Rus Articles Journal

Travel from Holland to Paris (part 2) of

Part 1 can be read here.

of the 8th of June, Paris, day of the second

Having woken up in the morning from cries of children behind a window (Saturday, in school it is necessary to nobody), we decided (more precisely Petrik solved for us) that it is necessary to have breakfast and go to Paris. Remembering our drudgeries with the parking, we decided to try to park the car in Goussainville small village as, judging by the card, there was a RER station and near it there was a treasured sinenky letter “P“. But... at first visit to Gonesse behind newly-baked croissants, baguettes, pastes and so on was coming us. The small bakery smelled sweet as fresh pastries. In a show-window absolutely impossible amount of cakes, ptifur, cakes with various fruit lay. My favourite eclairs and ptifura appealed to my hungry stomach... It is impossible to shop, without having eaten before it... However, I not one was in “flour“, Petrik bought so many that it was simply impossible to eat all this. By the way, in a butcher shop I was surprised with abundance of fat on meat, sausages, in forcemeat and in general everywhere. On what Petrik told that French eat a lot of fat (one more myth was smashed about reality, I all life thought that French, and Frenchwomen in particular, watch that they eat and do not use fat in such quantities). Pastes were just tremendous, baguettes did not come within miles of what can be got in Holland, and croissants melted in the mouth. All this was eaten on the parking. For the first time I felt like so the tourist. Having finished a breakfast, and having thrown the remains of divine pastes and sausages in the refrigerator in hotel, we rushed to RER station, in full confidence that today we should not turn in search of the parking.

Having arrived to Goussainville, we quickly enough found the station and parking, here only near them there were plates that these parking are reserved and “mere mortals“ cannot park there. On the only parking to 15 places where we could leave the car, empty seats, naturally, were not. On the covered parking it was possible to be parked, only previously having bought the monthly subscription... Petrik gradually already began to smoke for rage... Incidentally we stopped by in the residential quarter that was near station, but also there everywhere were signs that the parking is forbidden. Under these signs there were hundreds of cars, but... besides with the French numbers. The law-abiding Dutch is simply not able to ignore such quantity of bans. And French, as well as Russians, obviously, think:“ If it is impossible, but there is a strong wish, then it is possible“. Suddenly we came across some “white zone“ in which it was possible to leave the car, and there - that just was nobody. However, for the next three days we will see it still more than once. French park where to them conveniently and it is necessary, but not where it is possible. For example, in Bois de Boulogne they park or just in the middle of the road, on the continuous line of a marking, either on a grass, or under “crosses“ (sign “the parking is forbidden“). And they are not stopped at all by a sign on which the car (sleepauto) which takes away incorrectly parked car is represented (here I do not know as such road sign in Russian is called). Such impression is made that they specially park cars in not put places. And as you, for example, will like the parking of cars... on entrance on the high-speed route? Well the market there nearby, all want to descend on it, and the car could not be put. There are also they directly on the road, and entrance (inrit) rather short, to disperse time and the place and so a little, and here also the people go, and the car a door directly at you before a nose at any time can start or open... However, what am I telling? Ah yes, about “a white zone“ in which there were three empty seats. Having left the car there, we bought tickets for RER and left in the direction of Paris. Our purpose this day - Montmartre (Montmartre), Notre - Dame (Notre Dame de Paris) and Avenue des Champs - Elysees (Champs Elysee).

