Sunday, 5 June 2011

Lads on Tour

The weekend before I had Hatz and Jenny to visit which was truly fabulous. They arrived on the Thursday and in the evening we went to a night out called the Secret Garden Party at Parc Buttes Chaumont. I was expecting it to be a kind of rave thing in the whole park but in fact it was in the pavilion by the lake and very civilised. While we were queuing up we could see inside and there was a strip tease going on to an Edith Piaf song. It seemed like it was going to be a cool night. The crowd was young, hip and trendy - we fitted right in... Ha. It turned out to be one of the best nights out I've had in Paris. The music was good and we spent most of the time dancing and not getting grinded against and chatted up by strange persistent men. Genial. However it was a Thursday night and I had work in the morning so after being persuaded to at least stay in Paris and not get the last train home, I said we should get the last metro as otherwise it would be un cauchemar to get back (remember previous post about horrendous Paris taxis?) We got to the metro in plenty of time, went through the barriers, in front of the men working in the booth, to be told that the metro had stopped running. Thanks for telling us before we had put our tickets through the machine. This was 1am and not central Paris. Uh oh. Taxi problem. I suggested hiring out the velibs but that idea was poopooed pretty promptly so we started walking and hoped for the best. After about 10 mins we had a stroke of luck and a taxi stopped by us and a person got out meaning FREE TAXI! We ran to get it, shouting to the other people who were trying to get it that is was ours. We were seriously lucky, I was getting worried it was going to be a long walk home. Paris taxi drivers - you will not lose money if there are a few more taxis on the road, there is plenty of demand for you all and it would make everyone's life so much easier.

I ended up getting about 4 hours sleep before I had to head back to take the girls to school. They seemed to be in a particularly loud and playful mood that morning. Exactly what I was hoping for. After I'd dropped them off I got the train back into Paris to meet H+J and we did the proper tourist route - Arc de Triomph, Champs Elysses, Louvre. And Hatz insisted we did a leaping photo in front of all the hotspots.  I don't think I've ever done that before in my life but I'm now a convert. Even if you do get a lot of strange looks doing it. In the evening we went to Rue Oberkampf for dinner and drinks. That is my top tip for going out in Paris. There are so many good bars in that area, you are bound to have a good night. We went to a bar that Frances has taken me to before, I think it's called the International, where they often have free live music. There was a band playing called Hyphen Hyphen. They dont come across so well online, but live they were brilliant, loads of energy and really fun. We left after they finished to find another bar and drank wine and smoked Vogue cigarettes to look cool. Then after we'd finished being so cool and Parisian we were careful to leave and get the last metro home. 

Saturday was a day of more sightseeing and walking and sitting in cafes. And posing as the hunchback of Notre Dame, in front of the Notre Dame. I'm not sure anybody else found it amusing. For supper we took some bread and cheese up to the Sacre Coeur and watched the sunset. Sounds romantic doesn't it. Well it was, but there was also a terrible puppet show about the Bible going on and a German couple sitting next to us who wouldn't stop staring at us. Slightly disconcerting. Anyway it was a great weekend, I had the best time.

Clare's just put up pictures of Giverny. Really upset now. Plus Federer lost the tennis.


  1. Hi. Do you happen to live with your host family?