Friday, April 09, 2010

Standing in the shadows

Finally the sun has been poking its head out from behind the clouds and we can feel some warmth on our bodies, but like Melbourne, it changes so you can't really get bored with the weather.

The day started with an early ride to pick up my Parisians Aussie mate Leigh. He’s a bit like my guardian angel really. Stops me from getting lost or run over. Having said that I find the drivers are mostly courteous to cyclists. I see them riding through red lights and not wearing helmets, mothers, old people, etc, it just seems to flow and mainly without any angry tooting. Drivers seem more aggressive towards pedestrians here.
Just a hint for future Aussie travellers who haven’t been here - look right but both ways constantly if you don’t want them to get you.
About getting lost without Leigh, I seem to always go in the wrong direction. I think this is due to my internal compass being set for the southern hemisphere.
I did finally arrive at the Cipale Velodrome to meet Michel for a training session and my Leigh had his first ride on a track bike - fixed wheel and no brakes - I think he might be a convert.
I’ve mentioned this before but the Velodrome is named after Jacques Anquetil, the great French Tour de France rider and the scene of several Tour finishes. For me its awe inspiring to pedal around this grand old Velodrome.
After the training session, we popped off for coffee at the Café de Sport, as you would!!!!

Michel Briat is no stranger to Australia, well Sydney really. He's been to Oz for the World Masters Track Championships and lives in Paris. This is his  home track where he trains. He tells me the current Elite World Sprint Champion trains here as well

Michel poses here with my guardian angel in Paris, Leigh Pascoe. When I am in Paris, Leigh protects me from getting lost, the traffic and my general well being. Oh yes I forgot, he is also a great interpreter for Michel, who speaks no English and the hopeless me who has virtually no French except the thanks, hello and goodbyes.

The afternoon was dedicated to shopping the two great emporiums of Paris (neither had a bike shop), Galleries Lafayette and Bon Marche. Galleries Lafayette we have visited on previous trips and had lunch in their cafeteria. Salmon with a carafe of Rose went down well. Above the cafeteria is a great rooftop viewing area and it is at a height that offers views of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Cour and just in front is the Paris Opera House.
After lunch, I’m dragged off to Bon Marche, kicking and screaming, although I changed my mind as we arrived. Sue’s favourite part of Bon Marche is the food department. Mmmmm, wonderful choices here. I wandered over to the wine section to find that there were a few selections of Aussie wines, however no where our best. Penfolds had their Rawson’s Retreat and Koonunga Hill, great BBQ wines but not at 10 Euro. Much better and lower cost French wines are available here so why would you but a Penfolds.

Two reasons I enjoy Galleries Lafayette is for their old style Coles/Myer cafeteria, with a pichet of vin, naturally. Now some people when they take a photo try to take away the "get in the way" stuff, but I Like to think they add something. Don't You?
I thought that this moustache added to the Shiseido lady's elegance.

Views from Galleries Lafayette Rooftop
The Arc de Triomphe pokes above the rooftops of the Apartment buildings of Paris.

Sacre Cour in Montmarte - definately a must to see while in Paris.

Still yet to climb to the top but you miss seeing it when your on it. One day maybe.

Bon Marche and the foodie heaven building that we enjoy best.

Chocolat at Bon Marche and this is just a minute example of the choices.

All the best in French bubble here.

Just a silly photo of a poster that seemed to appeal to me at the time.

Being Bonsoir time, or in Oz, "beer 'O' clock" we decided to sit in our local Brasserie and watch the local human traffic and here are a couple of examples.

Walking workers on the way home
I just wish I could getaway with this sort of dress sense.

A casual walk home and a quiet night in the apartment saw the end of the day for us. We almost felt a bit like locals in a way. We’ve started Bonjouring (is that a word?) familiar faces in the street lately.
Tomorrow - a big day at the Saint Denis Cathedral and dinner at Sarkozy’s restaurant.


  1. Check out David Lebovitz today's blog about the restaurant "L'Escargot" on rue Montorgueil in "les Halles" district. Not too far from where you are staying.

  2. Yes, We pass it often so I will look. I had my very first snails last night but different from what I expected as it was like a snail/mushroom pie.
    I need to have them in the shell next time.

  3. I do like your 'mo' on the Shisheido lady ;-) And the arty-farty pic of people going home! Very noice, Leaping! :-)
    Looking fwd to catching up with youz two, suggest we make it an early Saterday start though, say 4pm ;-)
    Luvsya back! E&C


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