Open from 7am to midnight, the 30 metre long swimming pool rue Pontoise is built like an art-déco ship with individual cabin for every swimmer. From 8pm onwards, the pool is lit from within while music blares out ...
Auteuil and Longchamp are for snobs and special ocasions. For the real Parisian racing atmosphere, it can only be trotting at Vincennes or racing at Maisons Laffite. Both host events redlecting a fast disappearing working class community.
For a different type of nostalgia, visit the old Autodrome at Montlhery, south of Paris. In the days of my misbegotten youth one could take your own car for a few laps, but I expect in these health and safety conscious days that is no longer possible. One more tip for nostalgia fans: Le Paris de Simenon by Frederic Franck is a guide to places written into the Maigret novels with accompanying text and pictures.
In Paris with two boys, one our cheerful seven-year-old, the other our stroppy 15-year-old "Little Englander" who was determined to be unimpressed by anything French (it was just a phase - he is now studying international relations at Bradford University's Department of Peace Studies). The Eiffel Tower was "OK", the Pompidou Centre was "torture". Paris in the company of a teenage grump was turning out to have been the trip from hell when we saw the posters for tours of Le Stade de France. Ok, about the last place I would choose out of all the many places and sights in Paris which I may never see, but hey, this was supposed to be a treat for all of us.
We found our way to Le Stade in an uninspiring suburb. It was a comprehensive tour, taking in changing rooms, stands, pitch and presidential box and loads more. It felt like we got to look in every storeroom.
Most of it bored me silly but it was worth every minute to see the transformation in the boy. He was so appreciative that his uplifted mood lasted for the rest of the trip. That afternoon, he sat patiently watching his little brother playing for two hours and more in the childrens' playground in the Luxembourg Gardens. Later on we wandered round the local streets and found a great pizza restaurant. And so home to hotel, all of us content and well fed. It was a special day.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org