Sunday, November 13, 2022

On Location

From Hemingway’s home in Key West to the train platform at King’s Cross Station, readers love to visit the haunts of their favorite writers and the key scenes from their favorite books. What literary pilgrimage have you made (or would like to make)?

Brenda here.

Great question this week! 

My husband Ted and I made a trip to France at the end of April this year and stayed for most of the month of May. In planning the trip, I happened upon the site describing the bar where Hemmingway famously drank in Paris. The bar is touted as the "genteel haunt of the American writer, with leather armchairs, sepia photos & a honed cocktail menu". Our itinerary was adjusted to include a drink there, "no matter the cost".

Our first full day in Paris, we set off on foot as we always do in a new locale. We toured the outside of the Louvre and walked along the Seine and the Champs-Élysées before deviating off to the shopping and restaurant district. It seemed every clothing store had a guard stationed in the doorway, and no wonder. Even a clutch purse in the window was 5000 Euro. At last we reached Bar Hemmingway in the Ritz Hotel at 15 Pl. Vendôme in the midst of all these très expensive shops, but alas, it didn't open until 5:00 p.m., and we were not about to hang around for four hours, being given the evil eye by all those security people. Instead, we found an outdoor café a few blocks over and sat with a glass of wine to people watch.

In the meantime, Ted also began tracking the scenes from the Bourne movies and had his own list of places we should visit. Top amongst them was standing in the middle of Pont Neuf where one of the scenes from the Bourne Identity was filmed. Here is Ted, happy a a clam, standing in the exact spot!

Before our trip, we'd also spent some fluffy downtime watching the show 'Emily in Paris' (since we were going there), and Ted researched venues but couldn't find any real set locations to visit. His buddies (Ted is a sheet metal worker in the roofing and construction industry) still can't believe he watched two seasons :-)

I've since heard that Hemmingway drank in lots of different cities around the planet, so there's still a chance we'll make it inside one of his bars. Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with practising in our own local establishments.

I'm sure some of my other literary heroes made it to the Eiffel Tower -- I know lots of movies have filmed scenes there. Seems like the perfect place to end this post.

Ted & Brenda in Paris


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Susan said...

Every trip to Paris is replete with new discoveries and delights. Paris never gets stale to me. Just seeing your photos has me dreaming of another trip!

Brenda Chapman said...

Susan -it was our first time in Paris and I hope not our last - so much to explore!