Who of you hasn’t watched Amelie. Longed to skip stones across that canal. Splashing away time. In a red dress. I know I did. Actually I’m pretty sure it was that scene that alerted me to the fact that Paris actually had a canal. Through the Tenth Arrondissement. With picturesque iron bridges and lochs lined pale green. The light filtering softly through the chestnut and plane trees. That it might be a cool place to hang about in. And it is.
The Tenth Arrondissement is a modern everyday sort of Paris. Not postcard pristine. Yet oddly pretty. Sometimes. Still urban and multicultural. Yet in that bo-ho-fair-trade-organic-artisan-hipster kind of way these days.
It was in the Sixth Arrondissement that I very nearly became victim to death by chocolate.
Patrick Rogers main chocolate shop was close by. I was planning on going there next. I wanted some of his lemon-grass and basil infused bars. I’d seen them in the window display. So sleek and shining. Almost sinful. I swear could taste the cocoa and herbs on the base of my tongue. Though the glass.
At the time I’d been ingesting small quantities of high quality chocolate for about three hours.
So I may have been a little delirious. Intoxicated.
Paupers Paris. I found it the other day. It was my first guidebook to Paris. The yellowing pages still promising to show me how to spend more time without spending more francs in the city of light.
Earmarked is that first hotel. The Grand Hotel d’Harcourt.
A one star establishment on 3 boulevard St-Michel. Most importantly it was in the Fifth. Described as a very lively area. Central to everything. Facing the famous St-Michel Fountain. A short walk to the major attractions. It boasted that the rooms were recently ‘redone’ and emphasised ‘with a lift’.
These days there’s a 4 star Great Western Hotel on the site. Their online site says pretty much the same stuff.
Times change. Budgets change. We grow older. But essentially some things stay the same.