The One With The Trip to Paris (Part 4)

After going to the Grand Palais, That Boy spotted some statues that he wanted to go have a look at. The statues were on Pont Alexandre III. From this bridge you can see the Eiffel Tower clearly in one direction and the Lourve in the other direction (At least I think you can see it – we were stood the Eiffel Tower side and didn’t cross over lol). We stood here for a little while and took silly pictures – including That Boy trying to “lean” on the Eiffel Tower, he then took one of me hanging off a lamppost lol.

I had a look at the map on That Boy’s phone and realised that we were quite close to Rue De L’Universitie, which is where Julia Child lived when she was in Paris. i had been reading this article from the LA Times before we left and unfortunately I had remember the house number wrong so we went looking for Number 103 when we should have been looking for 81 (Her house in Cambridge, Massachusetts was number 103 Irving Street.).

That Boy didn’t mind because we got to see a little bit more of Paris. After a discussion we decided that we would go to the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. (Well that would be if I could make it up the stairs/it also depended on the cost of the funicular railway that runs alongside the main stairs).

Having looked at the map it made more sense to go back to the hotel and get our belongings before heading off for more adventures including going to Montmartre – as it’s kind of on the way back to Gare du Nord.

So first up after getting our bits was La Defense and the Grand Arche.

La Grande Defense, Paris

It was amazing – I’ve seen it on TV and stuff but that didn’t quite prepare me for how big it is in real life! Ally commented on my other post and said how La Defense is like Canary Wharf in London – I most definitely agree on that one. It was Sunday after and there were at least 2 or 3 guys who were in smart suits who got off the Metro as if they were heading to work!

We went to wander round the CNIT Building. CNIT is the Center of New Industries and Technologies – basically it’s a massive exhibition centre like Earls Court or the NEC along with lots of offices and shops – so a bit of everything piled in to this space.

In the building there was a shop called FNAC, I got very excited because there was a game shop that had a huge selection of Manga comics and books and also several shelves of Anime/Manga films.

Manga Comic Book Store at La Grand Defense Paris

While we were in the store I picked up a leaflet about Japan Expo – it would be awesome to go back to France for it but I don’t have the money or the holiday time to spare lol.

We then got the Metro from La Defense to Montmartre so that we could go to the Sacre Coeur, it was only when we got to the bottom of the hill that I realised how crazy it was going to be.


Oh dear that is a lot of steps! I did about two sections and was shattered. I walked into one of the side roads so that I was out of the main thoroughfare. For years I’ve wanted to go to The Sacre Coeur and never had the opportunity – now it’s practically in front of me and my stupid asthma/chest infection/other is holding me back (and the fact that the Funicular cost extra money – however now I’ve just looked at the website and our rail card actually included the Montmartrobus and the Funicular Railway!!! That Boy is going to get a poke!)

Anyhoo so we make it up to the top by taking a bit of a diverted route – it was probably a whole bunch longer but by going the route we did it wasn’t so stressful. Because we went the diverted route I was able to find two very funky shops. One is called Pylones and the other is called La Chaise Longue – both of which would have fitted right in the shops around Covent Garden in London. (They reminded me a lot of Octopus).

After Montmartre it was time to head back to Gare Du Nord. We got to Abbesses and the Metro arrived. That Boy was in front of me and managed to get on the train, there wasn’t space so I tried the next door along but again there wasn’t any space. By which point the alarm that the doors were going close was sounding. I went back to the door that, That Boy was stood next to and tried to get his attention. I knocked on the window and started waving my arms, he had spotted me and made some sign that implied he understood. I then took a seat and waited the four minutes for the next train (As my Dad says – just wait another train will come in a few minutes).

Abbesses Metro Station, Paris

I took this picture while I waited, then I got my iPod out and listened to Rufus Wainwright singing “La Complainte de la Butte” (Some how it seemed appropriate seeing as it’s about Montmartre).

I got onto the next train and made it back to La Chapelle, and there was That Boy waiting on the platform for me. At first he looked a little worried, he later said that he wasn’t sure if I knew which stop I was supposed to get off at and whether I would have been able to get on the next train lol.

I sat in Gare Du Nord near the check in desk while That Boy went to get some food. He went at about 10 to 6 while we waited for check in to start. At about 20 past he still wasn’t back and I was beginning to get a little worried – I had his passport and ticket so I couldn’t get on the train without him but also I didn’t want to miss the train in case we couldn’t get rescheduled etc.

Anyhoo I got my phone out and reassembled it. I had to take the battery out because it kept switching itself on by mistake – thankfully after the first time it did it, I set it to not connect to a mobile network so if it switched on it just drained the power rather than rocketing my phone bill lol. Anyhoo, I match the tickets with the passports and put them in my bag so they are within reach and I reassemble my phone and as I do it, That Boy comes running up the stairs with Maccy D’s in his hand lol. I was a little fed up of cheese sandwiches with no margarine lol.

We went through check in and the French Policeman put the Maccy D’s through the X-ray scanner as well – we then pulled up a patch of floor and ate our food.

We then got on the train to come home. That was Paris done.

I am sure I’ve missed some bits so I might be back with edits or funny stories. But for now I leave you with Rufus.


  1. cardiogirl says:

    Probably a silly question but I’m going for it anyway. Were the Manga books written in French?

    My 10-year-old likes those Manga comic books. Those are the ones with Sailor Moon and they read back to front, right? Some of the story lines are sort of freaky for a 10-year-old, though. In one book the main character was a singer (or wanted to be) and then she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her throat.

    I was positive my kid would have nightmares after reading that, but she was okay. Still it turned me off of letting her read those books.

    • Hannie says:

      hehe go for it CG – the Manga books were in French lol.

      I think Sailor Moon is manga but I haven’t seen those (but i have heard of them) 😀

  2. Rickie says:

    I enjoyed reading your account of Paris. It’s been many years since I ticked it off the list but I remember all those stairs at Sacre Coeur!
    Also, can you believe we never bothered going to the Eiffel Tower?
    I have seen the original Liberty (ie they one the French gave to America) hundreds of times which I think more than makes up! Hope you get there soon.

    So glad you enjoyed it all!

    • Hannie says:

      I loved the Eiffel Tower but it’s got so much work being done to it that it was a shame that we couldn’t go up it – especially as it’s the second time I’ve been there lol.

      I want to see the original Liberty Statue in New York but I’m not sure how long it will take me to get there lol.

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