Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Highlights of Our First Trip to France

From the journal:

1.   Visiting Catherine’s (of course). Wow, what a shop; what an experience. Cannot wait to go back there. While we were in there a couple of English women with EXTREMELY noisy (read: totally undisciplined) children came in there. The women ignored their little monsters, who were fingering everything, banging on glass shelves, grabbing at beautiful displays etc. The divine French creature serving us – the daughter of the owner – crossed her arms, and in a very French manner said, “We will wait until they leave; they are so noisy”. Oh, I loved that. Imagine the reaction if that happened in a shop here. She was so right, though, as such a shop is a place for indulgence, not a place for brats. 

2.   The Welsh boating couple we met in Nevers who insisted on driving us to a supermarket and welcomed us on board their lovely boat. Such kindness to strangers is just lovely to come across. 

3.   A stunningly elegant Parisienne we spotted near the super-dooper-busy intersection outside the Garnier Opera House. The traffic was, as ever, insane, and then we spotted her, weaving through it, dressed immaculately in a navy blue skirt suit (the skirt almost a pencil, I should add), sheer stockings, high, high, navy blue shoes, with a cigarette in one hand, steering her bicycle with the other, and all the while one shoulder pressed up to her ear as she conducted a telephone conversation on her mobile. C’est magnifique! 

4.   The cheeky young chicky-babe in the very short tartan kilt and white shirt who came bouncing along rue Bonaparte towards us, swinging her articulated hips as she moved and all the while maintaining deep eye-contact with my man, smiling at him with the most ego-boosting come-hither smile – honestly, it was almost R-rated, that smile. Oh, it made his whole trip, I can tell you (he still smiles at the memory), and I just thought it was wonderful.

5.   Cruising up and down the Seine, and walking along under those bridges of Paris.  

6.   Paris by night, the fabulous illuminations, the soft yellow lights on old buildings, the Tower dazzling you with her brightness, the wonderful light shows that play across the face of the Assemblee Nationale. Ahhh, lovely. 

7.   The total peace and serenity of a canal boat trip – need to start planning the next one.Smart-for-Two cars and the crazy parking – don’t think you could fit a travel brochure between their bumpers. 

8.   The ridiculously expensive hair-dresser who gave up on holding a conversation with me and instead handed me a French magazine to read. Oh well, the photos were eye candy, I assure you. The €60 price tag for a shampoo and blow-dry wasn’t.  

9.   That painting in the Louvre – and, no, I don’t mean the Mona Lisa, impressive though she may be. And if you don’t know which painting I mean, you will have to go back and read through my posts again. 

10.  Monet’s stunningly beautiful Giverny. I would gladly go and camp out in those grounds. It gives me a lovely feeling just to think of them – and it helps that as I type this I can look up at the lounge room wall and see display, framed for posterity, some of the photographs we took while there. 

11.  Buying heaps of little goodies for the people we love, and looking forward to wrapping them and handing them over with the hope that they carry with them a little bit of our journey.”

Oh, and sharing the journey with you, of course. Thanks for the company.

1 comment:

  1. I love small travel reflections like this! Your descriptions are so on point... I can easily picture your "cheeky young chicky-babe!"