More shameless use of this blog for my Parisian holiday snaps. But fear not, there’ll be posts from rural Staffs coming up soon enough.
Blog views overnight from Oman, Pakistan and India, but none from France, so I think I’m safe with an honest perspective on the capital.
Our tourist route took us away from underpants and crooked divine candles into the better known Paris.
This was a third trip for Mrs RM and myself to a city that I never think quite justifies its reputation ahead of Middlesbrough or Wigan on the global tourism charts.
In 1990 I bumped unexpectedly into my sister at the Pompidou (top); they still haven’t got their external wiring sorted out. The square is a nice place to dilly-Dali.
Over the Seine to the Notre-Dame, the busiest we saw Paris on our break. A week ahead of Valentine’s Day, a month after Christmas and with pictures of riots on our screen, it seemed very quiet. Apart from the Japanese visitors who thankfully keep European tourism alive.
Impressively large rather than awe-inspiring (Blackburn Cathedral is better), the Notre-Dame frescoes below represent BRAPA’s recent trip to Ramsey.
Not much has changed since our last visit in 2000, bar the arrival of mobile phones that allow folk to bump into you on streets. In Le Sorbonne, they retained those squat toilets you only see in rural Turkey.
In the Jardin du Luxembourg we saw a man praying to a tree (not shown as don’t wish to embarrass the tree), but otherwise the weirdness quotient was some way below expectations.
So at 4pm we popped in to one of Pubmeister’s recommendations, La Robe & La Mousse. Inevitably it had a sign saying “craft” outside. Just as well, as it looks like an antiques shop.
There was only one other customer, and an attractive cellar bar,
but Mrs RM instinctively headed down the bottom of the narrow bar to grab the table in the corner. I can’t criticise someone for sitting down, can I ?
That one other customer had bought her bottled beer and was now engaging the barman in lengthy discussions about some mutual friend or other. The barman gave me that Gallic shrug that means “She’ll stop talking soon“. But she didn’t. Mrs RM gave me that hard stare that means “Interrupt them NOW and get me a strong drink or I’m not walking another step“.
It took five minutes, dear reader, to get served. A similar keg range to the Brussels Beer Project, which is fine.
Then I spotted the unmarked handpump. Surely Bass ?
“Est que cask ?” I stuttered, to Mrs RM’s amusement.
“Non. Only French cask. Only one cask brewer in France“. And none on today. So that’s your GBG place in serious doubt, I thought. It would have been soup, anyway.
Mrs RM’s DIPA was rich and cool; she sneered at my sour.
Forced to talk to each other, we contemplated the beauty of the Teku, as you do in romantic Paris.