Apologies for being MIA, will blame it on jet lag, time differences and yet, my blogmates in Iceland at IcelandNoir put me to shame and are posting faithfully. I'm here doing an Aimée Leduc tour of Paris visiting the sites where Aimée's investigations happen.
I arrived in Paris a few days before the year anniversary of the tragedies at the Bataclan, Cafe de La Cambodge and le Carrilon, Stade de France. The weather hovered cool, grey pearl skies, a flash of blue and the nights chill. The mood sombre, undercurrent of another expected attack (I heard later there were three arrests that never made the media) and expectant in some way. Most of my friends and it seemed much of Paris kept it low key, Sting did a concert at the Bataclan to reopen it. A moment of silence was held for the victims, the President Holland and Madame la Marie, Anne Hidalgo laid wreaths at the sites now with plaques holding the victim's name. I can't imagine the pain of those family members and friends directly affected.
But name dropping here, the day before the anniversary I almost 'ran into' Hollande at le Prefecture with the head of all things police and counter terrorism. I waved and he waved back smiling.
There's a sense of police and law enforcement fatigue, everywhere on high alert for a year now and the Uzi toting soldiers
look younger and younger and even talk to us now. Through my friend Marie-Pierre, we were invited to hang with the fireman stationed in Ile de la Cité.
The visit turned to dinner prepared in their 'canteen' and it's true about how well fireman cook, tours after hours of the high courts where it seemed Napoleon still ruled if the murals, fresco's and entwined N's in the woodwork are anything to go by. He designed the Penal code. Still rules from his crypt at Invalides, they say.
We went underground from the holding cells to the booking jail that lead to the court.
Then a visit to closed Saint Chapelle and I'm holding the keys and we climbed to the top of 'arrow' tower.
Then the bell was going to ring and we had to scurry down the medieval ladders before we became deaf.
Cara - Tuesday in Paris