A visit to Paris to accompany our daughter en route to a language course half way round the world brought a pleasant walk around a city that we have frequented many times and yet still manage to find new discoveries each time. we stayed in the newish hotel – Hotel Monge, quite pleasant, had a great offer for 3 of us in a room – situated next to the Pantheon and a short walk from Notre Dame and St Germain. ( we are on the eternal look out for perfectly priced comfortable hotels). this was an area that was new to us and as its full of students, was young and vibrant with a lot more affordable eating places. I managed to see the Irving Penn exhibition – an in depth retrospective of works throughout Penn’s life, starting with his early street photography, fashion photos, portraits of renowned writers and artists – to his striking flowers and travels abroad. such a diverse life all captured beautifully. made me want to take my Hasselblad camera out again.
Fortunately we had a bright day for walking – Robert’s favourite thing in cities is just to walk and explore, stopping now again for coffee and lunch and maybe popping into the odd shop that captures his eye. Paris is full of odd courtyards and squares – its grandeur never ceases to amaze me. the banks of the Seine are overflowing so there were no boats or riverlife, apparently January had more rain than usual. we ate lunch at chez George, deliciously simple food in a very traditional Parisian setting; tables are literally side by side. its pricey, but isn’t most of Paris and it seems to be that you pay for the quality. take a walk through the Palais Royal or Tulieres – beautiful manicured spaces that are emblems of a city that I never tire of visiting.