Last time in this travel series, I was telling you guys about our time in Italy in 1998. From Italy we drove to the French Riviera, passing through Monaco, Nice, etc., on our way back to France. You might recall we had previously passed through France on the way to Switzerland, but after Italy we were heading back to France to do things properly. I'm guessing that from Nice we headed north to Lyon, and then to Paris.
|Heading for Nice, Marseilles, etc.|
|As close as I got to the Tour.|
On the 7th of May we made it to Paris, and I wrote the following postcard to Mum:
Place: Paris, France
Unfortunately, due to my present condition (homesick, sore neck, travelling with Dad) I'm unable to enjoy this famous city as I usually would (I think). The only thing that cheers me slightly is that we're gonna have a coffee. I've seen the Tour d'Eiffel and I'm gonna see the Louvre, so what do I have to complain about...?
Yes, I admit I was really fed up with old Daddo by this point, and vice versa. But we were sore (pretty sure I had a neck vertebra out of alignment), tired and stressed out. For introverted me, it had been pretty wearing existing in such close quarters with Dad for all these long months. But I still managed to enjoy Paris, and here's how:
- Dad's funny pronunciations of French places/names, i.e. "Mooli", "Chomps Eleese"
- A quote from Dad that is now famous in my family:
- "... two guys came up to [Dad] and asked, 'vous parlez anglaise?' and he said, 'sorry, I only speak English', and they said, 'we were asking you if you spoke English'."
- Drinking wine in the car outside the Ritz where Princess Diana had been staying that fateful night - to Dad's fascination and my horror, a busload of tourists rocked up and created a veritable discotheque of flash photography
- I checked out CD prices and thought they were very decent - 4 Francs 30 each (yep, it was Francs back then: "liberté, égalité, fraternité"!)
- I had a crepe (chocolate and hazelnut sauce) served by a lovely French waitress who gave me a free postcard and told me my French was "très bien"
- I finally visited the Louvre, though the first day I tried it was closed (about a week earlier there had been a theft of a work by Corot)
- And yes, I saw the Eiffel Tower (see above).
|I remember this better from last year's (2012) visit.|
|Outside the Louvre.|
|I have no recollection of these dudes.|
|Grumpy on the day the Louvre was closed.|
|And I finally got inside.|
We stayed in Paris longer than in many other places we visited, solely because of the Louvre being closed that first time I tried to get in. Having studied art history in school, Paris was one of the places I had been most excited about. But I now realise this wasn't actually the end of my 1998 trip (shows how foggy one's memory can get). From France we travelled on through Luxembourg into Germany, where we stayed with some family. So next time, I'll talk about all that. For today, I'll leave you with a link to a page I've created that has links to all my Globetrotter posts to date. Click HERE.