Tuesday, 23 March 2010

"off the Boulevard St-Michel"

I last went to Paris when I was on holiday with my family as a teenager. Having seized the opportunity for a rare day off, I was going to go to Bruges but the Eurostar timetable prevented that so I chose Paris instead, a little reluctantly. Having spent a day and a half here, I could kick myself for not having put it on the A-list for brief R&R locations.

My room is in fact "off the Boulevard St-Michel" and I am inescapably reminded of one of the more ludicrous number one hits of the 1960's: Peter Sarstedt's "Where do you go to my lovely?" as in the video above. My father found great amusement in the line "You sip your Napoleon Brandy / And you never get your lips wet / Ah no you don't". I posted a number of tweets alluding to this song yesterday but I fear that I am showing my age and that most of my followers (who were born some time after 1969) will have concluded that the seemingly inconsequential snippets were merely evidence of inebriation rather than witty allusions to a 60s classic.

My to-do list for the trip was modest: Notre Dame and the Rue du Bac with St Nicolas du Chardonnet and Sacré Coeur if I had time. All those done, along with St Sulpice, St Severin and a good cheap lunch at Montmartre which I was able to eat outside in warm sunshine. I returned to St Nicholas yesterday evening to attend the Mass (about which more later.) The Paris Metro and the RER (local railway) provide efficient and cheap public transport which has helped greatly. Unfortunately there is a strike today so I may have to stick to things within walking distance. That is no great hardship since La Sainte Chapelle is only five minutes away.
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