Paris – May Day, May Day!

12 May 2008 at 8:28 pm 7 comments

Thursday, May 1

Ah, how nice it is to wake up to the sound of sirens instead of screaming kids. No joke. Despite our late omelette dinner, I was ravenous. We made it just in time for breakfast. Nothing special but the croissants and pain au chocolat were good. I also enjoyed people watching. There was one curious couple, consisting of a homely-looking man in his 40s and a tall Asian woman dressed as if she were on her way to a photo shoot. Sky high, chocolate-coloured platform heels, flouncy back-baring mini-dress, sunglasses. We were in the Breakfast Room at the Holiday Inn Express, for goodness sake! Believe me, Karl Lagerfeld was not about to walk through that door. Anyway, she definitely looked odd, and more so after I got a better look at her. Very masculine features and a voice to match. Hmmm…

After breakfast, Mimmo and I rushed to get to the Musée d’Orsay at a decent hour, hopefully avoiding the hoards of tourists. We decided the RER would be the fastest way to go. We’re both pretty confident at using the Paris Métro and RER systems and easily found our way to the right platform. Or so we thought. When the nice customer service assistant at the Gare d’Austerlitz came up to us and asked if we yokels needed help finding the right train we immediately said “Non!”. Then in a split second of self-doubt I told her we were going to the museum. Thank god I did because the assistant kindly informed us that we were on the wrong platform. Yup, yokels indeed!

We finally made it to the Musée d’Orsay and were thrilled to find that there weren’t too many people around. In fact, there was hardly anyone. My spidey senses started to tingle. Then I realized that the doors and ticket kiosks were closed. Arrrggh!! The museum was fermé for the May 1st holiday! I knew that it was a national holiday but I was sure that in culture-friendly France, they’d keep museums open for tourists. Boy was I wrong! We walked to the nearby Louvre just to check and that was closed too. It was almost heartbreaking to see the people wandering aimlessly around the courtyard, not knowing where to go or what to do. Some tourists sat on nearby benches, hoping that the powers that be would change their minds. They wouldn’t.

So, the hubster and I decided to go for a romantic stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries.

It was so romantic that we ran into Jean-Marie Le Pen and his crew. Well, not really but there was a Front National rally on a street just off the park. Le Pen was blathering about something but I was too bored to listen so we watched a mime perform instead. Well, not really but I’m sure that would have been waaay more interesting.

Now I don’t know if it was a coincidence but right after watching that rally the clouds turned an awful shade of grey. With a storm fast approaching and both museums and shops closed, what were a couple of stranded tourists to do? Well, we headed to the wonderful world of the Bateaux Mouches, the excursion boats that travel along the Seine. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy considering we weren’t first-timers to Paris but the romantic in me always appreciates the sights AND it was a covered boat. Let the storm clouds come!

Mimmo wasn’t as impressed as I was with the tour and fell asleep half-way through. I was sitting beside a yappy dog who tried to eat my hat. After we got off the boat I took some quick snaps of the Alma Tunnel, you know, the one where Princess Diana had her accident. I couldn’t help myself. I was a big Royal Family buff when I was a kid. Anyway, I felt strangely emotional standing there.

The hubster was exhausted after all that excitement and wanted to go back to the hotel for a nap. Nap?!? I was worried. When that man naps you need a choir of Yoko Onos screaming in his ear to get him up again. We had reservations for Chez Michel that evening. Would we ever be able to make it on time?????

Tune in to the next post to find out…….

Entry filed under: Paris, Politics, Travel, Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joanne at Frutto della Passione  |  13 May 2008 at 10:33 am

    I’m drooling (or frothing) to hear about the shopping – yes, I know – one track mind, but I’ve never been shopping in Paris. I’m living through you!

    Don’t worry, the shopping will come. But I did wear something I bought in Paris the other day at work. Didn’t you notice? I am so hurt! 😉

  • 2. rowena  |  13 May 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Any hopes of getting back to Paris are slowly fading away, now that we’ve got doggie nr. 2 — as much as I know how they looove doggies, traveling with one was already too much!

    Maybe when the 2nd is a bit older…then we can drop the both of them off at the grandparents for a long weekend. I’m sure that nonna will spoil them like mad!

    BTW, I sure wish you had posted something about those sagre in Liguria! That is one region that I don’t see much sagre written about.

    Hey, maybe they have a doggie sitting service in Paris. Don’t give up hope!
    Yeah, I’ve taken pictures of the sagre I’ve been to but that was pre-blog. Maybe I should dig them up. You’ve given me a good idea!

  • 3. Bee in Italy, Debby  |  14 May 2008 at 10:43 pm

    It looked like a great day to visit the Jardin des Tuileries. Like my Mom likes to say, “Everything happens for the best!” or was that my Grandma. Oh well, someone said that.

    Yeah, it was great until the storm clouds came. We had a good time anyway.

  • 4. Sue  |  15 May 2008 at 6:12 am

    Paris… the city with closed museums!

    I’ve been to Paris twice… First time when you met your husband of course… and remember they closed the Louvre? I was much more interested in seeing art back then. I was so disappointed.

    Second time, was the trip where I visited you in Italy the first time. The Louvre wasn’t closed, I just didn’t have enough time! So I ended up going to Musee d’Orsay instead. I actually liked it! But still… the Louvre escapes me.

    Maybe my next trip to Paris… who knows…? Will I ever see the DaVinci? The Michaelangelo???

    Ah Sue, one day I will take you to the Louvre. But first, Liverpool!!

  • 5. andrena  |  19 May 2008 at 12:11 am

    so beautiful! would you believe as a young woman in the service, I went to Paris and don’t remember much about it…It wasn’t the best of times for me then..

    My greatest memories are the cars with yellow headlights driving around in circles, the Versailles, McDonalds (ugh), oh! and the romp with the desk clerk at the hotel I was staying…..

    I was a bad girl….

    glad you had a great time!

    Thanks for stopping by Andrena! Well, it seems like you had a better time, except for the cars driving around in circles and McDonald’s 😉

  • 6. My Mélange  |  21 May 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Oh goodness. Yes, Holidays are taken very seriously in France. Everything closes. But, you made the best of it!! I love the boat cruises. I like the smaller Vedettes du Pont-Neuf. It is on the I’le de la Cité.

    More please….

    You know, I regret not making it to the Ile de la Cité this time. I love it there. Ok, I know I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t been posting in a while but I’m back now. Next up, my review of Chez Michel.

  • 7. Cherrye  |  22 May 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I am so jealous. Seriously. I have to get off your blog now!


    Don’t worry, Cherrye. I’m sure you and Pep will make it to Paris again 🙂


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May 2008


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