Great Touristy Things to do

Just a little climb

The Tour Saint Jacques is also called the Tower of Saint James of the Butchers, because that’s all that is left of their church.

I’ve wanted to walk up it the for eons but it’s only possible for a couple of months a year and then only on a couple of days each week.

Worse you can’t walk up on your own you have to take a tour with a guide.

The guides must be REALLY FIT!!!

There are ONLY 300 steps to the top of Tour Saint Jacques but as you can imagine, by the top everyone is probably a mite dizzy going round and round and round.

So far I’ve contented myself with taking really bad photos because it’s so tall you can’t get the building ‘in’ a photo and of course it needs to be a sunny day.

Walking to the dome of Sacré Coeur is also 300 steps and I did that with my Godparents who were in their early 70s at the time, OK we were desperate to know when we would reach the top but we managed it, so this is possible but you are warned that you shouldn’t do this if you are claustrophobic.

I’m really desperate to do this because I’m in love with their gargoyles, actually I love all gargoyles but obviously I love seeing them up close best. I just don’t know who I could invite to go with me because the achievement needs to be shared.

Unfortunately the Tour Saint Jacques currently is open only in July and the English tours are only on Fridays and Sundays – I’m sure tickets will disappear fast.

At the bottom of the ticket page there are also gift cards for those who want to offer this Tour to someone – would you offer it to your best friend or someone you disliked intensly?

BTW, this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Great Exhibitions Great Touristy Things to do

What’s behind the door?

Looks uninspiring? This is an excellent example of never knowing what is behind a door in Paris!

In reality there is a 1200m² / 40000ft² space hosting an exhibition dedicated to Banksy.

It’s an ‘immersive experience’. That means there are some of his paintings from private collections but also artists reproduced his art as if you were actually in front of the real thing.

This building, the Espace Lafayette-Druout, is practically round the corner, only as far as the Opéra Garnier, at 44 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre but a little further East. The exhibition is on until 31st December 2021 and late nights are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until 9pm (until the curfew is extended then it migh be later).

Don’t miss it 🙂

If you want more information and to see lots of the pictures, read a bit more here.

Good news on a real Banksy artwork – The painting of a young girl that was stolen two years ago from the door of the Bataclan has been found in the middle of Italy and 6 people have been arrested. (The Bataclan was one of the sites of the terrorist attack on 13th November 2015.) The Reuters article is here.

Events Great Exhibitions Great Touristy Things to do

Much more than Red Soles

I’ve never been to the Palais de la Porte Dorée before, it’s a vast exhibition space plus aquarium (obviously a great mix !*?), but then I heard about a new exhibition on Christian Louboutin, his life, art, passions and a few shoes with red soles!

I’m not normally hot off the mark to see new exhibitions but this was widely acclaimed and quite fully booked. The idea was to get there early to avoid the crowds, whizz round then find a great new place to have lunch in this area I’d never been to before.

Plans got changed! We were there nearly 4 hours! And we didn’t even have an audioguide! I haven’t been to such a fascinating exhibition for years!

Apparently his interest in shoes was piqued by this sign in this museum when he was a child – no walking in high heels on the beautiful mosaic floors of the museum…. – and so the World comes full circle!

I’d no idea what to expect apart from seeing lots of shoes…. actually there was very little of that inside, there were 8 different rooms showing different parts of his creativity; his life, motivations, his fetishes and his muses.

This is my favourite boot!

Most of his shoes were actually designed to be pieces of art, not to be worn. This is my favourite boot! There was a room dedicated to explaining the entire process of crafting the shoes in a workshop, on video and with the individual pieces, from creation to pattern-making, stitching … You know I love How to do stuff, this was fascinating, so fascinating I didn’t take a single photo !

There was a room full of his collections of ‘Nudes’; the 8 colours of Nude stiletto shoe with a red sole. I hadn’t been aware there were 8 colours for 8 different shades of leg, fortunately the pair I bought years ago seem to be ‘pale’ enough, though it’s a bit difficult to be as pale as my legs LOL. There were also full-sized leather sculptures of female forms in the nude colours, I wasn’t quite sure about that bit…

There were holograms of Dita Van Teese doing a burlesque dance wearing his shoes and not much else by the end and also the footballer Iya Traoré (have you seen him on his lamp post at Sacré Coeur ?) but he kept his clothes on!

The fetish room was an English sitting room where the hand made carpets, furniture coverings, wallpaper and even lamp shades designs were all, if you looked reeallllly closely, explicit nudes – more ‘odd’.

Bizarre, many things were, but this shoe takes the biscuit! It was Mae West’s way of adding a bit of height under her long gowns and then skidding around when she was older! This really tickled me pink.

But the best space by far was a photographic collaboration with David Lynch. I tried to post some of the most beautiful photos on Facebook but they got banned!

You are just going to have to hope they extend the exhibition period from 26th Feb – 26th July 2020 to a lot longer as it is so very much worth a visit.

Catch up on lockdown in Paris or a little more culture from ‘our Angel’ and make sure you are following the Facebook page.

Eating Experience Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information Holidays

Best local restaurants in Paris and lots more information

Even in Paris, a capital city famed for its gastronomy, it takes a little planning in order to have the most amazing culinary experiences. Here are some hints on how to avoid the tourist traps, navigate the ‘dining rules’,  and eat like a local in some of my favourite and best local restaurants in Paris.

2016 Events Great Exhibitions Great Touristy Things to do

Second Empire styled ball at the Musée d’Orsay – interested ?

The Musée d’Orsay is organising a series of balls to celebrate their exhibition the “Spectacular Second Empire”. Some of the balls are masked! You can spend the day learning the Polka (if you can count to 3 you can dance this) or the Quadrille from the members of the Association Carnet des Bals. Take part in the ball in the afternoon just as Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie would have, all within the spectacular surroundings of the Musée d’Orsay.