The journey there was quite an experience. It was the Arc De Triomphe horse race the same weekend and our Eurostar was packed with race goers, most of whom were Irish, all busy drinking and eating and consulting Racegoers Weekly.
It was like one lively but very good natured mobile party.
My colleague Alex got given a glass of red wine and a sandwich by the guys she was sitting with and when I was offered some and said "thanks so much but I'm ok" and when pressed admitted I don't really like red wine, the people opposite me promptly gave me a glass of champagne instead!
It's the only way to start a work trip I'm telling you.
We finally got to our hotels around 6pm, unfortunately we had to stay in different ones but thankfully only a 5 minute walk apart. Checked in, freshened up and headed out for some sightseeing and dinner.
We grabbed a quick snack and headed back to our hotels, getting a bit lost on the way, but in the centre of Paris that really doesn't matter somehow.
When you are on a work trip making the most of your spare few hours is vital so we were up before 7am, breakfasted and off to Les Marches Aux Puces, the famous big flea market in Paris.
I would also say pre-trip research is vital too.
Having found many many posts on the internet about the very aggressive touts and numerous pickpockets at the main entrance to the market.
As advised by the locals I took us via the metro to the far side of the market which avoided all of that. We did get to see the famous swap meet which frankly was like some vision from hell and to be avoided, before we found our way to the bits we wanted to see.
As the internet had warned the prices were stupidly 'foreign tourist trap' high but we had great fun window shopping and soaking up the amazing vibe of the place. I seriously can't believe there were ever that many big houses in France to account for all the massive chandeliers! there were hundreds!
Sadly a vast majority of the vendors had 'No Photography' signs up and got arsey if you did try to sneak a pic. I did get a few though.
Again prices were tourist high but it was fun to nose around.
So what did I buy?
Sadly time flew and we had to head back to our hotels to get changed and get to work, it was the reason for the trip after all!
These graffiti cats were all over Paris, personally I loved them.
After a long and briskly busy recruitment fair, we got freshened up and headed out to a tiny little bistro as recommended by a guy at Alex's hotel.
They only had 12 tables and didn't do sittings so you got to sit over a very leisurely and very, very delicious dinner.
Alex ordered a creme brulee, I was full. They brought it out but with no spoon so we asked for a spoon and got 2 spoons plus another 2 creme brulees.
As no one spoke English and our French is very poor it took us a little while to establish they were all that was left so we could have them for free.
The owner also wouldn't let us leave until we had finished them!
He kissed us warmly on both cheeks when we left. I have to say in all my years I don't think I have ever been kissed by the owner of a restaurant but there's a first time for everything.
I dropped Alex at her hotel and headed back to mine. En route I saw a bidet with a baguette in it.Just sitting there, out on the street.
Only in France....