Saturday, July 26, 2014

Le Tour de France: Paris Day 4

Sunday, July 6
We woke up to rain falling on the skylights, but it had mostly stopped after breakfast. We walked across the Seine so I could take a photo of the Conciergerie, which was covered in scaffolding on our last visit. Also stopped at Sainte-Chapelle to inquire about buying concert tickets. [Stand in line for that evening, go to the tabac across the street for future performances. We didn't make it to a concert this trip, but hopefully next time! Sainte-Chapelle is my favorite church, even though Dan says it's not actually a church, it was a chapel for royalty.]

Conciergerie

Dan filled our water bottles with Eau de Paris, and we walked to Notre-Dame for Gregorian mass. We arrived early, and a lady and a gentleman were singing, it was really lovely. I am not sure if it was the end of the previous mass, or just singing between masses. They sang again during the Gregorian mass. I loved seeing the procession with the swinging incense, and hearing the monks chanting.

Eau de Paris

After mass, we biked to Blé Sucré, and saw another beagle on the way! It was too late, and the bakery had sold out of pain au chocolat. We got warm baguettes and a couple of caneles, then followed some people with grocery carts a few blocks to the Marché d'Aligre. What a big market! The vendors call out for customers to visit their stalls and seem unconcerned about payment. We had to wait quite awhile to pay for some purchases, it seemed the vendor had forgotten. (Unfortunately I got upset while we were at the market, so didn't take photos. There may have been hanger involved. Thankfully for me Dan is very patient.) We got delicious peaches and apricots for less than 2€. Also bought cherries, radishes, fennel, cucumbers, avocado, cheese, and a duck confit leg. Then it rained. Pouring rain, and windy. We walked to Ledru Rollin Metro station and bought a carnet of tickets from the machine, took the Metro to St. Paul, but got turned around after exiting and walked the wrong direction in the rain! I don't know why we thought it was a good idea to go to the Marais for falafel, the line was sooooo long. I did not want to wait in the rain, so we walked a few doors down to Sacha Finkelsztajn, where we had pastrami sandwiches and cheesecake. [Later I was looking through the Eyewitness Paris guidebook, and the full-page photo in the Marais chapter shows the two ladies who work there. I wonder if they know?]

We looked in a few shops, by then the rain was lighter, and we biked back to the apartment. Dan pointed out the beagle we had seen on our street, sitting on a chair in Ristorante Gallo Romano, and I finally met him! His name is Theo.

Theo

After a rest at the apartment, the rain seemed to have stopped, and we went for a walk in the neighborhood. I bought a couple of Kouignettes (pistachio and salted caramel) at Georges Larnicol, and we looked inside Saint-Séverin. Went into the gardens near the Cluny, and checked out a brocante at Place Maubert. I got a fun green and pink metal and plastic necklace for 5€.
Then we walked toward Saint-Germain and had dinner at Fish La Boissonnerie, recommended by the Scottish ladies we met the previous evening. We sat at the bar since we didn't have reservations. Dinner was very delicious. [I think our two favorite meals in Paris were at places run by British ex-pats. Huh.]

After dinner we biked along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower again. I just love the sparkle. We stopped for photos along the way. The clouds were very pretty after the rain. Dan offered to take a photo for two Canadian ladies, and they asked if we were from here, I think because we were riding Vélib' bikes. Haha.

Seine

Biking on the quai

Grand Palais

Les Invalides  

When we got to the Champs de Mars, the Eiffel Tower was not lit up yet. It was almost 10 pm and had sparkled at that time the previous evening. Dan said maybe the sky was too bright after the rain cleared. So we walked down Avenue Rapp and saw the art nouveau at #29, such a pretty building. Also stopped in Square Rapp, I love that spot. Then we walked back to the Champs de Mars, and sat on the grass until sparkle time.

29 Avenue Rapp

!!!

We picked up bikes and as we rode along the Seine, I saw and heard another couple having a disagreement. I felt somewhat comforted that I am not the only one. Then on Boulevard Saint-Germain Dan spotted a Bassett Hound! We stopped to pet him, his name was Watson. A day with highs and lows, but in the end another great day in Paris.

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