Last night we passed

by the ladders conducting on Montmartre. Petrik warned that to us all these hundreds of steps will have to rise up to see Montmartre and the cathedral Sacre - Coeur. But we are tourists, we should pass, in fact, a day a huge number of kilometers and to admire nearly everything around. So the prospect of infinite ladders did not frighten us. In practice everything was much simpler. Having arrived to the subway on Abbesses station, we found there the high-speed self-operated elevator which waited for us, however, as well as all others. Within two minutes there was it with open doors, the gentle call was distributed then, and the elevator was carried away upward, relieving us of need to consider steps. All this was free to what I was inexpressibly surprised. As here, for example, already above it is possible to rise even above to the bottom of Sacre - Coeur on the funicular. And it is necessary to pay for it (it is possible just a card from the subway, but also it too costs money - 90 cents). But we “saved“ therefore climbed steps. They were much too, but over us the tremendous white cathedral towered and so there was a wish to touch it a hand whether to check real it that steps flew under legs. A cathedral just fantastic and it is very strange to see it in the same city where costs Notre - Dam, so it differs from usual Catholic cathedrals. As it is written in the book about Paris, it is made in style of “sugar cake“ (suikertaartenstijl). Towering over Paris, it as if sneers at Parisians who were very much and very much against its construction. Having admired Paris from huge height and having found all sights “in a miniature“ which we already examined in the first day, we went to walk on “the region of artists, musicians, actors and free and cheerful life“ (one more stereotype) - to Montmartre.

Petrik somehow mentioned the name of this area in conversation with Alice, told obviously to it about Montmartre and Paris in general. (It is surprising that Alice did not even give a hint about Disnay Land what I very much was afraid of as we did not want to go there. But, probably, she just automatically from advertizing knows the name “Disnay Land Parijs“, but does not connect with this name the city of Paris). And here in the first day of our stay in Paris, she asked Petrika:“ And when we will eat to visit your ohm of Martin?“ And I, and Petrik were inexpressibly surprised with this question, but somehow did not “finish thinking“ about her question up to the end and just told that Petrik in Paris has no relatives. When after survey of Sacre - Coeur, Petrik told that now we go to look at Montmartre, Alice exclaimed: “Here about this of Martin`s ohm I also asked you yesterday!!!“ The word “Montmartre“ quite is even conformable for eight-year-old Alice with Om (uncle) of Martin. We have fun, and Alice took offense.

So, walking across Montmartre, you understand that the stereotype is, maybe, and well, but time prevails and commerce steps on heels to art. We went to the areas of artists in crowd same as we, tourists. Only they still had, maybe, an opportunity to admire something, and it was boring for me and sometimes it is simply terrible to watch at those “works of art“ that were offered for sale. Infinite artists who so wanted to draw your portrait or to cut out it from paper, or to draw a caricature (What for? I already look every morning in a mirror) - everything so reminded me the Nevsky of times of the beginning of reorganization.... Though if not to pay attention to such trifles as abundance of people and a preponderance of commerce, and to look only up, then itself cannot spoil mood unnecessary comparisons with Russia, and, on the contrary, to lift it, examining beautiful buildings, “mills“, looking in windows of houses and smelling the smells which are carried their numerous “pancake houses“. I did not feel spirit of freedom and libertinism, alcoholism and genius, wandering about small small streets, continually going down and climbing “hillocks“ of Montmartre. Or perhaps was also not in the nature of all that I hoped to see and feel there?

Having gone down on ladders to station of the subway, we dived into it again, trying not to look around and not to pay attention to anything. Having come to stations “Champs - Elysees“, we appeared on Place de la Concorde. Fountains glinted in the sun in thousands of sparks. Near an obelisk three weddings Chinese (for some reason) were photographed even that again reminded me St. Petersburg. Itself when married the first time, specially went to be photographed to a monument at Victory Square. Petrik began to tell Alice that on this square during revolution beheaded the French queen Maria - Antoinette. On what Alice told: “Then I in Russia was?“ Its life is divided on “in Russia and... all the rest“. Tourists, tourists, the sea of tourists is simple. Two booths in which sold souvenirs were on the square. Passing by, I heard as the seller explained to the guy why he should buy a souvenir, and called the prices of all the rest that it had in a booth... in Russian. No, it was not Russian, the typical Frenchman with a longish face and a curve aquiline nose. Simply, obviously, working in this booth, necessarily you begin to speak all national languages. Almost everywhere in the center of Paris the Eiffel Tower is visible. Only sometimes it is simpler to find it, and sometimes she hides behind trees. But it is even simpler to find it in all booths with souvenirs. And I thought:“ Perhaps that`s it all myths so “are born“ and stereotypes appear? Art and beauty is sacrificed to commerce. Business prevails, and something unique and imperceptible that saw and understood those who were here or lived earlier, disappears and disappears“. Having shared this thought with Petrik, I heard from him “sad story“ about Venice. His mother was there for the first time about 40 years ago. And shaken by the received impression, she insisted on a trip to Venice all family in 25 years after the first visit. What its horror and disappointment were. She did not find what looked for and remembered. Commerce made the business. In principle everything is clear why not to earn money on tourists and on their quantity? But originality and spirit of sights recedes before business, and the place slowly but surely loses the attractiveness. There is it not in 5 - 10 years, but as if slowly it did not occur, it kills something, so necessary for the tourist - desire to travel more and more, and to come back to already visited places. I do not want to Paris again and it is offensive as the myth evaporated as a smoke that is itself should find other dream, to care for it and to cherish, and let it remain only dream... On the Champs Elysee still there are lamps, phone booths and booths of the 19th century (most likely restored in style, but not originals), but near them there were huge “Planet Hollywood“, “McDonald`s“, garages on car sale and offices of airlines which in some measure “destroy“ Avenue des Champs - Elysees.

