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Gay Paris

24 April 2013

University is very stressful. So what can a girl do to relax? Indeed, a girl can take her lady to Paris. To celebrate our 1 year anniversary and her birthday, Girlfriend and I jetted off to the French capital for a well deserved break.

The weather was predicted to be a mixed bag so Girlfriend brought a pile of dresses and I brought my shorts. We managed to pack light so we only had hand luggage. A masterstroke from Girlfriend as it turned out. We sailed through customs and baggage collection (what with having no baggage to collect) and hopped on the train from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Montmartre where our hotel was. I had warned Girlfriend about the tiny Parisian hotel rooms and that it might not be as clean as she might like, with French cleanliness standards not always being the same as hers (or mine. or any other clean person, frankly). So we were very happy with our tiny but perfectly clean hotel room in Hotel Montmartre Jean Gabriel. I'd totally go there again. It was clean, cheap, close to the Metro on Place de Clichy.

Safely sheltered from the rain on the Rue Lepic.
On the first evening we walked through Montmarte towards the Sacre Coeur and Place du Tertre. It RAINED. It rained really hard so after 15 minutes, we were forced to have our first break and sit down safely at a Brasserie to shelter from the rain. It turned out to be the first of many, many glasses of wine that we consumed over 4 days. I think it is safe to say we were moderately pickled most of the time. We walked along the Rue Lepic, which I had read about on my handy TripAdviser app. It was supposed to be foodie heaven. And it certainly looked it. Fromagerie after Fromagerie. Fresh fish from all over France. A superb selection of meat at a variety of butchers and wine shops and brasseries galore. It made me wish I had rented a self-catering apartment so we could take it ALL home and just spend our time in Paris eating.

You can just make out the occipital bone
Anyway, it was all lovely. The next day we went underground to discover Les Catacombes. When the cemeteries in Paris ran out of space, they were cleared of 6 million bones. These bones were stored underground. And we can visit these vaults. AWESOME. Bones, bones, bones. Lots of skulls. I am sure I actually learned something about anatomy by staring at someone's skull or the neck of their femur. It was very educational. Right. And spooky.

We had a picnic int he park where we ate far too much cheese and drank far too much wine. And it was awesome. We saw the cemetery of Pere Lachaise, we saw the Eiffel Tower. In fact, we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I will tell you more about that on another day. We saw the Notre Dame and we hung a padlock on the Pont des Arts. Padlock? Yes.

There is a nice new tradition of locking a padlock to a bridge to symbolise your love and then throwing the keys in to the river. Only when you can find the key to your padlock can your love be broken. Being the ultimate romantic that I am, I prepared and bought two padlocks whilst still at home. I had our names engraved in them.  There are two bridges leading to the Ile de la Cite where you can attach your padlocks. The Pont de l’ArchevĂȘchĂ© is where the padlocks go for your passionate love. The Pont des Arts is where you put yours if it is for your committed love. When we got to the Pont des Arts (with the help of my satnav and even then I fucked it up a few times...) we attached the padlocks to the bridge and had a nice snog. We are so cheesy. Two American gay guys minced up to us and offered to take our picture. They had seen us kiss and clearly felt a gay-kinship. They told us they were on their honeymoon so there were hugs all-round and we left feeling very happy. about the world and love in general.

Of course there was much more that happened. Girlfriend ate snails for the first time. We went to the Louvre (but only to shelter from the rain), we visited Pere Lachaise Cemetery, we walked, we walked, we walked and we had a cheese & wine picnic in a random park. Yes, there was a lot of wine.

It was AWESOME.

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