drinks in a cafe - 5.5 euros for a tea. Ouch. But we had managed to find a 'bargain' the night before in Le Bar Dix, a teeny caven like bar with old posters all on the walls, where you could buy a jug of Sangria for 3 for 10 euros 50.
This morning I went to a Brocante in the nearby village of Bailly with my family. A Brocante is the French equivalent to a car boot sale. Brocante season starts in April/May and continues until September. Every weekend you can go to a different one in a different village and it seems to be a big event for the village. This morning's one at Bailly was a serious affair. There were at least one hundred stalls there selling everything from children's games and books, to kitchenware, furniture and designer clothes. And everything is so cheap, only a few euros. I picked up a gorgeous ring, a scarf, silk pyjamas and a thin summer jacket all which cost between 1 and 2 euros. The girls came back happy too as they were bought their first barbies! Elles etaient tres contentes.