Rus Articles Journal

Travel from Holland to Paris (part 3) of

Part 1 Part 2

of the 9th of June, Versailles

Having slept, as well as in the last night, we woke up full of strength and, having put on, again went to the closest small village of Gonesse at breakfast. As there was a Sunday, almost all shops were closed. But “supermarket“ worked. We bought baguettes, paste and milk with juice again to have breakfast on the parking behind a supermarket. The seller of meat department paid Petrik a compliment that Petrik so well tells in French. And I noticed for myself that I want to speak in French too, with reading problems did not arise absolutely any more. I always said that I want to learn French, and here I just lit up this idea. At restaurants and cafe I already tried to say some elementary phrases read by me in providently bought in Holland, a phrasebook. But there was a wish bigger. And as Petrik assumes a trip on the South of France next year, at me it is simple “hands itch“ to begin studying of this beautiful, but strange language. Now I, probably, understand better Petrik when he says to me that he wants to learn Russian. As I felt first infinitely dependent on Petrik as translator. And I wanted to tell something. When we had breakfast, mother told that here Monet (or Manet) has a picture with the name “Breakfast on a Grass“, and we will have a photo “Breakfast from a Car Trunk“.

So, to the road. We gathered in Versailles (Versailles). Having passed on peripherique mentioned above, we did not get lost and were not lost. Petrik wanted to show us Bois de Boulogne. Three musketeers, queen`s suspension brackets... Wood. ha... The park, and in it runs a half of Paris, there go cars on the asphalted routes, there is even a high-speed route, the truth it goes under “wood“. As I wrote above, cars are parked in “wood“ just in the middle of the road (however, as well as in Versailles, on the Champs Elysee and in general in all Paris). Judging by the card, Bois de Boulogne rather big, was seen by us, of course, not everything but whether because there was a Sunday and to the people in it was as much how many during week-end usually in Amsterdam Vondelpark whether because I in the innocence do not assume availability of asphalt in the wood, I did not want even to try to go out of the car and to look at “wood“ the tourist`s eyes. We passed absolutely lovely small villages - the cities of Sevres, Chaville, Viroflay. We went on Avenue de Paris. At some moment we saw “harbingers“ of Versailles. On both sides of the road there were two identical small constructions. Some 16 m the feeling which is strongly developed at the tourist in general, and at the tourist in France especially I understood that we any more nearby, plates, by the way, there again were not anywhere, maybe, we, of course, passed them in some magic way as Petrik did not notice any indexes too. And suddenly on the horizon before our looks something absolutely unusual began to grow: the scenery of a theatrical performance or a shooting stage made of a cardboard beauty which looks very really, but at the same time does not remain seconds of doubt that before you skillfully created cardboard scenery. Petrik too never was in Versailles so he did not know what to expect. He absolutely agreed with me that the palace and all other constructions look to terrible is unreal. Perhaps, it is influenced by color of buildings, and, maybe, the fact that weather was not especially good, the sky was tightened by gray clouds through which sometimes, beams of a bright sunlight very seldom broke, turning the palace into phantasmagoria. When we already almost drove up to the palace, Petrik told: “The Daaa, now I understand why Louis XIV was so unpopular at simple French...“ Even after we got out of the car (that was rather just this time, fortunately) and were on the square in front of the palace taking the first picture, the feeling of unreality and “kartonnost“ did not pass. However, it did not pass, even after we bypassed the palace from all directions and admired it from far away, walking on gardens of the Versailles miracle. To come into gardens costs rather not much - 5,5 euros from a nose, dithat it is free. My mother wanted to see what idea was spionerit by Peter I in Versailles for construction of Peterhof. Yes, one to one, here only Peterhof is perceived absolutely in a different way. Versailles vozdushen is also as if constructed of sand, and Peterhof... There now..., again I compare. But there`s nothing to be done, so it also was. We wandered with mother about paths and infinitely compared one to another. It is a pity that fountains did not work, they work only once a month, more precisely on the first Sunday of every month. We did not come into the palace. For a start, before each entrance there were extremely huge turns, and then all palace is divided into parts and it is necessary to pay for looking at each part separately. Only once it managed to me to glance in one window to look how there inside. Very beautifully, but even in spite of the fact that we did not come inside, impressions of it at us did not decrease. Absolutely remarkable “summer garden“, lawns and as on a ruler a cut bush, galleries and terraces on which by itself there “were“ ladies in smart crinolines the queen Anna rushed about in melancholy and D`Artagnan kissed a hand Constantius. Going upward on steps back to the palace, I was pierced by thought that here on the same steps kings and queens went, and there was a wish to stand aside and stand for a minute, to close eyes and to listen attentively to garden sounds... But by there passed loud Americans with the book “The best of Europe“ in hands and spoiled reverence of the moment, it was not succeeded to close eyes again as it was possible to be curtailed easily from a ladder down because legs already fairly were tired of circulation. When we left, all the time turned around as though we checked whether there is IT there, or after our visit already sorted scenery. The palace stood and will stand for a long time, wind will not blow yet, and then the sand castle will be scattered in the eyes...

