Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Flying Singapore this time we arrived at CDG and although we had less luggage this time, well clothes that is, I had a bike bag with my bike broken down into its most basic form. That's the way it would stay until we reached Saint Remy de Provence.

Returning to Paris had a familiar feeling - while waiting for Paris Transit to pick us up, this time we knew the drill. We weren't fazed by things that didn't happen as expected - we went with the flow and enjoyed the journey.

On arriving at our hotel, we were too early to take our room so we stored our luggage at the hotel and then decided to walk to the nearest cafe to absorb the Parisian lifestyle that we had come to appreciate two years ago.
As I write this, my mind takes me back to sitting in an outside table with Sue having our Petit dejeuner. Ahhh, we are back in Paris.
People were on the way to work. Overcoats, scarves and umbrellas tucked under arms. Bicycle commuters, cars, taxis, motorcycles and scooters buzzing by our cafe table as we sat in the crisp spring morning. The city was alive and here we were when thirty hours ago we stepped on a plane in Melbourne.

Blue Train Restaurant - why didn't we blow our Euros on a meal here before we left for Provence.

Across the road was Gare de Lyon and this time there would be no mistakes. We surveyed the station which brought back vivid memories of missing our train due to a late taxi arrival. We were told that there was an excellent restaurant (Blue Train) within the station but we were too tired and decided on a snack before putting our head on the pillow.

Paris in Spring - Sue enjoys a chilly but sunny spring morning at the Jardin des Plantes.

Jardin des Plantes is in the 5th Arrondissement on the left bank of the Seine - it covers 28 acres.

The Museum of National History stands at the end as people promenade in the gardens.

There were still a few late bloomers within the gardens - this tree is yet to enjoy spring.
 The next morning we wanted to just wander the streets and renew acquaintances with Paris. Leaving our hotel we took Boulevard Diderot and crossed the Pont d' Austerlitz to Jardin des Plantes. The gardens were our agenda - it was spring and the plants were beginning to bloom. We'd enjoyed Luxembourg Gardens on our previous visit in the autumn of 2006. These gardens were different but just as enjoyable, we must have spent a few hours there.

Hotel de Sens
From there we took a walk back across the Seine to the Marais, a bit of a favourite of ours. It was our first visit to Hotel de Sens, not our last. We've been back to say hello. It's one of the buildings that escaped Baron Hausmann's "New Paris".
Interesting Facts: from http://goparis.about.com/od/sightsattractions/ss/MaraisTour_2.htm
* Built between 1475 and 1519, the medieval residence originally housed the archbishops of Sens, the order of bishops that Paris belonged to during the middle ages.
* The mixed architectural styles visible in the Hôtel de Sens show the transition that occured between medieval and Renaissance styles over the course of the hôtel's construction.
* Henri IV's ex-wife, Queen Margot, took up residence in 1605. Known for her eccentricity and lavish tastes, Queen Margot pursued many love affairs here. She is even rumored to have collected the hair of her lovers to fashion wigs from them.

What is Paris without visiting Notre Dame?

Two nights in Paris and the TGV takes us to Avignon to pick up our leased Citroen C4,
an upgrade from our C3 in 2006. We even renewed acquaintances with Jose who met us on the previous trip. More about Jose next week.

More next Wednesday - A night in Arles


  1. I want to eat at the Blue Train Restaurant :) Great photos and an unusual photo of The Notre Dame. Diane

  2. Notre Dame from the east side - peaceful and serene - no tourists.
    Just nearby across the road is a memorial to the Jewish people of Paris that were taken away to the concentration camps. You take these steps down into a cellar like crypt - its quite a strange feeling and so quiet.

  3. I would have eaten at the Blue Train, even if it meant putting the children out to work! Not only do the art and architecture look splendid.... but the original Blue Train ran from Calais to the Mediterranean. What a splendid trip!

    Of course that begs the question - why did they stop the Blue Train a few years ago?


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