The only time I have ever visited was as a child with a family friend Alison.
Alison was the loveliest kind of person who makes you feel so important as a child by taking you out, making you feel so grown up when you go out without the parents.
We saw the crown jewels but my overriding memory has to be the lack of anywhere to eat. (Edited to add, there is no shortage of places to eat now, it is a faboulous place to visit!)
In this city where buildings change so often, it is nice to have the consistency of a building that is 945 years old. All the things these walls have seen!
The day I arrived in Paris was a tuesday and will probably be etched on my mind for all the wrong reasons. My two successes of the day were I didn't burst in to tears or lose my temper. A fine result.
It all started when I slept through my alarm. And then through the second one. And only woke up when the cab driver called. Which is slightly strange as my alarm is the same as the phone ring (classic ring) and it is not very quiet.
Well I managed to get dressed and out the house in 7 mins flat, got in to the cab and asked him to stop at an ATM on the way. Which he did and I went to get out some money, the ATM seemed to crash. 5 mins is a very long time when you are on your way to catch a train and have an impatient cab driver. However the ATM eventually had a change of heart and returned my card and on I went to catch the 5:25am to Paris. As I got out the cab I realised I had left one of my bags at home, the one with my trainers (I put om Birkenstocks in my rush) and toiletries. Ah well.
I arrived in around 9ish and had time for a coffee before meeting the family at midday at the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately they got stuck in traffic and were a little late, 3 hours in fact. Thankfully for me I had a good book and the weather was pretty nice for the most part.
By the time they arrived, the weather had turned as pointed out by the east Londoners sitting next to me who kept pointing out that 'the wet stuff' was coming. We had time for a little lunch before the heavens opened and we took refuge under the Tower from the wind, thunder, lightening and rain. We decided against climbing the tower figuring that there was not going to be much of a view and went instead the Musee D'orsee to see Van Gogh's exhibition. Only to find they were closed due to a strike. Only in France.
It certainly was a memorable day and I still managed to get lots of fine pictures on our walk round Paris, after the rain had passed.
Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It's enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it. (Claude Monet)
The children are my inspiration, not Monet's, but it is easy to imagine the garden is looking much the same as when he last walked in it.
It was dying. Preparing for the winter. Not looking it's best, we were told at the gates (so entry was reduced to 5 euros, from 8). But there was still so much beauty to be seen. The autumn colours, the remaining flowers, the lake, the reflectionsm the bridges. Beauty everywhere.