Those who received my messages back in 2011 might remember that I was disappointed in the hotel where I had previously stayed in 2002 and 2007. It had a small kitchenette but the management had changed and was not at all pleasant. I found a studio apartment on the net not that far away and it has been a marvellous find. While further from the metro it is much bigger with a full kitchen, good size bathroom and washing machine, small balcony and costs less than the hotel. The owner met me and took a good size deposit which I hope he will return tomorrow. There are 3 pass numbers to key in at the doors and lift but I guess that makes it very secure. I have made my own breakfasts and lunches and 2 dinners. It has been wonderful to get breakfast without getting dressed first (except I have thrown my track pants and a jumper over my pajamas along with shoes and plodded down in the lift and 100 metres to buy a baguette each morning).
The first day I just rested and did my washing until I went out and bought some food (I had purchased some breakfast necessities from the nearby supermarket the night before). Then after lunch I made my way to the hotel where my sister and brother-in-law were to arrive in the evening after flying from Barcelona. I checked out some nearby brasseries. I spent time sitting in the Parc Monceau which I had found in 2011 and loved. It was alternately sun and cloud but I had not taken my camera. All my photos of this park had been lost in the great computer crash of December 2012.
Sadly as I had dinner with my sister, her husband and their friends, it began to rain which has been the story of their cruise and it continued through much of their stay the next day. I again met them after another lazy morning due to the weather but a bad habit I have developed. They had been on a morning bus tour of the highlights and after lunch I took them to a museum which I had also found on my previous visit. The Museum Nissim de Camondo is a house built just before WW1 to hold a remarkable collection of 18th century paintings and furniture. As the Count de Camondo’s only son, Nissim, died in the war, the house was left to the State and I think it must be one of the best little museums in Paris.
As the rain had eased when we left, we visited the Parc Monceau but the only photo I took was of a nearby mansion or hôtel.
Friday was grey and cold but at least no rain so I went back to my book on the walks of Paris which had led me to that museum and park back in 2011. This time I chose a walk around the Marais of 3.5km. I passed the garden of the Hôtel de Sens with its mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles and one of the oldest buildings in Paris
In the evening I went to another musical function, a piano recital including works of Chopin, Rachmaninov and Schubert at St Ephrem’s church.
I experienced a malfunction of the metro for the first time. I have often commented how this is a regular occurrence on the London tube and thankfully I understand the announcements and can take appropriate action. It was a little frustrating to not know what was actually going on but I took comfort that many people stayed on the platform, although some left, and after about 20 minutes the trains began to run again and I was not late for the concert.
Today the sun finally returned and I chose another walk around Place Bastille of 5 km. While parts were interesting with the fruit markets and old buildings eg the Boulangerie or bakery,
others were long merely passing where some building had once been. A photo of a metro entrance was a typical Paris scene for me.
I again ate a lunch made with part of the breakfast baguette but, after I reached the end, I walked the short distance to the Ile St Louis and found the creperie that I had visited last time. I had told the French lady from whom I regularly buy crepes at the Dunedin Station markets that I would be going there again. I expected them to be dearer but they were not, however I do not sit down and combine my crepes with a glass of wine followed by an expresso on my Dunedin market visits. As I left I passed the Ile de Cité with Notre Dame and the Seine and I again realised why I love this city so much and am already thinking of my next return.
However tomorrow I must pack up and head for Switzerland and must getting going early in the mornings again..
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