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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Weekend away

I have been away and haven't been visiting or posting on Blogger for a while so please for give me if I haven't commented on your recent posts - I wonder if you would like to come with me to London and Paris for a wander round?  Unlike us you will not need comfy shoes just sit back and join us on our weekend away...

Last Saturday we went up to London where we planned to stay overnight before catching the early morning Eurostar to Paris on Sunday morning.  Having taken our bags to our hotel - a no frills budget place near to Kings Cross - we walked back towards Waterloo where we intended to go to the South Bank.  I am happy to say that we encountered no signs of the violence of the previous weekend but thank you to those of you who expressed your concern for us which was much appreciated!  I loved these buildings which we passed en route for Charing Cross Road where we caught a bus to Waterloo - free bus passes are wonderful and one of the perks of being over 60!!

The afternoon was dry though cloudy and we were able to visit the Festival of Britain exhibition at the Festival Hall before taking an evening stroll along the South Bank.  This is "our place" since when I first met my husband I was living in Dorset and he in Cheam and I used to come up to visit every couple of weeks and he would take me back to Waterloo for my train home on Sunday evenings and if we had time to spare we would wander along the South Bank together but that's a very long time ago!!

 The London Eye wasn't there back then of course!

This sign was on the side of a beach hut displaying a mosaic made up of bits and pieces found on the river bank which I showed you here and it expresses exactly what I love so much about London in a way I could never hope to put into words.

This pretty garden is part of the beach along the South Bank just now and is looking so much greener than when I last visited during a dry spell.  Lovely isn't it?

St Paul's amidst the cranes!

We had dinner in a restaurant having watched some entertainers and looked at the booksellers' wares and so on and when we left the sun was setting and the sky looked so lovely

Not a fire simply the sun setting - fabulous isn't it?  Our hotel was very comfortable and quiet in spite of our being on the ground floor right next to the busy Kings Cross Road!  We slept well and left for the short walk to St Pancras about 7.00 am.  Having checked in we had time for some breakfast before boarding the Eurostar to start our weekend called Secret Paris Revisited.  We had been previously on a short break called Secret Paris on Foot and enjoyed it so this was to be a follow on from that.  I posted about that trip here

Sunday morning in Paris:  I thought how different the architecture is in Paris and how very French the buildings looked (well they would wouldn't they!) We made our way to our hotel and had time for some lunch before we made our way to our first rendez vous for a walk round the area known as the Mouffetard Quarter.

With a guided walk such as this we saw all sorts of things we might not otherwise have noticed such as this lovely courtyard set behind gates.  This one was behind metal gates but sometimes our guide was able to open wooden gates and take us inside to see the private area behind.

We visited this church - St Etienne-du-cMont - which houses the shrine of Saint Genevieve who is the patron saint of Paris - something I hadn't known before - apparently she saved the city from attack by Atilla .  She was born in 422 and died in 512 so she lived to be a good age especially for those days!

Here she is in her niche on the right of the door to the church.  Unfortunately as it was a Sunday we were not able to wander round at will with our guide as a service was taking place inside.

St Genevieve had a street named after her but duing the Revolution all streets names with a religious connotation had to be altered and the Saint was deleted!  It is now called something else entirely! 
 Another pretty courtyard hidden away.

Just next to the church St Etienne-du-Mont is this huge building originally built between 1764 and 1790 by Louis XV after he had recovered from a desperate illness and he wanted the church to honour St Genbevieve but during the Revolution it was turned into a panthenon - a monument to house the tombs of France's great heroes. It has been secularized and desecularized again since then and was finally made into a civic building in 1885. Again we didn't go inside.

 After a supper in the Latin Quarter where the little cobbled street was filled with tables for all the many little restaurants we made our way towards the Seine where we had a wander along thinking that the previous evening we had been walking along the South Bank of the River Thames and how similar the evening was!

 See even the same sunset!

By now we were ready to wend our way back to our hotel for the night.  We got quite adept at using the Metro and with the Paris Passes we had been given as part of the deal we could use the underground as much as we liked so we did!

I think that by now you will have had enough so I will save the rest for another time.  I hope you enjoyed our tour and that your feet are not as tired as ours were by the end of our weekend!!


  1. That was really interesting. I LOVED your walk, and what a lovely idea to see the parts of Paris that other tourists don't see. Gorgeous photos, it looks like you had a super time.

    I was at the Southbank on Monday when Penny and I went to the Tracey Emin exhibition. There was such a lovely atmosphere, so different to the ugly scenes we witnessed on the tv.


  2. London AND Paris in one weekend!!! I've never thought of that as a possible weekend away!
    This tour was really very interesting and I liked the little flashback of you and your husband.
    I'll be back tomorrow to study the pictures a little more. Yes, I like doing this with pictures of buildings and places.
    Take Care!

  3. Lovely! Thanks for taking us along Jane.
    I do love French buildings. :)
    Vivienne x

  4. Lovely! What wonderful skies in London. And I've never thought of having a guided walk in Paris but it would be most fascinating. Thanks for this.

  5. What a wonderful weekend! I love the idea of a guided walk in Paris - or London. Great idea!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your weekend. Your photos are lovely.
    Anne xx

  7. I love London for a day out. The beach huts have featured on quite a few blogs recently and sound wonderful. Paris is just such a lovely city. I have only been once so will look forward to your posts.

  8. If only I could just pop to London and Paris for a weekend away. Unfortunately at least $2000 in airfares doesn't quite make it doable!!!
    The next best thing, looking at your lovely photos and you sharing your weekend, thank you.

  9. What a wonderful weekend. The guided walks are such an excellent idea.

  10. Your trip was in good weather, too; it looks as if you had a good time, even if it was energetic!

  11. No Jane I have not had enough !!! What a wonderful weekend! My two favourite cities of all time - and in one weekend! I have to say Paris is number one but not by much.
    Glad you did not find London full of hooligans. It was such a shame.I hope it has all settled down completely now.
    Looking forward to the next installment.

  12. What a good way to see the special and secret areas of Paris, unlike many tourists who only see the obvious.

  13. That was a great guide to both cities - thanks! I love the idea of secret Paris. Our library has a book of secret Toulouse and I really must get it our again and go touring!

  14. A real tale of two cities! Thank you for sharing your lovely trip to both London and Paris, and so many interesting details. Have a lovely weekend.
    Helen x

  15. I think that is the closest I shall ever get to Paris, so thanks for the descriptions.

  16. looks beautiful... your braver than me to visit 2 cities in one weekend... look forward to the next installment.. xx

  17. Wow - what a wonderful weekend. I love the idea of seeing secret cities, thanks for sharing it with us.

  18. I'm really looking forward to part two - I always enjoy your travelogues Jane.

  19. It looks like a wonderful break. London - Paris - New York next?!!!

  20. Lovely! I was promised Paris once, maybe someday!


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