Sunday, June 22, 2014

Picnic in Paris

As it happened, our visit to Paris overlapped neatly with my friend Mathieu's.
Some sort of tower..?

Mathieu, as you can tell from the name (best pronounced with an outrageous fake French accent), is French, and was travelling with his Italian girlfriend Elena to visit family and friends in France and Italy.
Despite their tight schedule (every hour fully booked of their five days in Paris), they had organised a Saturday picnic to catch up with a bunch of friends all in one go.

We weren't really sure what to bring, but luckily, Naomi's mum had just arrived with a bunch of Japanese snacks, so we grabbed these, bought a bottle of white wine and rocked up.

The location was near the Château de Vincennes, a massive 14th and 17th century French royal castle in the eastern Parisian suburb of (surprise, surprise) Vincennes.
The Chateau (pic by wikipedia)

We were happy to discover that the metro covers this suburb in the base (1.70 Euro) ticket, and that it was easy to get to from "our" metro line.

Mathieu, with a small group of on-time arrivals, was waiting near the metro exit, so we didn't even have to call him, even though we were fashionably late.
Mathieu with yours truly

We walked around the chateau itself, in a nice lawn area, with a few more arrivals meeting us as we went, then set off for the park where we were going to have the picnic.

Little did we know...

The last time Mathieu had been to the park was six years ago, so he led us around to where he remembered one of the entrances to be.

It wasn't there.

We ended up circling the park - a walk of around 2-3 km, before we got to the main entrance - where we found that they now charge 5.50 Euro for entry!

Paying 5.50 to sit on the grass? Nope, none of us were into that, so we kept walking, eventually finding a nice spot, partially shaded, in long-ish grass (which we could easily flatten, crop-circle style)

Since more people were coming, Mathieu and I, being technical geniuses, managed to obtain the GPS coordinates of our picnic location..
Found the GPS coordiantes!!

A bunch more people did arrive, and we made some new friends - we played the French version of bowls, Pétanque, for a while..
Listening to encouraging words before making a mess of things..

Kirsty and Naomi
Kirsty, pictured above, came across the Channel just for the picnic - she flew in from London to Paris for a few hours in the sun in France. Mathieu has cool friends!

Making more friends, this time with Djiny

Serious Pétanque players..
Hovering ball..
Naomi just before kicking butt.. (or did she?)
All too soon it was time to head off, so a farewell snap of Elena, Mathieu and the two of us:

Thanks for a fun picnic!!

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