My favourite bit of Paris

A couple of days ago I went to Notre Dame. Typically, the day before it had been gloriously sunny and that day it was wet, cold and downright miserable – but the cathedral was beautiful anyway.

I took a lot of photos and I’m going to post most of them here because it’s so gorgeous. I’m trying a new thing with the gallery tool so if you can’t see them, let me know!

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The locks were the thing that most intrigued me – there are literally thousands of them, all along one side of a bridge over the Seine. It reminded me of the alleyway up to Juliet’s balcony in Verona, which is just covered with romance-themed graffiti stretching back centuries. I took some photos of my favourite padlocks but they were all fascinating and I’d have spent all day there if it hadn’t been so cold.

I just did a bit of quick Googling and it seems that all the locks have to be no older than eight months because last May, the Parisian authorities had a massive cull. I think that’s a shame.

The other thing that I took photos of is the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, with its amazing blackboard outside. Its proximity to Notre Dame and the Seine is the final reason that this is the place I love the most in Paris. It’s touristy, it’s busy, it’s overpriced, but the whole area is full of amazing shops and it’s just got so much life in it. I’ve been three times already.

As for today, not much of note really happened. I came down with stomach flu yesterday (along with most of the rest of the household) and I’m still not feeling great but I managed to work and also get to my French lesson. On Fridays it’s just me and a different teacher to the Monday and Thursday lessons – it was really hard! He was teaching me some pretty thorough grammar (naming the different parts and functions of a sentence, the kind of grammar they used to teach in schools before they decided we didn’t need to know how our own language works) and it was all in French. Every time I come out of the building where the lessons are held I feel like I’ve just done ten rounds with a dictionary and lost, but I always learn something.

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