Day 3 in Paris: Walking + Meltdown day!
Another beautiful day greeted us on waking so we set out for another morning walk along the Seine. This time we headed east and even took some photos.
Our plan for the day was to maximise the good weather and to get out and do some more walking. We were saving up indoor activities, such as visiting the Louvre, for the coming days when the weather was supposed to turn cool again.
The morning plan was to visit Montmartre so we headed out by about 10am and took the metro up to the Chateau Rouge stop and, then, wandered around for an hour or so. Note to self: never go to the Chateau Rouge stop again: full of intimidating and scary guys! We made it safely up to Montmartre though. This place held strong memories for us of our kids and, so, my emotions were a little mixed today. This was especially the case when we saw St Denis, the poor guy missing a head, who Tom was so taken with on our last visit. Tom had even wanted to take ‘St Denis’ as his confirmation name following this last visit! We stopped in at the oldest Church in
Montmartre and one of the oldest in Paris, St Pierre de Montmartre (1147). This church had the most magnificent bronze doors at its entry with one featuring St Denis. The highlight of our time at Montmartre though was catching 3 male buskers singing and dancing near the square at Montmartre. They were fantastic and I even bought one of their CDs. They had a huge crowd around for the whole time we were there and had everyone joining in singing and some dancing too.
We headed down to Moulin Rouge and then on back to the apartment for lunch. Our afternoon plan was to walk across to the Louvre to buy some tickets, on up the Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe and then on down to the Eiffel Tower. We got away from the apartment by about 2pm and, I had my meltdown, tears and all, by about 3pm. I just hit the wall so to speak. My apologies go out to any French Nationals reading this (JB!) but some Parisiennes are just so incredibly rude. I met about 4 of them, independently, but in a row, a short row I might add, as I was trying to purchase advance tickets at the Louvre. If they can give you the run around, they will, and they did! So, I stood there ultimately as I was being warned not to try and re-trace my steps and just started to cry. One nice Louvre usher lady then came to my rescue and helped me out. Well, the poor girl got the whole sob story; about the rude young Policeman on the day we arrived, (BTW: I don’t think I mentioned this story earlier), about how Aussies wouldn’t be so ungracious and unkind to stranded tourists, how I missed my kids, how this was a holiday, how I’d been sick and, all importantly, how I wanted to go home. She felt sooooo sorry for me she gave me a big hug and even held my hand whilst walking to the obscure location that I needed to get to. She did say that many Parisiennes are rude and she apologised on their behalf. I thanked her profusely and then set back to find Mark who, by this
stage, was rather worried about what had happened to me.Lots happened, that’s what!
Anyway, we continued our walk as planned and I even managed some retail therapy along the way with a small clothing purchase. We eventually got down to the Eiffel Tower and then set out to get the metro home. Meet ‘nasty Parisienne’, number gazillion, for the day. The information dude at the Metro suggested we take a route home that required a change of line and about 20 stops. When I asked if we could take an alternative route needing just a single line with only 4 stops he pulled back and, with rude exasperation muttered, ‘if you would like to do that you can; it’s your choice’ and, then, he turned away to answer a phone! Guess which route we took home? I couldn’t wait to get back to the apartment, away from the French and to pour a glass of wine in the peace of our lovely abode. We are going to brave the outdoors again a bit later and head out for some gelato though!