I’ve had the fortune to visit Paris on a number of occasions, until recently, always either destination for, or passing through some band related trip, so it was great to return as a tourist and spend some time in the city. (I’m not including spending hours waiting in Gare du Nord waiting to catch snow train to Moutier…. that is another story!)
The first time I visited was in 1985 when as part of an epic trip by our school band, the Mount Sion Silver Band, we stopped of in Paris en route too and from Geneva to participate in the International Year of Youth festival. It was a quick overnight on the journey out, but we did do a sight seeing tour on the return leg.
The second time was en route to Waldaschaff in Germany with St Patricks Brass Band (now City of Waterford Brass) in 1987, also, if I remember correctly, we stopped of in Paris on our return journey, also doing a sight seeing tour from our coach.
Next time I was guest player with Ware Brass on Flugel Horn for their town twinning concert tour. We travelled by coach from Ware, catching the eurotunnel, stopping off for some “supplies” at an off licence. We were located in the suburbs where we played 2 concerts. We also had a coach tour planned but we were involved in a road traffic accident on a roundabout, near Pont Neuf if I remember correctly. Anyway, we wiled the time away sipping coffee by the Seine.
The next trip was a fleeting day trip by EuroStar with the Central Band of the Royal British Legion to play at Arc de Triomphe for the arrival for the Help for Heros 3 day London to Paris Cycle.
This time, however, it was a proper tourist trip to Paris with MrsQ over Easter. We packed quite a bit into a 4 day stay, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Rodin at the Grand Palais, went to the summit of the Tour Eiffel, mooched around the Louvre, visited Palais de Versaille and Notre Dame. We ate traditional French fare at Reserve de Quasimodo and Bouillon Chartier had great croissants for breakfast. Marvellous!