Monday, 22 April 2013

A weekend in Paris - Saturday

Today was the first day of the Trophée Hauts de Seine.  We weren't skating, so we got up slowly, and had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, and then wandered down to the rink in time to see the lower-level solo compulsory dances.  Our friend Emma was doing the Bronze solos, and did quite beautifully - a good 14-step that put her in the lead, and then an absolutely superb Foxtrot, a real masterclass in how to do it, which confirmed her victory. Another friend, Nina, from Germany, was having her first go at dance (she has been a free skater up to now) in the same class, which was not a great success, but she had fun trying - and should continue!

We enjoyed watching all the dance, and then cheered Emma on her podium, after which she and her family went off to explore Paris, and we too went for a walk.  I had slipped out and got us a sandwich and a cake from the local bakery - you know it's a good one when there is a queue going round the block - and we walked down to the Ile Ségur, which in my day housed the Renault factory, but that has long since gone, although Renault's head offices are still in the area.  The Swan Whisperer had explored two years ago, but this time we found a great transformation, as the whole island is being transformed into a public space.  Renault have a site where you can test drive their zero emission cars, but we declined to do that, and explored the rest of the site, where there is a museum, a restaurant, a children's play area and a great deal of what looks like stuff planted for bio-fuel, which gave me serious hay-fever (luckily I had some stuff with me).  We were astonished though, that on a lovely Saturday afternoon (the weather was infinitely better than it had been on the previous day, which wouldn't have been difficult, frankly!), we were almost the only people there!  Where were all the local hordes?

As I was feeling a bit rotten with the hay-fever, we walked back towards the rink, and I sat in the square while the SW went and got my bag for me from the hotel, and we went back to the rink to watch various friends free skates and the pairs.  Then we went off to a local restaurant and had a meal - we both chose salads; I had a Salade Landaise, which has giblets, hard-boiled eggs, pate de foie gras and beans as well as the usual salad stuff.  And beer, of course.  Neither of us wanted any pudding, so we came away, and went back to the hotel for 20 minutes or so, before going back to the patinoire for the tour of Paris by Night.  This was quite fun, but the usual irritating courier rather detracted from it - as did the fact that the bus got lost and couldn't find the rink!  Ah well.... we got there in the end, and then got back to the hotel just before midnight.

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