Bonjour France!

Yes, we’re back! In another heatwave! But this week Paris is not too hot, which is a blessing (having just come from 33 degrees centigrade in London). This time we have rented an apartment in the 17th arrondissement in Batignolles. We know the area well, so it’s just like coming home. First stop is our usual coffee and croissant at Le Rouergue Bar – now we’re REALLY here!

Our favourite café batignolles
Our regular café, and the Square des Batignolles

Our time is not spent visiting tourist attractions, because over the years we have visited many of them, but we walk. And across from the apartment (over 10 railway lines!!!) is the wonderful Square Batignolles. Because this arrondissement is more residential, therefore huge numbers of apartments, a park like Batignolles and another nearby park, the Peace Park of Martin Luther King, are essential . Green areas with playgrounds for children, trees, water, wildflower areas, birds – perfect for the nannies to take their charges and picnic on the grass!

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Parc Martin Luther King

And the juxtaposition of the lovely old Hausmann-type buildings and the new apartment blocks is amazing. Some of the new buildings are architecturally incredible and surprisingly don’t look too out of place.

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Old and new architecture

But our treat for the week was to go to the Theatre. If any of you non-French speaking readers would like a truly French experience you should visit the website and see the shows that are available. They are performed in small old theatres and many of them have the translation running above the stage. But we have been to two shows, neither of which needed translation! Last year we went to “How To Be A Parisian”, a one-man show in English, very funny, the French members of the audience thought so too! This year it was another amazing show in the Palais des Glaces. “Speakeasy” was a traditional French show of song, mime, and acrobatics – think Cirque de Soleil with 6 actors. We went with New Zealand friends and loved every minute. Absolutely amazed at their timing, acting and energy. How do they do this EVERY NIGHT?

Two things stood out this time in Paris – summer dresses are back! And E-scooters are everywhere. It’s so amusing to see a businessman in his suit and carrying his briefcase racing along the road ( not the footpath), weaving in and out of the traffic. And the young women in their dresses and summer shoes with their hair flowing out behind them. No helmets here! (Though I think in some cities here helmets are required).

After 4 days it was time to leave – but we’ll be back at the end of September! Booking a cab on line is a must – guaranteed price, prepaid on line, given the name of your driver – takes all the stress out of getting to the airport or wherever else you have to go. We use a company called Naveco, they have been excellent. Our assigned driver couldn’t come, so we ended up with a V.I.P Mercedes 8 seater limousine!

Au revoir Paris! A bientot!

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