Monday 26 November 2012

Greatest Cities of the World- Paris

Our Australian ABC has recently been rescreening Griff Rhys Jones' Greatest Cities of the World. I haven't seen any of the other cities, but made sure to catch the episode on Paris.

Griff takes us on a 24 hour journey through Paris on a single day. Exploring such Paris staples as bread, the life of a Parisian waiter and a Parisian dog.

There are many glorious glimpses of Paris of course. And some fascinating facts along the way.

Paris was considered "too beautiful to be bombed", which is why it survived World War II so well.

200 years ago Paris was France's second busiest port.

There are two water systems in Paris. The newer one supplying drinking water. The older system for street cleaning.

Baguettes were a Viennese invention. In Paris 70% of the bread is made by hand, compared with 3% in the UK. Parisians may queue for bread twice a day.

Most disturbing is the image of Griff greasing the large mechanism that keep the lifts of the Eiffel Tower running with molten mutton fat. Apparently this occurs once a week.

Fascinating to accompany a canine client to the Salon de Toilettage, and see the use of dog cologne.

We also get to visit the bee hives on the roof of the Opera Garnier who make one of the most expensive honeys in the world. I must try some of that next year. I am also looking forward to helping to consume the 80,000 bottles of champagne that need to be drunk in Paris each day.

It all appears to be on youtube if you've missed it.


Paulita said...

I'm definitely going to catch that episode. When you said he covers the life of a dog in Paris, I pictured a mutt wandering around the city, not a pampered pet! Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

Esme said...

This is something I would want to watch. Here is mine.

Sim Carter said...

Thanks for sharing that, I'm going to watch it. Seems for now I have to content myself with the Dreams of France meme vs a real visit to France!
Still I love the details, especially about the mutton lard greasing the works at the Eiffel Tower.

Marg said...

I watched this episode and a couple of others in the series and thought it was an interesting show! Of course, I am always happy to watch or read about Paris.

Swan Pond said...

Meh that mutton fat was not working too well when we visited in July, still we got to the top of le tour and is was pretty special.

Louise have you considered Fat Bike Tours?
My kids and I did one around Paris for 3-4 hours and it was a great way to travel. We even went through some big roundabouts but safety in numbers. A friend did the day trip to Versailles with Fat Bikes and absolutely loved it. It started ealy with buying picnid food at the markets, then riding all over the grounds, finishing with the palace. Had we had longer, it would have been a great thing to do. I really underestimated how long to spend in Paris so though my family spent 3 weeks in France earlier this year, we had only 3 nights in Paris. O for a month!

Louise said...

Paulita -definitely a pampered pet. I hope you get to check it out, it's fun.

Esme- it's an easy time to while away an hour.

Sim- it's always important to dream of France isn't it? No matter when the next trip is. Have you been to France?

I am too Marg, and the upcoming trip is adding fuel to the fire.

Megan- the top of the tour is special indeed. I saw people taking fat bike tours last time, but haven't taken one. I don't really need a generalist tour of Paris I guess. We're planning on taking a cheese walking tour next time which I'm really looking forward to.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I have not taken a "fat bike tour" but Holly (daughter) and I rode Vélibs all over Paris in October! I cannot wait to get back and try it again.


Louise said...

I'm going to ride Velibs next time- I haven't done it before, but am definitely planning to- planning on a trial outing to the Bois de Bolougne. A bit of off road action first up I think.

Swan Pond said...

We used them in Lyon. Allow a bit of time first up to work it all out and be prepared that there may not be any space where you'd like to park the bike. This happened to my husband and kids and they had to walk 3 stations back, so did not save a lot of time on one occasion. Mostly the system was great, but so was all the public transport.