Having paid

for the parking quite acceptable money (something about 5 euros in 3 or 4 hours, more definitely not to remember), we decided to go to Foret de St. Germain. It was the plan, and with plans on this trip we were somehow not lucky. In my opinion to a deep belief, in Paris and around it it is impossible to look for something certain, all the same you will not find. And if it is simply thoughtless to go, then surely and absolutely unexpectedly there will be everything that you want to see. And matter not only in indexes and plates. Obviously, there is something in air of Paris (France?) that does not allow to be concentrated - concentrated on something concrete. It in power only to aboriginals (judging by the Parisian subway), at them, obviously, immunity to it to “something“, soaring in air and interfering strict plans to be carried out was developed. Well, let us assume, Seong - to Zherma we “passed“ the wood from - for the fact that the plate - the index was just scanty. But we found some absolutely tremendous mountains with serpentines and “mother-in-law`s languages“. We only were also in time what to twirl by the head to the right and on the left and to admire a landscape. Absolutely unexpectedly, climbing up the next mountain, we saw a cemetery from which the view of Paris taking the breath away opens. It was simply impossible to stop at once as the road rose very abruptly up and there was no straight line. So we had to pass forward. Even above we found similarity of an observation deck on which we decided to return too, after visit of a cemetery. Again (however, we already began to get used gradually) there was a problem with the parking of the car. The parking was, and the place was (there their of everything two or three), but how to park the car on such steep slope? How from it to leave and not to kill or not to be run over by the car flying under a hill which could appear at any time from - for turn? How to cross the road in it it is extreme - the inconvenient place? How then, eventually, to leave from this parking? But the desire to look at Paris “haughtily“ was stronger than reason and fear. We are tourists, to us the sea knee-deep! The cemetery was quite old, new burials there were almost not, but I all the same had some feeling of blasphemy when I took couple of pictures of the Eiffel Tower and Sacre - Coeur. Probably, with an ulterior motive the cemetery is located in this place, all Paris clearly. Day was not solar, the foggy haze was groundless. Beautifully unusually. Having hardly left the parking, we spent still some time on other “observation deck“ though there were too many trees and the dizzy view of Paris was not there.

the Following item in our program. Whether you know what to find on Sunday restaurant (not in the center of Paris) which is not closed, simply it is almost not possible? We went round up and down nearly all North - the East of Paris (or its suburb? Judging by the card - all this Paris, but as I understood, is just the center of Paris, and there is the hugest quantity of small villages around it, and from all this big Paris turns out). We strayed on streets of towns, climbed up mountains and moved down to valleys, but were not able to find the working French restaurant. Chinese there was just a sea, all of them were open, and here the French are closed. Plates were present, and it was even quite possible to find an institution, but on Sunday they on some unclear to me to the reason were closed. Province...

At some moment we saw the index of three-stars hotel and having decided that there the prices should not be astronomical, we went towards this hotel. The last 5 kilometers we went just in the wood. When we drove up to gate, at us vague doubts“ about a trekhzvezdnochnost of hotel began “to creep in. The menu of restaurant hung on gate. I left of the car to look at the prices. There I saw approximately following:“ Menu gastronomique a 3 plats - 15 euro“. The price is quite suitable. We drove in gate, but it was not visible to ask restaurant the security guard anywhere therefore we stopped with a dog (our doubts in stardom increased at the sight of a dog even more), where to find it. He told that we should pass a little forward and before a barrier to talk through an intercom... We saw a barrier, near it there was a parking of cars, we were very hungry and tired. Having solved it is simple to park the car and to walk the last 50 meters on foot, we and made. On the parking our doubts increased ten times... There were more and more Mercedes of the class “S“, BMW of the seventh series yes AUDI A8 there. Even I, the person well very little understanding all these brands and series, understood that similar vehicles do not stand on parking about three-stars hotels. But there was a sick wish to eat. Therefore I took by hand more and more the “doubting“ Petrik, and we went towards an entrance. Passed a barrier, to our look the smart bed with flowers appeared, almost the door of hotel was faced by the Limousine, and near it the man dressed nearly in a dress coat shirked a lean “blue“ dwarfish poodle. The hotel looked as the ancient castle and pulled, in my opinion to opinion, on all 5 stars. Petrik`s doubts grew in a geometrical progression. We were already about a door when Petrik looked at the menu again and read what I lost sight of as it was written by very small letters:“ Menu gastronomique a 3 plats - 15 euro pour des enfants“. Children`s this menu was, for the child intended that is. And there were prices for adults below, and for those adults, with those Mercedes, BMW and AUDI. I was torn to enter inside as the horror as wanted to be eaten, and Petrik convinced me it not to do as in a similar look do not go to similar restaurants. Well you can imagine how the tourist after the whole day of circulation across Versailles and on other sights looks. Having heaved a deep sigh, we turned back to the car.

