Paris Days 2 & 3: Cergy and the Left Bank

So, the last couple of days have been quite eventful.

What I thought was just my less than nice hotel room turned out to be a very smelly, dusty, mouldy room which meant I couldn’t sleep from coughing/wheezing and in which, based on certain things that went ‘bump in the night’, I think I am right in thinking that people were also taking advantages of certain services being sold nearby the hotel – see my previous post on what a nearby street has to offer… I later noticed that there is a stipulation in the hotel rules that ‘people without luggage must pay in advance’. Ahem…

Anyway, and much more positively, Damien managed to find out about some accommodation on the University campus so I’ll be moving out there for a few nights on Monday until I get the apartment for the rest of the stay. It does mean that I won’t be in the centre of Paris for much of next week, but I will get the chance to meet and discuss with some of Damien’s colleagues at Cergy which I’m looking forward to, and also to concentrate on some writing I need to be doing for my Geographies of Media chapter…And I’ll have nearly three weeks in Paris still to come, so is fine.

We did go out to Cergy yesterday (Friday) and it seems like a really interesting place. It was built not that long ago (I think Damien said 1960s) as entirely new city on the outskirts of Paris and with some quirky architecture. Basically, in the city centre all the roads and transport network is underground so the centre is completely pedestrian. There was also a funny building on the campus which apparently had been nicknamed something like ‘the greenhouse’ because its architecture meant is was very warm inside (it’s a big glass box). So, rather than fix the issue, the University remained it ‘Jardin Tropical’ and put a bunch of tropical plants in the open plan central area of the building! I already like the University simply for it having this sense of humour! I took a photo so will post when I have a better internet connection (the hotel one is flakey at best).

Today was more tourist based – I walked to the Pantheon, met a friend from school and his girlfriend who happen to be here for the weekend, went to Jardin du Luxembourg, had lunch at Cafe de Flore on Boulevard Saint-Germain, went past the Muse D’orsay (which had a massive queue) so went on to Musee de l’Orangerie and looked at Monet’s waterlilies. I then walked back to my hotel (along the Seine and up Boulevard de Sebastopol), which means my legs are now nicely heavy.

Tomorrow should be another quite quiet day and then it will be a writing week from Monday…

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About Paul Simpson

I am currently a lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Physical and Geographical Sciences at Keele University. I've previously lectured at Plymouth University, and again at Keele before that. I completed my PhD (titled 'Ecologies of Street Performance: Bodies, Affects, Politics') at the University of Bristol in 2009.
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