Monday, February 08, 2010
From Oscar Wilde's grave and the last stand of the Communards I walked through the Bastille, past the booksellers that line the river as far as Notre Dame and the Louvre, then on across the Tuileries to the obelisk at Place de la Concorde, where the traffic turns right for the Champs-Elysees and I saw the Arc de Triomphe for the only time that day. The first arrondissement became the eighth, I passed the Gare St Lazare and entered the eighteenth as I crossed an iron bridge that cuts a cemetery in two, reaching the hill and Sacre Coeur with the last of the light. There was a merry-go-round, a Korean woman screaming in the face of a man selling postcards, and an English couple posing for a picture by a smashed bottle of wine. We all sat at the top of the steps watching the sun go down. Before it was fully dark I was walking through Belleville, back towards Ménilmontant and my bed for the night.