Holidays Our little holiday diary

Paris Part Two

Part Two.

The next morning after a typical continental breakfast, that hardly fed a sparrow, we set off to find the “antiques market” which was in fact fairly close to the hotel as my friend had said. Surprise, surprise. We wandered round and round till our feet were sore and until it dawned on us that it was a glorified car boot sale and a complete waste of time and effort. Heh Ho!, in order to try and save the trip we turned it into a sight seeing tour instead. Oh! Before we forget, in those days, we were not into photography in the same way as we are today so we only have a pitiful three pics. These were taken by Diane literally hanging out of the car window as I drove along. Although I had driven in Malaya while I was in the army, that was back in the 1950s, this was my first attempt at driving in a continental city and it came as a bit of a shock to the system. To start with, they drive on the wrong side of the road and the speed limit seems non existent. We drove along the Champes Elleese along with about five million others, I can’t remember whether we were heading for or away from the Arc de Triumphe (I don’t think I spelt those French names right but you know what I mean) but I do know we wanted to turn round. We found a roundabout, but because of the number of lanes on it and the volume of traffic we went round it at least six times changing lanes one at a time until we found the one we wanted and managed to get ourselves off. I think the only thing that saved us was the fact that we were in a French car. Phew what a relief.

Time for something to eat. We cruised around looking for a suitable eating establishment and, as usual, in our inept way, the only place we found where we could stop was a fast food shop with a roast chicken spit machine outside. I waited outside, with the engine running, sounds good doesn’t it? Diane dashed inside and soon came back out brandishing a very appetising looking roast chicken. It looked almost good enough to eat! She also bought a French loaf and butter.  Sometime in the dim and distant past, my Dad had given me a set of screwdrivers as a Christmas present which I always kept in the car. They came in very handy for splitting the chicken,  using them as skewers and spreading the butter onto the French loaf. The protective grease on the screwdrivers  made for a rather interesting taste.

We then felt the need for a little culture, so we headed off to the Louvre. Although  we are not really culture lovers, the gallery was very impressive although we felt that most of the exhibits were a little too large for our liking. Very few would have fit into our lounge!  We are not easy to please. The Mona Lisa came as a bit a of a disappointment as it was (understandably) firmly encased in a large security cabinet and a little too far away to be really appreciated by our untrained eyes. It was also smaller than we expected, but that’s just us. We then had a wander along side the River Seine for a while. We saw the Eiffel Tower but it was on the other side of the river and we didn’t have time to get a closer look. Better viewing from afar was all we could manage. Not knowing what to do next, we decided to have a walk along some of the streets in the centre of Paris. Going down one of them, there seemed to be an awful lot of rather, shall we say seedy establishments.  Darren, who was about eleven at the time seemed to enjoy himself dashing along to most of them and looking under the curtained doorways at all the naughty pictures advertising what was on offer inside. It seemed a busy old day, so we said, enough is enough and made our way wearily back to our hotel, the one with blankets that had  pockets and sleeves in them! So to bed, thinking of the journey home tomorrow.

We don’t know about any other holiday travellers, but the last day always seems to be a bit of an anti climax. Getting back home seems to be the only priority. Very few incidents and nothing special to write about. In the morning, after the usual miserly breakfast, we loaded up the car ready to face the trip home. No way. The car decided it liked it here in Paris and refused to start. No matter what we tried, Zippo, Nothing. The battery appeared to be completely flat. We went back inside the hotel to ask for help. Nobody seemed to be the least bit interested in us. Their attention was firmly rooted in the football on the television. Eventually, we managed to get a couple of rather burly men to drag themselves away from the telly and give us a push in order to get the car started.....which it did. Thank goodness, we didn’t linger. We high tailed it out of Paris as fast as we could. It was a very uneventful and boring drive home. The ferry across the English Channel was nothing to write home about either. The long drive back up to Lytham St Annes and oh! The pleasure of our own home and beds again...Deep Joy.

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