Again subway. Again infinite changes. As soon as Petrik is not confused in all these transitions and ladders? Stop of “Cite“. And here before us Notre - Dame. The sun, the sky blue shines, white fluffy clouds rush on the sky. And on this background Notre Dame de Paris looks even more majestically, than in our first visit. Of course, in the first day we did not approach it so close, but it seems to me from what point you would not look at this cathedral, it makes just indelible impression. We visited and inside. While we were there, there was a rehearsal of chorus before a mass (it begins something about 18. 30 if does not change me memory). Acoustics in a cathedral, of course, just tremendous. The chorus at first just warmed up, and then sang small fragments from chants, but it sounded just divinely. Stained-glass windows in windows and height struck. Here it was not succeeded to put a candle. One small candle (theelichtjes) costs 2 euros, and big plastic (it, probably, for days burns) - 20 euros. It is expensive. Petrik offered, for fun, of course, to make business: in Holland 200 such here small candles costs 2 - 3 euros, can bring and sell before an entrance at euro apiece? In the museum and “gold storerooms“ (schatkamer) entrance paid. We even did not look how many it costs. In my opinion, it is quite enough to see a cathedral and impressions will remain for a long time. Near each temple, as well as in Russia, there are beggars. Generally Romanian Gipsies with children. Sacre - Coeur and Notre - Dame are not an exception.

Having taken great pleasure from all what was seen, we directed our feet again in Latin quarter to try Greek cuisine and to break plates. In a holiday anticipation we approached restaurant. But we were waited by disappointment. The prices of drinks at this Greek restaurant were even higher (5 euros for any), water which is given free of charge to food was very opposite to be drunk well and not only because it was warm (from - under the crane), but also because it was just terribly tasteless. The food was cooked on a grill which stood right there at restaurant, but the cook was, obviously, not the expert or just to it was all the same, will come to it to restaurant once again or not. So meat at it just burned with a blue flame that was very much reflected in taste of this meat, naturally, and, having tried it, there was no wish to eat up simply. And it is possible to break - that a plate only if the food is pleasant to you. So and there was my dream to hear a ring of a beating of plates and to participate in process, only dream.

Having left restaurant, we went to eat ice cream which Petrik promised me as “compensation of damage“, caused by opposite food. Passing down the street, we saw the most different dealers trying to sell the goods, whether it be any figures and figurines from a thin wire, or just knowledge... Chinese. I will explain. On the sidewalk the guy sat, on a lap at it the short glass of paper lay, the plate said:“ Your name in chinese (Your name on - Chinese)“. When I wanted to photograph it, it defiantly closed the plate that I could not make it.

Was already late enough when we decided that it is time to go to hotel as next day the trip to Versailles was coming us, and we needed to sleep as we were tired of infinite circulation again. When we drove up by the subway to Goussainville small village, we with pleasure saw what our car anywhere not to do and that on wheels there is no “boot“.