Like many people I fell in love with the film Amelie when I first watched it (with my dad and my brother funny enough). And my day dreams about Paris probably started there, subtitled, indie French films are almost guaranteed to send me into a sense of whimsical romanticism.
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A few years later when I watched The Moulin Rouge I thought 'that settles it, I need to visit Paris' and then somehow I never managed it. (Actually I've heard from a few people that visiting the Moulin Rouge really is a bit of a disappointment but I can't vouch that for that as we didn't visit whilst we were there). Tom and I thought about visiting a few times and then a cheap deal here or there meant we always chose somewhere else for our annual holiday, then pregnancy a new-born etc and holidays were out of the picture for a little while.
But still I held on to my Paris-Amelie dream.
On our first day on our trip to Paris we set off from Gare de lest on the Metro to Montmartre. Just as we were about to take the escalator down to the subway Tom pulled out €5 and a mask and said 'go take your picture!' Y'know just like the film, it was a totally surprise. Wilf had no idea what we were doing but picked up the pictures as they came out the machine and thought it was all pretty funny.
After this we strolled around my now favourite part of Paris (post to come) Montmarte and had lunch in the Two Windmills. It was kind of surreal to me and I kept having to steal glances at all the parts I remembered from the film and stop myself from squealing in excitment. Actually it was kind of full of Japanese Amelie fans too which added to the experience I think!
We were staying by the St Martin Canals (where Amelie likes to skim stones) so we made sure we did this too, I'm sure the locals were rolling their eyes but I loved it. Something I will remember forever!
*apologies to anyone who hasn't seen Amelie and has no idea what I'm talking about
**if you are that person go watch it now!