Nom de Plumage

July 2, 2013

Paris Again

Filed under: Solo Travelling,Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 6:04 pm
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Paris is my destination before I leave Europe for good in a weeks time. It is only fitting that I should leave from the city from which I first arrived many months ago. The weather has not improved since my last visit, cold and wet; but at least it has kept the tourists away and that gives me a little more breathing space. This time, I will stay away from the main tourist attractions and see what else Paris has to offer. But of the places that I wish to revisit, it would have Notre Dame and the Arc de Triumph.

I have seen many cathedrals on my travels and Italy has the best by far. Notre Dame would seem almost paltry compared to the Vatican and yet, it is my favourite cathedral. I just had to come back and visit. This time at a more leisurely pace. It was pouring with rain and the cathedral offered shelter and warmth, it also offered peace and music. A choir was practising and I sat and listened to the beautiful music. What I love about Notre Dame has nothing to do with any religious affiliation, but the gothic architecture so unique to any other building associated with religion.

I then ventured within the suburbs of Paris on a literary sojourn. St Germaine is a beautiful suburb associated with writers and one place of residence was a little hard to find. I was on the hunt for house that Voltaire died in and it took a lot of searching for a very small plaque to direct me. I found it! The other very famous place, is actually a café famous for the literary élite who would visit regularly during the period between both wars. The café Les Deux Maggots is a very posh beautiful place and the temptation to go and have a coffee was strong, but ultimately my nerves failed me and I observed from afar. Something about Parisian café intimidate me.

If you are looking to spend an hour or so having fun, may I suggest the Arc de Triumph. Just stand or sit on the pavement that surrounds the Arc and watch cars navigate their way around the infamous round-about. It make you not only cringe, but admire the sheer chaos as cars somehow manage to get on and off without having an accident. There are no rules; every car for themselves and may God help you. Loved it!

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Paris has its own version of Madame Tussaud’s and it is called Grevin. I love going to these types of museums because it is something we do not have in Australia and it is also wonderful to see life-like figures of famous people who I would otherwise not see. Grevin is smaller than the other wax museums and it is also set out in a different manner. Each section is divided into scenes that relate to the era that the person(s) lived and so you get a feel for who the characters were. There are the movie stars and my two favourites, Jean Reno and Thierry Lemitte; and kings, sport stars and writer’s. French history intrigues and I love reading about the exploits of the King Louis XIV and the ribald career of Moliere and Voltaire. Each is represented here.Worth the visit and a lot of fun.

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