Friday, 9 May 2014

007 Travel story: Paris (FRANCE) 2013, day 5/7: Pompidou Centre, Père-Lachaise Cemetery & Fouquet's

In order to read this 007 travel story from day 1, please click here

Wednesday 16th of October 2013

For the first time we had breakfast at the Est Hôtel. (49 Boulevard Magenta,
400.00 euros / 4 nights, reserved via This hotel charged a city tax of 1 EUR / person / night.) It wasn't included in the room rate. Breakfast cost around 9 euros / person and there was a selection of cereals, French bread, croissants, pieces of cake, coffee, tea and juice, but no sausages etc. to top of bread. After breakfast, we went to La Fayette by metro. La Fayette (
Galeries Lafayette) is a luxury department store, which is even more glamorous than Harrods in London. Shopping mall was full of famous brand stores. Pirita bought a gift to her 7 year old daughter: A Fashion Design Barbie. We walked around, mainly in children's toy department. There were plenty of toys, which would have been nice to buy, if only we had had the money.

"The Galeries Lafayette (French pronunciation: ​[ɡalʁi lafajɛt]) is an upmarket French department store located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. In 2009, Galeries Lafayette recorded earnings of over one billion euro. It is a part of the company Groupe Galeries Lafayette." (Wikipedia)

"The Haussmann location, which serves as the flagship store of Galeries Lafayette, is a 10-story structure located at 40, boulevard Haussmann, in the IXe arrondissement of Paris. Galeries Lafayette in Paris hosts a popular weekly free fashion show for visitors." (Wikipedia)

Mika at the Boulevard Haussmann

"Bond spent the night at the Brinton flat on the Boulevard Haussmann. When he awoke a messenger had already brought him an envelope. Inside was his pocket book. It contained two crisp ten-thousand franc notes – also a letter from Marthe de Brandt inviting him to supper."
John Pearson: "James Bond, The Authorized Biography of 007"

Then we went to the post office to buy stamps and by chance we met a Finnish family who showed us way to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Originally we had planned to enter the cemetery by using Porte du Repos gate, but instead, we arrived at the gate Porte Principale.

"Père Lachaise Cemetery (French: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, [simtjɛːʁ dy pɛːʁ laʃɛːz]; formerly, cimetière de l'Est, "East Cemetery") is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris (44 hectares or 110 acres), though there are larger cemeteries in the city's suburbs. The cemetery takes its name from the confessor to Louis XIV, Père François de la Chaise (1624–1709), who lived in the Jesuit house rebuilt in 1682 on the site of the chapel. Père Lachaise is still an operating cemetery and accepting new burials. However, the rules to be buried in a Paris cemetery are rather strict: people may be buried in one of these cemeteries if they die in the French capital city or if they lived there. Being buried in Père Lachaise is even more difficult nowadays as there is a waiting list: very few plots are available." (Wikipedia)

Virtual tour with map here

Cemetery's toilet was closed, so we headed to nearby cafe Obododo and used their toilet. Then when we went back to cemetery, it started to rain. And like that was not enough, we lost also our cemetery map (which we found after the trip), but we remembered the place we were going: Area 6, Section 1 - Jim Morrison's (1943-1971) grave. Surprisingly, the area was closed due to some funeral. But we passed the barriers and were able to find the right place. Because there were other people on the grave as well, they probably had made same decisions than us. People took photos of the grave and were silent. No one said anything. We had read somewhere that "Light My Fire" is playing there 24 hours a day, but no. Grave was...quiet. It was also isolated with barriers, so no one could go too near it.

Next we went to Montmartre hill. Area close to it was full of tourist shops, selection was wider and prices not so high than in some parts of the city. We went up the hill by using Funicular, which cost was same than a metro ticket. We took some photos of the scenery and went to Le Sacre Coeur church. Then down the hill using the stairs and our feet were crying...

"The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur (French: Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, pronounced [sakʁe kœʁ]), is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France. A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city." (Wikipedia) 

Then it was time to travel to Arc de Triomphe, which we photographed only from the outside, because we didn't want to pay 10 euros / each to be able to take some pictures on the top of it, since it was really rainy.

"The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle (originally named Place de l'Étoile), at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The monument stands 50 metres (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep. The large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The small vault is 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus." (Wikipedia) 

Then we went to the Champs-Elysees, where we found a Bond restaurant Fouquet's. In the foreground there are engraved tiles, which have names of famous movie stars who have dined there. For example, Sean Connery is one of them.

"James Bond had his first drink of the evening at Fouquet's. It was not a solid drink. One cannot drink seriously in French cafés. Out of doors on a pavement in the sun is no place for vodka or whisky or gin. A fine à l'eau is fairly serious, but it intoxicates without tasting very good. A quart de champagne or champagne à l'orange is all right before luncheon, but in the evening one quart leads to another quart and a bottle of indifferent champagne is a bad foundation for the night. Pernod is possible, but it should be drunk in company, and anyway Bond had never liked the stuff because its liquorice taste reminded him of his childhood. No, in cafés you have to drink the least offensive of the musical comedy drinks that go with them, and Bond always had the same thing - an Americano - Bitter Campari, Cinzano, a large slice of lemon peel and soda. For the soda he always stipulated Perrier, for his opinion expensive soda water was the cheapest way to improve a poor drink."

Ian Fleming:
"From a View to a Kill"

We didn't have a table reservation, so we went to have a lunch at Hippopotamus Restaurant, which is a restaurant chain that have several restaurants in Paris.

After lunch we continued to Pompidou Centre (Centre Georges Pompidou) and took photos outside. The tube can be seen in the Roger Moore's Bond movie "Moonraker", where Bond walks with Corinne Dufour.

"Centre Georges Pompidou (French pronunciation: ​[sɑ̃tʁ ʒɔʁʒ pɔ̃pidu]; commonly shortened to Centre Pompidou; also known as the Pompidou Centre in English) is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais. It was designed in the style of high-tech architecture by the architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. It houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information, a vast public library, the Musée National d'Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research. It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974. The Centre Pompidou has had over 150 million visitors since 1977." (Wikipedia)

Mika & Pirita

Bond and Corinne Dufour (Corinne Cléry) in "Moonraker"
Photo © EON, United Artists, Danjaq LLC

After that we walked to Notre Dame, took photos outside and inside. It is a wonderful chapel. We wondered where the Hunchback of Notre Dame was, since we didn't see him.

"Notre-Dame de Paris (IPA: [nɔtʁə dam də paʁi]; French for "Our Lady of Paris"), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world." (Wikipedia)

We also shot Quatre September metro station, which can be seen in the Timothy Dalton movie "The Tourist".

Then we went to find Hard Rock Cafe Paris and enjoyed milkshakes and ice-creams there and made our mandatory magnet shopping.

From there we went directly to Moulin Rouge and since it was already dark, we got some nice evening shots of the lights of Moulin Rouge. Then we went back towards out hotel and ate dinner in Da Mimmo restaurant, which was near our hotel.

"Close to Montmartre in the Paris district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18th arrondissement, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. The closest métro station is Blanche." (Wikipedia)

"Moulin Rouge is best known as the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world." (Wikipedia)

See how this 007 Travel story ends here

See the list of 007 LOCATIONS (visited), excluding 007 HOTELS (visited) and
007 RESTAURANTS (visited), which have sections of their own, please follow the links.

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