St Patrick’s Day and the day when all the world decides it suddenly needs to drink Guinness was the first day of our latest trip away. We don’t like Guinness and so didn’t partake in the tradition, but we were heading away from Manchester and did partake in a few drinks later on in the evening – but it was a long day and a lot happened before – I shall fill you in with the short version of the story so far...
Just after 9am I and her highness the buffmaster stood awaiting the train to take us in to Manchester Piccadilly from Humphrey Park station. We were accosted by a worker from Tesco, who decided we looked friendly and told us a story about his mate ‘Scotch Bob’ and how he always spent his money at the bookies and at the pub the day he was paid. A strange start to the day and we avoided Tesco man as we rode into town.
A quick change in Oxford Road station and another in Piccadilly helped us on our way and pretty soon I was snoozing on the table and Buffy was reading a book as we headed south to ‘That there London’. We are overnighting here and are now relaxing after a whistle stop tour of the sights and sounds of the city this afternoon. Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Downing Street and the Embankment were all ticked off the list of places we passed as we had a mini pub crawl around town – Punch and Judy was our obvious first stop in Covent Garden with its glorious Balcony overlooking the street performers below. The Sherlock Holmes was our haunt for dinner and later on a pint of Canadian beer and Hockey on TV took an hour of our time at The Maple Leaf before we finally reached the Prince of Wales Theatre – our main stop of the evening.
|Cool toilet humour and sign|
|Our lovely street in London where we stayed.|
We were here to watch a performance of ‘The Book of Morman’, the outrageous and hilariously silly theatre show by the same blokes that wrote South Park and Team America – if you haven’t seen it then ‘I still have maggots in my scrotum’, will mean nothing to you as well as ‘Hasa diga ebowai’, which if you are religious you won’t want to know how it translates! (Sorry mum) A brilliant show and one you really have to see.
One final pub stop on the way home took us to our hostel for the night - a lovely little room just a few minutes’ walk away from the hustle and bustle but in a lovely little street just south of St Pancras railway station – our first stop tomorrow on a journey to somewhere I have never been – Paris!!
|Me and Ben|
|Then get bloody everywhere|
Todays journey was a little hectic but we coped well. The train from London to Paris was delayed a couple of times on the way due to an ‘incident’ in the tunnel, but that just meant that we had extra time to read and sleep on the train, so it didn’t really bother us too much. I actually caught up on an hours sleep with my legs above me and my head on Buffys lap as she read a book, so it was all cool.
On arrival in Paris we walked the 20 minutes or so to our little hotel just a hundred metres or so north of the Seine. Then we fell asleep on the immensely comfortable bed before venturing out ofr our first evening in the French Capital. It was a chilly but pleasant evening – wandering along the Seine, looking at the thousands of padlocks locked onto one of the bridges by romantic fools and then finding the pub where we will spend tomorrow evening watching Man United trying to salvage their season. Then we found a lovely little 8 seater restaurant that turned out to serve only vegetarian food and lovely wine - both of which went down with us very well!! With our full bellies we headed on back past the Notre Dame Cathedral for a couple of photos end then back to a small bar/cafe near our hotel where we practised our poor French in ordering some very large beers – which a certain drunk Canadian took great pleasure in finishing first before we finally headed home for a well deserved rest – we already like Paris!
|and we saw a poster of Tom Cruise in a police station window!|
|We drank a bottle of white wine ....|
|when we had a romantic dinner in this cute little cafe|
I wont bore you all with a list of the sights we visited during the next couple of days – but instead Ill tell you about the weird and wonderful things we saw along the way – At Notre Dame as we queued to get up to see the towers where we could marvel at the gargoyles and grotesques, we had the pleasure of sitting next to an American and her poor British boyfriend. She didn’t shut up. All the time she was talking about how they were going to rent a huge New York Apartment and live there for $1600 a month (almost if not impossible). When he simply asked how much money she had save up she spouted that all her $500 saving was being spent here in Paris and that she tried but couldn’t stop buying food or shoes. We guess that they wont last long in New York. When we all reached the parapets on the tower they spent more time posing for fashion shots of each other rather than look at the stunning views or tha amazing architecture that they had paid to see.
|Notre Dame at night|
|We also had some large beers!|
|Gargoyle or Grotesque?|
|Big Mouth american|
Later at Sacre Coeur we watched as one tourist bought 13 Eiffel tower key rings for her friends from one of the dodgy looking street sellers as a woman danced along to the non religious sounds of Michael Jackson as they were blasted out just below the beautiful white church which sits overlooking the outskirts of Paris itself. There were also some workmen cleaning the steps and doors of the church as someone overnight had sprayed graffiti all over it - one part of which read ‘Fuck Tourism’. Strange.
|Keeping an eye on the city|
In between Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur we had visited a lovely little bookshop just by the banks of the Seine and spent a while browsing the labyrinth of shelves and books as well as venturing upstairs and playing the piano for a while (My first ever live concert!!). It was a great place to relax and enjoy a quiet few minutes.
|In the bookstore...|
|Playing the piano|
|She must have lots of friends that she doesnt like|
|It is a lovely place to relax for a while|
On the way back we thought we heard a Mariachi band playing down a side street - but when we went to look it was a bloke playing a trumopet and pulling a speaker on an old shopping trolley with the rest of the 'band' playing on it - He was still rally good though so we gave him a Euro and watched fro a minute or two,
The evening was already planned out and went like clockwork –basically me and Buffy sat in a piub watching Man United play against Olympiakos and win! We were looked at a few times as I shouted, screamed and punched the air with joy as United scored 3 goals without reply to go through to the next round!
or this link here might work...