Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thursday 1 January - Trams, La Madeleine and Le Train Bleu

The first sounds I heard from the street this morning were cawing from a couple of crows nesting in the roof tops further down. I went with Karen and Paul to ride trams this morning. Public transport was free until noon and we made good use of this. This is not so much of a benefit to Parisiens as it may seem because in many areas fare evasion reaches 40%.
We went to Saint Lazare and took the train to La Defense. It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky although it was very frosty in places.
Tram T1 took us to Porte de Versailles. The views towards the Eiffel Tower and the Seine were very good in the sun.
Porte de Versailles
At Porte de Versailles we took a coffee in a cafe to use the bathroom and then took T3a all the way to Porte de Vincennes. The T3b took us to the Metro 7bis. We just made it through the turnstiles at 1155. Buttes Chaumont was looking good in the sun. There were many family groups and joggers. The gulls were walking on the thin sheets of ice that had formed overnight. We had to pay to get back to Villiers.
Sacre Coeur from Buttes Chaumont was quite hazy
The Hotel de Ville of the Nineteenth Arrondissement
We passed St. Augustin on the way to La Madeleine
St. Augustin
The organ concert at La Madeleine had a good first half with pieces by Delalande, Daquin and Bach, the Bach Prelude and fugue BWV 552 was extremely good. However we should have left at the interval. Perin, the organist, played melodies from The Sound of Music which would have been more appropriate for the organ in the Blackpool Tower in front of beer swilling holiday makers.  Better yet, sitting naked doing a Monty Python.  The organist's own improvisations on themes of noel was a painful disaster. He should stick to playing the organ rather than trying to compose

We had dinner in Le Train Bleu at the Gare de Lyon. The room has been recently renovated
Amuse bouche - parmesan froth over asparagus soup or bisque with pate de foie gras and fig jam
We both had sliced scallops in a mango jelly - very good indeed
I had doe with foie gras on turnip
Mary had veal chop with breaded cheese, bread stuffing and roast potatoes
The food was extremely well done.  However, the service, although very polite and friendly, was off hand and slow.

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