03.09.2007 19 °C
Hello groovers and shakers. Apologies for the tardiness with the blog but it's been hard to find either time or an internet cafe this last week. We're currently sitting in Dublin airport, about to leave the Emerald Isle back to France. Thank's especially to Tara and Clive who put us up and showed us terrific Irish hospitality this last weekend. It was only a quick visit, but a goodun. We saw a couple of castles and manor houses (and took an appropriate excess of photos) and visited the ancient monastery ruins at Clonmacnoise, but spent most of our time in Ireland on crack. Or is it having a craic?? I forget now - too many pints of Guiness or something. Let's just say that no one got much sight seeing done on Sunday as we were all nursing sore heads after a great night out at the local "Irish pub" - the Wolftrap.
So, rolling the clock back a bit - here's a summary of our time in and observations of Paris.
We did all the usual touristy things in Paris - went to the Eiffel Tower (but didn't climb it - hey, our apartment was up 4 flights of very narrow stairs, we certainly didnt need to do more stairs!), climbed the Arc de Triomphe, visited the Louvre, St Chapelle, the Rodin museum, Napoleon's Tomb, Sacre Coeur, the Latin Quarter and went to the Moulin Rouge. I think the girls were a little surprised at the amount of nudity at the Moulin Rouge, but it wasn't all about boobs - they did have an impressive acrobatic act and a ventriloquist dog act (really great dog!). Shelly was most disappointed that there werent even any pecs or abs on display and wanted to complain to management - I mean fairs fair. Instead she got to look at six poncy looking guys prance around in silver sequined jumpsuits miming (very badly) to French showtoons. Really, they did look a little pathetic. The girls mimed pretty badly too, but they were topless so it didnt really matter. The Moulin Rouge is very nice inside and it did have a great atmosphere. Whats more we managed to pilfer a few spare bottles of champagne on the way out so "Wa la!" - a great night out for the whole family.
I mentioned earlier that the food in Paris is a bit hit and miss. I should explain. Apart from serving frittes with every single meal, many Parisian restaurants pretty much stick to the same menu so once youve eaten out at a french bistro 4 or 5 times, youre not going to find much new to chose from. In the very touristy Latin Quarter it seemed every restaurant was exactly the same - the French restaurants all had the same menu, the Greek restaurants all had the same menu. However, Paris really is an exceptional international city. It is a real melting pot of people and cultures - French, west Africans, north Africans, Syrians, Lebanese, Turks and Asians, all assimilated into a distinctively French mileu. It's all very lively and vibrant. This means there is a lot of interesting international cuisine available Apart from the ubiqutious kebab shops, Japanese seemed to be extremely popular and often closely clustered together. We saw four Japanese restaurants in a row on the same street!
As far as being a fashion capital, I didnt see much evidence on on the streets of Paris (an exception may be around the top end of the Champs Elysee). Most of the girls were wearing T-shirt material tops and singlets, just like home. But then it was very hot. The men dressed extremelly fashionably but that was because we were in the gay district and they were all gay. For the fashion conscious - here is my tip for next season - silver sequinned boots and denim shorts for men and berets. You heard it hear first so get to the shops