Day 2. After sleeping around 16 hours we got up at a decent hour. And sat at local café for eggs and bread. Today we were walking straight South to River and across into Latin Quarter and beyond (Left Bank to people in the know).
We stopped briefly outside the Louvre. Enough time to see the selfie sticks and people standing 30 feet in front of pyramid trying to get a shot of them pretending to pick up the museum
The lines were not that bad and we could have gone in but this trip was all about the primer. Broad brush strokes. The fine detail work might be done on a subsequent trip or not at all. As much as I wish I enjoyed art museums, I get bored quickly and prefer to be out wandering the street.
This bridge is famous for its locks…obviously. It has something to do with love gained, or lost, I cannot remember. It looks kinda cool but people have put locks all over that area, including every statue and monument.
Here is Note Dame. I had gone to the University of the same name in the US so I figured it was only fitting to visit here. We did not go in. I had been in the Notre Dame in Montreal and although beautiful, I got the feel for what it was about. These shots are from the rear. The church sits on an island in the middle of the river.
This Asian girl photobombed my picture
Lunch was mussels and fries. Every meal was something along with fries, bread and a small salad. We also got a cheese plate. There were no fat people in the city. Hard to believe with this diet, but everything in moderation I guess and keeping an active lifestyle helps.
Further stops at a park
This is a rough picture of the Rodin museum. I shot a picture of the original “Thinker” only because it is one of the iconic images of Detroit. A copy sits outside the Detroit Institute of Art. They could not have the real one there or it would be sold or scrap upon nightfall.
Amy did well with all the walking. I am used to it, but after 2pm I had to start dragging her by her leash like a dog laying in the grass refusing to take one more step.
Moulin Rouge was a stone’s throw from our hotel. It was in the more sexually-focused part of town you might say. Tickets were $150 and I did not feel I needed to sit with 100 strangers and watch nude women dance when we could pay $20 for the same effect across the street. We skipped both unfortunately and went back for a nap determined not to sleep through the alarm so we might enjoy the city at night in all its grandeur.
After a long day of walking all the side streets and seeing the food markets I succumbed to taking the Metro for the rest of the trip to save our feet and improve our efficiency. We headed back to the Latin Quarter for dinner in a small Bistro after stopping for a few more night shots of Notre Dame.
This area was very touristy but our meal was nice and not too expensive. The Euro and dollar were pretty much even at this point so it was about the same as going out to dinner here in the US, maybe even a little cheaper.
After dinner we walked west along the Seine. This is a shot of the Shakespeare and Co bookstore.
It was a famous hang out for the Lost Generation types. Hemmingway was known to hole up in some alcove with a bottle of wine, reading and writing through the night.
It was Friday night and this bar along the river was jammed
Here is the ET at night
There has been some uproar from the locals as France lights up the Tower with sparkling lights and is kinda annoying as there is no need to jazz it up so much. Beauty in simplicity. I don’t need rhinestones on my jeans. The river was quiet. Not many people walking out in the cold tonight
We were asleep by midnight.
The next morning was the start of our final full day in Paris. I am always on the lookout for something unique to bring back from my trip. I thought the flea market might be just the spot to find it. It was not, and my first real tour guide screw up of the trip.
We took the Metro north of town to Le Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. It was sketchy. Lots of stands selling fake Adidas and cologne. One of us did not feel safe. I will leave that to the reader to determine which one it was. When we got to the actual market it was interesting, but the prices were a bit high and I decided I would just find something I like online when I get back to the US.
We escaped and back to Marais area. Walking for a couple hours through the Asian area and down to the Bastille. I did not see anything to the Bastille, which was only a tower now. I thought the ruins of the castle might still be present for this famous landmark in French Revolution history. I Did find another street flea market but nothing excited me at these prices.
I took this picture in honor of my mother.
Oh well. I was really striking out today and it was about to get worse with the “Chicken Incident”
We stopped for food and the restaurant turned out to be American food. We stayed because the locale was nice but I was not jazzed about eating burritos and fish sandwich. Amy ordered chicken and stated that food was dry. I took that to mean I should finish it, but that was the wrong play. We overcame the event and continued on to a cozy café to watch the passers by.
Back to the Seine before another nap for our last night
We decided to walk North of our hotel this tame, away from Moulin Rouge in order to find dinner and see Sacré-Cœur. A Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I am glad we did because not only was the view of the city beautiful, along with the church, but the neighborhood was full of winding cobblestone streets lined with cozy little cafes and restaurants.
We stumbled upon La Taverne de Montmartre
It was exactly what I was looking for. A small cellar-like restaurant with old world charm. We had to wait an hour for a table, but that was fine as we had no other agenda. The one hard thing to get used to in Europe is the slow service. My first time here I walked out of a couple places because I thought it was uniquely bad service, not realizing it was the whole continent that excelled in slow dining. I am not sure whether it is good or bad. Should we slow down and just chill or is efficiency and prompt service something to be sought after. Should the service industry here be running like a public company beholden to stockbrokers and the bottom line or more like a traditional nonprofit with a more casual approach.
We got a table and enjoyed a meal we cooked ourselves over a small batch of coals.
The best part of the experience was the cheese melting device
It seemed a form of medieval torture for the cheese. It was placed on a rack and pushed closer to the coals until it started to melt, where it was then scraped off with a large machete, only to be slowly pulled back until the process was repeated
After dinner we walked back and were up by 7am to make our flight. Stuck in exit customs for almost 2 hours, having to sprint down the terminal and cut security lines in order to get to our flight moments before the gate closed.
We made it and another great trip was in the books!
Until Next Time