Authie et Mi

Paris for the afternoon

15th August 2017

As I mentioned in the previous article I wanted to try and see Dunkirk on an IMAX screen. The only cinema’s really available were in Paris and having done the calculations as to which was going to be the easiest to get to I chose the one out at La Villette at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie.

As I was being a busy teddy at the time the only date that really suited was the public holiday on the 15th August. With multiple browser windows open I cross referenced the film times with those of possible trains, both there and back. It is great being over sixty in France, you instantly get slightly cheaper rail tickets, and it can get a lot cheaper if you buy a wrinkly card — but you do need to use it.

Would a public holiday pose a problem ? surely not, this was Paris I was heading to. Whilst not completely wrong there was a lot more closed than I had bargained for. I drove down to Arras, parked the car up and walked up to the station. An hour later I was in a rather grey Paris.

For the sake of the exercise I walked myself out to La Villette noting that whilst many of the Arab shops were open not much else was — good thing I had packed sandwiches. It’s about three kilometres of a hike to get to the park which is quite pleasant. But nothing was open apart from a couple of shops in the Cinema complex (including a mini Marks and Sparks food shop).

So much for passing an hour or two at the museum. What now ? Well, for starters, attack the sandwiches because I was getting peckish and besides I had just bought some shortbread out of Marks — and Imperial Mints.

I had a couple of unused Métro tickets from previous visits so decided to use them up by heading into the centre of town.

I haven’t been around Châtelet – Les Halles for ages and if nothing else there is another nice park and it is only a short walk down to the river. Coming out of the Métro I was amazed to see what had been done with the shopping centre. A really modern canopy and atrium now greets visitors instead of the previous hole in the ground. The downside was that the park area in front of St Eustache was a building site as the gardens were being redesigned and replanted.

Les Halles look a lot nicer now with this new atrium

Aye, open Sunday but not much happening on a public holiday

The gardens are still barricaded off but at least we get photos

Shame about the view onto the gardens

Not much was open but I did spend a while looking at what you can do with Lego. Have you see the price of Lego ? Crazy money. You’d be looking y’r childer to pass a lot more than the Eleven Plus these days before you forked out on a set of wheels.

By now the sun was trying to come out and it was getting warm so to kill a bit more time, and try and find a place to sit and people watch, I headed towards the Louvre and the Tuileries garden.

Watching the ducks in the Tuileries garden

Going to put my feet up and enjoy the sunshine

The clock ticked on and it soon became time to massage the knees and get them walking again. Not far, down to the Métro at Concorde and the circuitous route back to the cinema. There were about a dozen of us in there to watch the film in VOST (Original Version Subtitled). It was good, the sound effects of bombs and bullets vibrating through you. The massive screen does enhance the experience and on my third viewing the converging timelines made even more sense.

Having visited the film locations also added to the fun as I looked out for cardboard cut-outs and wooden decor.

Posted : 15 August 2017