When we went back to the highway, in the car the word “McDonald`s“ began to be pronounced too often. To my horror, all but me already agreed to fast food if only though something settled in a stomach. I could not reach such nightmare in Paris to either myself, or someone to another to allow therefore I ceased to complain of hunger and to ask to bring us to the center of Paris where, I was sure, all restaurants were open. Eventually, we drove to the small town in 50 kilometers to the north of Paris with the nice name Chantilly. To our inexpressible happiness we found whole three working institutions of restaurant type. However, one was hammered to the full, in another it was possible to choke with a cigarette smoke, and in the third... fortunately, in the third everything met our quite real requirements: it was open, there fed, there were no so many smokers and there were free little tables. It was something like a bistro or bar where it is possible to order not only salads or rolls - sandwiches, but also hot dishes. The only hitch was the fact that unlike the center of Paris, the menu was exclusive in French. And it was rather difficult to us to understand what is, that. But to our happiness both the waiter, and the bartender spoke in English. They explained us everything that it is necessary, and we have greatly dinner. It was the best lunch which we tried in Paris. Absolutely satisfied and happy, full of impressions and emotions, we went to our hotel.

10e June, the last day, a supermarket

the next morning to us it was necessary to return to Holland, but before it we could not but just glance in supermarche “Carrefour“. Painfully I wanted to buy absolutely tremendous tomatoes and eggplants about which I was told by Petrik. They also really have amazing taste, remind taste and a form the Crimean tomatoes which I during the stay of “unsociableness“ in the Crimea could eat just in kilograms (“Bull heart“ seems they were called). In Holland those are absent as a class, and in France of the sun is enough for everything.

the Supermarket was just incredible sizes, in it it is possible to be lost easily. I got used already to the sizes of the German supermarkets, but this just bored abundance of shelves, galleries and goods. It made indelible impression on my mother. Around vegetable department tremendous smells of peaches and apricots soared. They were not much cheaper, than in Holland, but the smell and taste differed radically. For the rest there was everything most (almost) too, as everywhere, naturally, well unless the French soft cheeses which are so adored by Petrik were cheaper, but Dutch “Edammer“ just “read off scale“. The wine department cast memoirs about wine cellars, so much wine (and rather cheap) I never saw yet. Good whisky was surprisingly sensitively the cheapest way, than in Holland, than Petrik did not fail to use, having bought all relatives (fans of this ardent, but noble drink) on a bottle of exclusive “drink“. If it is honest, we visited this supermarche (I like this word) only to buy me tomatoes. And left with the full cart of everyones delikatesno - specifically - the French delicacies. In the same shopping - the center we visited other sight of France - a toilet. Somewhere someone spoke to me or I read that in France toilets approximately same, as in Russia. What I was samolichno convinced of. I did not venture even hands there to wash, without speaking already about all the rest (the toilet was the point type). Brrr... even it is terrible to remember. Here in the center of Paris they more decent, but the payment for them is so big (41 cents and it is eurocent!) what having paid once, then already just it is necessary to suffer... from economy. Having left a supermarket, we went to the return travel home... to Holland. Thoughts infinitely and importunately crowded in my head when we left France. Also there were they approximately following contents...

the Epilogue, on the way home

my grandmother read

and knew much, she was interested in everything, and her knowledge and examinations could be trusted. She told mother, and that, in turn, told me, history which quite could be, and, perhaps, and was as the story was kept without doubt drop (in respect of history - a scientific subject - the grandmother was an expert) the truth. It sounded approximately thus (in my interpretation)...

Known fact: Russians won against French war with Napoleon 1812. It is known by all... The huge number of French died on fields of battles or froze in the Russian icy cold. French were struck with force, beauty, article and endurance of Russians. The French nation, after such noticeable losses of man`s part of the population, was threatened by degeneration. And, that though somehow to support and “update“ a gene pool (Darwin is remembered), the French government asked Alexander I to send to France... a regiment of grenadiers - grooms. The request was granted, however, as well as Frenchwomen.

Such here history was remembered by

to me when we came back after four-day stay in Paris... And one more fact of common knowledge. After revolution of 1917 all color of the Russian society left the country. They immigrated to all countries of the world, but generally to France. What to be surprised to, they told everything in French...

From all above one conclusion against which will oppose, obviously arises with

, all historians and experts studying the different countries, but this conclusion is not unfounded and is based only on my personal opinion. This conclusion is taken out in heading of this sketch, and I was not less struck with it, than somebody as did not expect at all to receive similar impression of Paris and France in general.

can Quite not agree with me as there were I only in Paris and its vicinities. It is impossible to size up the country and its inhabitants, having seen only one (a way and the biggest) the city of the country. It is impossible to judge Holland having walked across Amsterdam!? Though the Americans armed with the book of “The best of Europe“ it in some way manage. I do not apply for the ultimate truth. And, it is quite possible that next year, after visit of the South of France, I will be able to write the laudatory ode to this remarkable country. But meanwhile... I do not want to Paris, the mother`s dream came true and “with feeling of deep satisfaction“ I came back home and from the heart was glad that I live in Holland.