Friday, July 14, 2006

Allo Allo

Today is 14 July and it is Bastille Day, the French national holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris in 1789 and the subsequent creation of the nation of France. I know this because…

French Breakfast Eiffel Tower Paris

In honour of France’s “fete nationale”, I submit the following list of my own French memories. You can decide for yourself whether they fit under the “what’s hot” or “what’s not” heading:

  • Congestion at Charles de Gaulle airport and passageways that lead nowhere.
  • Buying chocolat framboises from the patisserie by Kate’s old apartment – and finding them nowhere else in the entire country.
  • Suppositories.
  • Buying wine in the supermarket for less than 2 euro a bottle.
  • And in contrast, being less than impressed with wines actually from Bordeaux.
  • Public displays of affection on the Metro…and everywhere else for that matter.
  • Dining at the Jules Verne up the Eiffel Tower – a once in a lifetime treat (so far!).
  • Bus strikes.
  • Train strikes.
  • Unemployed people strikes. Seriously.
  • Dogs in restaurants. And dog poo everywhere.
  • It seems like everybody smokes. Indoors.
  • The winding bohemian streets of Montmartre.
  • Peanuts in the shell washed down with kirs.
  • The ugly stepsisters who run the casino-type hotel in Lourdes in the off-season.
  • Eating a mountain o’ meat and sauerkraut in Strasbourg.
  • Bottomless cups of hot chocolate in a cozy tea room while the snow falls outside.
  • Paris losing the Olympic bid to London.
  • The Champs Elysees and its fabulous shops.
  • The pedestrian death-trap that is the Place de la Concorde.
  • Charming hotels with no elevators.
  • Fat hunks of brie cheese on fresh baguette.

I know I’ve forgotten some things, so I’d love to hear your best/worst French memories to help me round out the list. Bon journee a tous!

Eiffel Tower Gab and Kate Nick's Dinner Party

5 comments:

kilabyte said...

Ahhhh!! where to start ....
... Notre Dame catherdral - one perspective from outside something else entirely inside
...Sainte-Chapelle and some of the most magnificient stained glass anywhere in the world
...strolling down the rue d'Rivoli, baguette in hand, dodging peeps left and right and soaking it all in like a sponge
...The Grande Louvre - what's to say
...The Eiffel Tower - gotta get to the top
...Sacre Couer (at night) - awesome and even better with good company from home and a belly full of home-cooked food (ahhh Katey)
...Tuileries gardens - smell the roses
...Napoleon's tomb
...walking on the left bank and then realising you need to be on the right bank

And a whole lot more ....

glamah16 said...

Memories Of Things Past...
-The corner creperies where you can get ham,egg, and cheese crepes, or Nuttella and bananna.How we used to flirt with that crepe boy at Bir Hakim station.
-Endless cigarettes in those 3 hour studio drawing classes.Smoke and study at the same time.
-The school cafe at the Americain Univesity in Paris, my favorite hang out.Endless beers and fun.
-My Paris friends. I miss them where ever they may be.
-Those Portugese concierges who always yelled at us for having wild parties.
-Walking home across the Pont D'Alma as the sun rose after another great party.
I could go on and on.....

batreg said...

Well lemme see ....

*The 'no photo' man at the Sacre Couer
*Walking 5 km's to Arles in the brisk spring weather with the trucks speeding by
*Drinking cafe au lait in across from the Van Gough cafe
*The cute waiters in the Marais restuarants (who cares if they're gay)
*Sleeping in the same room as Gab after her mountain o’ meat and sauerkraut in Strasbourg - eewww
*Hiding our suitcases behind a bus stop so a taxi would stop for us in Paris and then his dropping us at the wrong hotel twice as revenge!

But wait there's more ....

*Trying to get a taxi in the snow
*The Italian woman and her Italian Flag with eagle jacket in Bordeaux - oh how we laughed
Eyebrow man at the hostel in Bordeaux
*Toasted cheese sangers
*A rather delectable home made punch

And I'll make this my last ...

*Having found the dungeon like toilets in a Irish Pub in Bordeaux and realising we had trusted our new Canadian friends way too much

Ahh good times, good times

Parisienne said...

I feel I have to comment here even if it is a bit tricky to narrow down.

- The cicadas in the south of France and the mistral wind
- The metro in summer (which I have heard called a slow cooking oven) and the strange French aversion to deodorant
- The complete lack of pavement etiquette
- Discovering a new favourite cheese at the best cheese shop only two minutes walk from home
- Dressing as a bunny to go to a party in a chateau
- The friendship band boys around Montmartre who will not take no for an answer
- The boys generally everywhere who will not take no, silent treatment, rude faces or gestures or a kick in the shin for an answer
- Snow falling over the spotlit obelisk and eiffel tower in place de la concorde
- The view from Sacre Coeur
- The chocolate mousse shared at Brasserie Flo
- The evil pigeons
- Wandering the flea markets on a sunday with family and friends

I could go on and on. Probably best if you all just come back and see it for yourselves ;)

Gab said...

Haha poor Kate. If I had any faith in the gendarmes, I'd say that you should call them. But I figure they would be just as flirty with you.

Such a nostalgic trip around France, thanks for that guys xx