A first bit - I'm about to have an early night, so I'll post more tomorrow. However, following on from tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187147-i14-k31593… (#3)
I ate the ludicrously expensive breakfast (€12) on Sunday morning, sooner than traipse around searching for something cheaper. It was perfectly pleasant but even if I'd been feeling OK, it would have been virtually impossible to eat 12 euros' worth of bread, cheese and ham. It may have been the meds the dentist gave me just before I left the UK but something sure didn't sit right with me the night before. This won't be mentioned again, except to explain it kind of put a block on any plans I'd had for fancy eating - just urgh, it wouldn't have been worth it. On the plus side, I abandoned the meds and could drink the odd glass of red wine.....
I bought a mobilis ticket and headed out ot the George V metro station and St. George's Anglican Church on Auguste Vacquerie for the service. I have minimal orientation skills, that's why I like the metro so much, it goes in straight lines. What do you mean, It doesn't? It looks like it on the maps.... Coming above ground is always a different matter and I can usually be counted on to take the wrong direction. Fortunately, there are plenty of corners in Paris where I can orientate on junctions - and the street signage is excellent. Inevitably, I found I was going the wrong way, so turned 180 degrees and set off. I'd not gone two steps when - there was only the Arc de Triomphe just standing there in the near distance. Just there, just standing there. It was a great moment. I'm not a great lover of The Sights in any city, I don't like to Do The Tourist Thing, so I never know how to answer 'What should I see?' questions - surely we should see what interest us and anything else is a bonus.
This was some bonus! Imagine to yourselves, a crisp, autumn morning, sun pouring down through browning leaves and the Arc -de Triomphe whispering your name..... I have to assume that Parisians are used to respectable looking women suddenly bursting into smiles: if they weren't, they are now, because I did it a lot. I went and took photos, lots of them, and some even without traffic.
The Anglican church was fascinating, a modern building on the outside and the church itself under ground, all in brick. Very impressive. Very good singing too from the choir.
Metro back to Bastille to change for the opera - I was going to an early performance at the Theatre des Champs Elysees. Still didn't want a whole meal, so I stopped at a crepe stand at the end of Boulevard Richard Lenoir/Bastille and got a plain one with sugar. Back to the metro. This time the straight lines worked fine - but I got lost on the surface again. I got through two Printemps sponsored city maps in 3 days. I eventually got on target and walked along the Avenue Montaigne, very swish - and on the street corner, by Alma Marceau station - there was only the Eiffel Tower looking at me! It seems the sights of Paris were determined to sneak up on me and say hello. Took lots of early evening sunshine shots, annoyed a woman in a kiosk by not having less than a 5 euro note for a twix - I still didn't feel much like food but having only eaten the crepe since about 85 cents worth of breakfast around 8 a.m., I was fearful that Andromache would be drowned out by the sound of my stomach rumbling.
The theatre was pleasant and easy to navigate, even without the pay-as-you-go usherette. Andromache in concert form was not wonderful though, I don't think I need to have bothered with the Twix. And the performance was a bit am-dram sounding. Why stay with something if you're not enjoying it? So I left at half time.
The E. Tower was still waiting, beckoning, so I walked back up and took more photos of her; and walked and walked a lot more. That's the thing I noticed most about Paris - it was always tempting to walk just a bit further and a bit more. I spent my time taking great, striding steps through it all. As striding as my little legs can do, anyway.
After that, it still felt early, so I dived onto the RER at Pont d'Alma and got out at Notre Dame. I thought I'd let another Sight take me by surprise. It was beautiful, although the parvis was very crowded and it felt not threatenting exactly, not at all in fact, but just a bit uncontrolled, and I could see how all these tourists together could be a scammers paradise. Not that I saw any, the whole trip. I went into the church where Mass was being sung. I loved the flat-screen screens on many pillars to show people exactly what was going on. And the music was glorious.
I RER/metroed back to the hotel area. Still didn't want a whole meal, so I bought a baguette jambon cru crudite at a station outlet - Gare d'Austerlitz, I think - and took it home to my room. I opened the double windows over the wrought-iron balcony front (no balcony, just the front, don't know what you call them) and let in some warmish evening Paris air, just a modicum of traffic noise, it being a Sunday. I ate the baguette and my one remaining Twix finger, drank some red wine from the mini-bar (chilled red wine? hm) and toasted Paris. C'etait si bon.
The second day ended.