A visit to Paris

We caught the 6:30 train from Bordeaux to Paris to go to the South African Embassy on the Quai d'Orsay. That train is amazing - we hurtled through the French countryside at 300 km per hour (180 mph) and arrived in Paris shortly before we left Bordeaux - or at least it felt that way.

Paris was grey and cold, but we negotiated the metro and got to the embassy. We needed to pick up some papers, and we got that done in about 5 minutes. Then we had some other important business to do before our return train at 3:15.

First the Marks and Spencer Food Shop. There are several of these in Paris, so we chose the nearest and easiest to get to and scuttled off to find happiness in the form of:

A Christmas Pudding
Mince pies
Lemon curd (for Catrin - a recent passion)

It doesn't seem a lot but it weighed my rucksack down and also squashed my banana to pulp.

Then off to a traditional Paris café - Starbucks - before zooming off to the Atelier des Lumières for a son et lumière show based on the work of Gustav Klimt.

The Atelier des Lumières is an old forge in central Paris which, unsurprisingly, closed down and left this large, empty, unattractive space. Perfect for housing immersive art projections. You enter this huge dark hall and when the show starts you are surrounded on all sides by moving, melting, morphing images - even on the floor - and by music. For Klimt they used Wagner, Philip Glass, Beethoven, etc.

The instructions were less than clear regarding photography. One sign said no filming. The dominant sign said No Flash, so we took it that still photos were allowed as long as you didn't disturb the darkness of the room.

We caught our return train in good time and arrived back in Bordeaux tired but happy.


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