Later that day ‘arrive a Charles de Gaulle a une heure apres midi. Along walk finds us at the start of le Metro and 20 minutes later we alight at St Michel without a map or phone number of l’hotel de Nesle. Paris caters well for people such as us , en vanances, and we soon find a large map and set off along the Blvd St Michel to la Rive Gauche and east to the Rue Dauphine and Rue de Nesle. We have traversed part of the Latin Quarter through St Michel and St Germaine des Pres and every angle is a visual feast The spurting intonation of French like theme music to our dream and it is with great relief that we find our reservations intact and our 10 sq m room available. I sit squirming with anticipation, serenaded by Dee’s squeals of delight, my expectations exceeded to the nth degree, no shower ever felt this good.
So polished up we set off in search of “culture” and the sights, criss crossing the Seine, the Louvre to out left, Notre Dame to our right. Past La Palais de Justice, La Place de Chatelet, inundated with stimuli at every turn. It’s Saturday and the Parisians are in promenade mode. these French, so well dressed, deep in conversation with a look of purpose as they strut their stuff. From my perspective it’s pretty attractive stuff.
Sanity prevails and fatigue dictates it is time to nourish and hydrate. We find the obligatory sidewalk cafe and I proceed to order in my fractionated French. Pity there is no food available at this time so we go for fluids instead. Beer, sauvignon blanc and mineral water. An hour later we totter of to our room ,a change and off for dinner. We find Gabriel spruking from the doorway of a tiny eatery and I suggest he orders for us. Fatigue has set in and we are at his mercy. The beef and lamb are good,mussels plentiful if not small and slightly rubbery, and the veg and chips stay on the plate. The Medoc goes down easily. Too easily and our previous totter shows signs of declining into a stagger. Around and around we go, where we are nobody knows. We hasten back to our room and fall into a languid if not fitful sleep.
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