THREE DAYS IN PARIS from french diaries
Paris. Roissy Airport – Charles de Gaulle. Peppy jogging with a backpack along the long corridors of the terminal.
Bonjour Monsieur! – Mersi! – Au revoir! And the same to you, comrades French! ”
The arrivals are being questioned, some are being inspected, but to me, smiles and nothing more. It seems that glasses on the nose, a beard and a well-worn backpack are the best pass to Europe. The equipment of the spouse also does not cause unnecessary questions.
We find the familiar word RER on the signs and rush to the exit. By electric train it is easier, faster, and cheaper to get to the City. There are plenty of free places, you can sit comfortably.
Stop. A man of eastern appearance with an accordion at the ready drops into the carriage. A wide sweep and peppy music fills the space. French chanson interspersed with Russian motifs. When the “Black Eyes” broke out, the heart fluttered. Out of an excess of feelings, I intended to give a minstrel. He reached for his wallet and … froze. The harmony turned out to be a sham. Music rattled from a black box tied to a cart (in Ukraine they call them Kravchuchki). The folk demarche made laugh, but the desire to endow disappeared. The pseudoharmonist was not upset and moved into a neighboring carriage to less demanding listeners.
Paris photo – And you can! Transfer to the city metro and, finally, Italy Square. Next door to her hotel. I reserved a room via the Internet. Without reservation, problems would have arisen at the embassy, and so the visa would be pasted without further questions. It all took about two hours. This is a word about the “atrocities” at the French Embassy. Neatly prepared documents, calm confident behavior – that’s all that was required. No travel agencies, calls and guarantors. “For what purpose are you going? – Tourism – And what kind of hotels, besides Parisian ones? – Resort, on the west coast. I want to relax at sea. ” I am the record holder for the duration of the interview.
Hotel room on the top floor, as requested. Above, only the attic. Windows to the courtyard – so less noise.
Shower, tea and in town. Bright, spacious Avenue of Tapestries, further a cozy square with a temple and, finally, Muftar, one of the oldest and prettiest streets of the City. Brasseries, restaurants, shops with food, wine and souvenirs.
In one of the side streets there is a familiar restaurant where snails are baked right in the sinks. Short stop. Escargots a la bourguignone with parsley, onion and rose wine. You won’t achieve much satiety with gastropods, but for immersion in the environment – that’s what you need.
The confused, happy face of the spouse confirms the correctness of the chosen tactics. She is here for the first time. I don’t want Paris to be among simply “interesting historical places”. He deserves more, and it is better to enter it without fuss and fear not to be in time “something extremely important”. A run with a list of attractions, the joys of unexpected discoveries replaces the satisfaction of an ambitious pedant.
Paris photo – Church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont After snails and a glass of wine, the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont looks especially bizarre, and the Pantheon is even more magnificent.
Short descent and the Seine embankment. Notre Dame on the sunset sky. We attach ourselves to the stones. Past boat after boat. Of the speakers of the longest and densely packed with people – Russian speech. A guide monologue for organized compatriots brought from all over the city. The words of the guide, from time to time are drowned out by friendly heart-rending cries. The local air acts in a special way on fellow countrymen.
It’s getting dark. Time to go. Cite Island. Mahina Cathedral. The gloomy vaults of Notre Dame in the glare of candles. Deep in the depths behind the altar is echoing blackness. The island is small. Then again the bridge and the silhouette of the Hotel de Ville, traced in the dark sky. Truncated domes, statues, spiers – why not a magical palace!
A little more down the street to the tower of Saint-Jacques. Pascal climbed onto it in the old days and performed his famous barometric experiments. 52 meters of flaming gothic. Well what can I say – good!
Another place pleasant to extremes is the old fountain in front of Saint-Denis. Water flowing over stones. The last halt. For one evening is enough. The joy of meeting with the City is fixed by a light dinner in a Japanese restaurant near the hotel.
In the morning a lazy climb, leisurely gatherings and to Notre Dame. Stained-glass windows are illuminated by the sun, on the walls are elegant colored highlights. Morning Mass. Pateras in bright green and white clothes. A sermon alternates with singing under the organ. A clear, strong voice fills the space. The wife has tears in her eyes.
Paris photo – Cite Island In front of the Cathedral in the square is a circle of “zero point”, the origin of all distances. You can become the center and make a wish. Mine and so come true, and therefore do not want to be greedy. My companion has a richer imagination, and therefore more diverse desires. I give an opportunity to make up as many as possible. After I lead to the square on the edge of the island. The place is wonderful, especially when there are few people. Local and visiting romantics settle on the grass among the flowers or on granite slabs near the water. At the end of the embankment is a weeping willow. A small green tent in the middle of the Seine.
We cross the New Bridge to the other side. Funny, the New Bridge is the oldest in the City. And for me, the most beautiful.
Along the shore of a second-hand bookstore. The islet of former Paris under the canopy of plane trees. Shabby tomes and just books, landscapes on cardboard, postcards, souvenirs. The latter gradually, year after year, supplant books. Demand begets supply.