This time last week when I was packing for my weekend in Paris, Miss Martha said,
Maybe you'll see Madeline.
She was referring to the central character in the children's book Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans. This was a very lucky find in Bellaghy's one and only charity shop. The girls love it and I've read it to them over and over again.
The trip to Paris was a birthday gift from London Sister who arranged both flights and accommodation. She flew from London, I flew from Belfast. Very convenient for us both. Of course I had pre-conceived ideas about one of the most visited city on earth. For a start I expected the plane to contain vast numbers of philosophers, poets and lovers. I had forgotten about Disneyland Paris. The plane actually contained vast numbers of over-excited children and their equally over-excited parents and grandparents. The little girl sitting behind me spent most of the journey exuberantly kicking the back of my seat which I bore with great fortitude.
I met LS at the airport and we continued on to Montmartre. Getting off at the Gare du Nord did not give the best impression of Paris for it is a rather seedy area. Rather that take the metro a few stops to the station nearest our hotel we decided to walk. It did not seem that far on the map. And it wasn't. We knew it was close to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica so we kept heading up and before long we were within sight of the church.
We then took around 40 minutes to locate the hotel although I'd guess we were never any further than 5 minutes away from it. But those little places and streets are confusing. So, by the time we were checked in, it was near midnight. No matter, for this was Paris and a Friday night. We found a lively bar where we wined and dined and had a great amount of fun. I do love bar staff who look like they are having every bit as good a time as the patrons and who ululate to North African music and do, right in our faces, the thing that is now described as 'twerking'. This rarely happens in Ballymena where bar staff neither twerk, ululate or enjoy themselves.
Next: We nearly visit the Louvre