Paris in May

I have recently moved to London, all the easier to work! I decided to get the Eurostar to Paris for a few days, as it has been a long time since I visited that great city. It’s always an adventure to go off somewhere and start exploring a strange place, Paris is beautiful. I got a hotel room in the Jourdain area of north Paris, the streets around my hotel were filled with cafés, boulangerie, charcouterie, fromagerie and all the other shops you would expect of Paris. I also found the best boulangerie in Paris (picture bellow) on the Rue de Belleville, just round the corner form my hotel, it was open until nine in the evening selling the best croissants, pain au chocolat, cakes and sandwiches, those French know their pastries.

The best boulangerie in Paris, on the Rue de Belleville near Jordain

The best boulangerie in Paris, on the Rue de Belleville near Jordain

Evening in Paris, looking down the Rue de Belleville

Evening in Paris, looking down the Rue de Belleville

On my travels through the city, I came across the Place de la Concorde, it was here that the good king Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette were murdered by the freemasons of the revolution, an obelisk towers above the spot where the guilotine stood, a masonic symbol, placed there by the son of the Louis d’Orleans, or as he prefered to be known, Louis Égalité, the cousin of the king, who none the less voted for his death. It was Louis-Philippe, who styled himself not King of France, but King of the French who erected this masonic symbol above the spot where the king and queen were murdered, the only memorial to the royal martyrs is a plaque placed on the ground, which mentions that the Place de la Concorde was for a few years the Place de la Revolution, and that is was there where the principle executions took place, nothing more for Louis the murdered king.

The obelisk in the Place de la Concorde

The obelisk in the Place de la Concorde

The only memorial to the martyred royals

The only memorial to the martyred royals

But unfortunatly, like most cities in the west, Paris has it’s share of outsiders, they make themselves felt in the tourist areas, which I think makes them very unpleasant places, in the Tuilleries I has to beat off some aggressive African trying to put something on my hand, he said he was an ‘artist’, yeah, I bet he was!

Then when I went to the Eiffel Tower, the place was mobbed by Africans and Arabs trying to sell rubbish and tat to tourists, there were also the, by now seemingly obligitary, band of theiving gypsies, who were begging off the passing tourists, what a mess. I would purposely never go back to the Eiffell Tower because it is so unpleasant.

Gang of Africans selling plastic crap

Gang of Africans selling plastic crap

More Africans

More Africans

Gang of thieving Gypsy beggars

Gang of thieving Gypsy beggars

More outsiders attempting to sell crap

More outsiders attempting to sell crap

But even with the bad, Paris is still a wonderful place, the Notre Dame shines like new after its cleaning, the narrow streets are charming and to be in such a place fills one with awe, not only in the glory of Paris, but in knowing that this city was once the greatest in the world, that this was one of the learned centres of Christendom, that it was here where the heirs of Charles Martel sat on their throne and ruled the greatest kingdom of men then known.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Narrow streets of old Paris

Narrow streets of old Paris

I think I am resolved to use my wordpress blog in future, it seems impossible to do a proper post on blogger, the writing and pictures get mixed up and go all over the place, wordpress is so much better and easier to use!!