Catch up on what happened before…
Now…where were we?
Ahhh…heartbroken in Paris. That’s where we were.
I walked home alone slowly coming back down to earth. I had my Parisian fantasy romance…for 5 whole hours. As I walked home along the Seine, past The Fontaine Saint Michel some drunk Parisian man decided to target me. While he was yelling something in French I turned around and stared right at him (how dare he interrupt my night) and in my best heavy bogan aussie accent screamed “Farrrrk off mate” he seemed incredibly shocked and while he may not have understood the words, he certainly understood the meaning. As I turned around to walk off I had a chuckle. The French loved my heavy aussie bogan when I pulled it out, but I don’t think that dude did.
It must have been after 3am when I got home. I managed to remove my makeup and crawl into bed. As I lay there, despite having slept happily alone for over a decade, I saw the other side of the bed for the first time as a place for someone else…as opposed to where my art supplies go when I paint in bed. Or instead of a place for my vintage books to go while I am writing a post for the blog. Or a place for my arm to lie straight when my RSI is playing up. It was quite strange.
Sunday was spent wallowing. Well after waking up and hoping she had emailed to say she had missed her plane and telling me it was time to run away together. She made her plane and was on her way back to new york. I indulged in chocolate, tea, bread, cheese, some painting and a long hot bath.
My favourite photo of me taken in Paris…the only productive thing I did that day
Monday it was time to tourist. I packed myself a turkey, camembert & cranberry baguette and headed off into the sunshine. Yup. Monday was super sunny. Not at all expected as I had been lulled into a false sense of security with all the lovely greyness that had been around since I arrived. I then lined up for over an hour to get in to Notre Dame Cathedral.
For those of you not aware…Churches freak me out. So I am not quite sure what I thought would happen when I went to a mega church tourist attraction. I felt horribly uncomfortable as it was, but with all the souvenir shops INSIDE and being able to pay to have things blessed or get a commemorative coin with the popes head stamped on it…well it was all a bit too much for me. I stayed only long enough to snap some photos and get busted sniggering at a mural that looks like a nun feeling up another nun before I headed out. As I am deathly afraid of heights it was unlikely I was ever going to go on the tour through the top of the cathedral and it became even less likely when it was yet another line and more money.
I did stop long enough to sit in the garden next to the cathedral (looking out onto the Seine) to record a video message for Miss 15. Each of the girls picked a tourist spot they would have liked to visit if they were in Paris and I recorded them a message from there. It was a fun way of connecting with them while I was gone as no matter how frequently I skyped no one was interested in talking.
I headed to the metro after my sitting to take a train to …I forget where, but so that I could walk up the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe. I stopped in another garden and ate my baguette (which was delicious…french bread, butter & cheese oh how I miss thee) and watched some people pull down tents which must have been from fashion week or something. While I was walking I found a legitimate silhouette cutter. It was fascinating to watch him go.
Of course having always wanted to have this done I hopped in line and voila…
I love it so much! I mean look at the detail…where he could see light through my hair and my glasses. You can see my head scarf. I only wish I had been wearing a hat. That would have made it more fabulous.
I kept walking and slowly I started to see the Arc de Triomphe in the distance.
Yup…I am in the middle of the road. I dashed out when the lights went red and snapped this quickly. 0 out of 10…do not recommend.
Eventually I got to the Arc de Triomphe and stood confused on the other side of the road (it is on a very large round about) trying to figure out how I was suppose to get over there with no traffic lights and fencing around the road. Turns out I had to head underground and then line up and then pay and then walk up ten billion stairs.
At this point I couldn’t see the bottom or the top and was getting quite panicked
Just in case you didn’t realise, like me, there is an elevator for those who are less mobile. I very much wish I had known that. The stairs are located in one of the legs of the arch. The solid part at the top is a museum and shop and on top was a viewing platform. All things I did not know until that day. I was so exhausted when I got to the top I took a quick look around and then sat. I realised it wasn’t far off sunset and decided to stay up there and watch the sun set over Paris. By now there was no sun, and not really a sunset…but watching the Eiffel tower slowly light up (from the bottom upward) and the street lamps turn on was just magical. I was ready to head home when I remembered the Eiffel tower did a light show every night on the hour, so I stayed a bit longer and watched it light up and go crazy. It was like a giant Christmas tree on crack.
Paris, I am missing you like crazy
As I was about to start down the stairs I noticed an elevator. I was saved! Then home on the metro and promptly fell into bed after some soup and bread.
The next few days I spent sore from the “endless stairs of doom” and it was Thursday before I ventured out to anywhere except the supermarket. The official halfway mark of my trip was spent heading out of the city to visit a Parisian Milliner, Estelle Ramousse. I spent the day playing dress up in her studio and watching her be fabulously french, with a cigarette in her mouth while arranging feathers on a piece she was working on for “St Catherine’s Day“. St. Catherine is the patron saint of milliners and St Catherine’s day is to French Milliners what Spring racing carnival is to Australian milliners. I was really disapointed I had forgotten about it. Next time I go back to Paris I will definitely be there on the 25th of November (St Catherine’s day).
Estelle was so kind in letting me visit, play dress ups in her amazing hats, talk shop with me and give me a list of suppliers I should check out while I was there.
After I left I headed off to one of the big fancy Parisian cemetaries everyone told me to visit. I was much more relaxed there than I was at Notre Dame. I sat myself down after a bit of wandering and ate another turkey and Camembert baguette. I didn’t look for anyone famous. I just wandered a bit.
I headed back to my apartment and turned in as the next day I had to be up early to go to LONDON BABY!!!!
Miss Fairchild xoxo