Forced absence Friday, May 25 2012 

One Le Petit Hotel staff member unfortunately will not be travelling to France with Martine & Bruce…that being young Kara

Moulins to Paris, via the N7 ; a Paris Loft Apartment Tuesday, Sep 21 2010 

It was Sunday in France when we departed Moulins….and Paris was 350 + kms away…but really just a leisurely drive away on the Route National N7…that is at least until you reach the outskirts of the city.
We took a picnic lunch stop by taking an exit road at about 12.30….& found a very quiet spot adjacent to the Loire river and on a blind backwater canal boat parking area, a place called Châtillon-sur-Loire.
Back on the N7,..few trucks are permitted on french roads on Sundays….and so traffic was light. However..what we had not allowed for was that this particular weekend was one special one when the French Govt allow free public access to all museums….national places of interest…etc  across France and when that happens all roads lead to “Rome”…!!…& so when our intrepid travellers eventually hit Paris..every Parisian was either in town or heading there complete with car. It was the typical day when most French cars get a “haircut” ..their sides get brushed (requires a paint job later! ) and many get shortened by the width of their front & rear bumpers. If there’s a space for a mini….a French man is quite capable of getting a Mercedes into it! It’s hard to watch.
Inspite of all the above,  & several hours later…about 7pm..bruce eased the luckily undented leased Peugeot into a public parking basement… :-))..after having parked illegally for a while in a nearby street …while Martine ran our cases into our Japanese styled 2.5m x 2.5m approx., 7th floor, under the roof, Parisian Loft Apartment in the Marais district. I have to report that it took the combined brain power of two Le Petit Hotel managers on their hands & knees to work out how to put together the foldaway bed..the situation not being helped by the last tenants who in probable confused desperation had repacked the bed incorrectly. It was well after midnight when we actually collapsed onto the bed as opposed to the bed collapsing.
The micro loft apartment is located on Rue du Vieille du Temple which runs into Rue Rivoli,  & in daylight one could see the Sacre-Coeur Basillica on the horizon over in the Montmartre district and also a glimpse of Tower Eiffel, plus a good view of the neighbouring roof tops & chimney pots.

 

7th Floor Parisian Loft View

 

Paris is France & France is Paris. People are drawn to Paris ..stroll the pavements, drink coffee while seated at one of the hundreds of pavement cafes and just watch people. It is the city of fashion for both young & old…fashion ( in clothes, shoes, handbags, scarves etc )  is everywhere…, the place buzzes with life..it’s a vibrant place for all. We even managed to spot a very obedient Scottish Terrier crossing the Rue Rivoli amongst all the traffic.
I mentioned to Martine, it’s easy to observe that the Smartphone is now the new cigarette “must have in the hand”…

Wednesday is Belfast day for Bruce…it will be a culture shock after Paris for sure.