Paris Update

(written by Nancy)

We have settled into our rented Paris apartment – nice to have a place to spread out, cook a few meals and do some laundry in a real washing machine!  The apartment is small, as I expect most Paris apartments are, but we managed to get our bikes inside so we don’t have to worry about them outside.  The bedroom is at the basement level with no windows, which means it is very dark in the morning.  With no sunlight we are going to have to start setting an alarm or we will sleep through our last few days in Paris!

Our first task yesterday was to find some bike boxes for the flight home.  We found a bike shop just around the corner that had two new bikes sitting in boxes that they were happy to unpack and let us recycle the boxes. After dropping the boxes off at the apartment we wandered about the Montmartre neighborhood, stopped for pizza for lunch and made our way up to the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur at the top of Montmartre hill.  It is a beautiful abbey – no pictures allowed inside, though I think Dave snuck one in.  The hill has apparently been the home of various places of worship since the 3rd century but the current building is relatively new, with the foundation stone laid in 1875.

There were lots of people around the Basilica as well as tents filled with people serving and selling all kinds of food and drink.  It turns out that there is a big food festival on at the moment in Montmartre so we had a fun time wandering among the tents checking out all the food.  We even tasted a bit of the champagne on offer.  We even found some cheese and potato dishes, Andy, that would look familiar to you – and people were even lining up to buy these!

All that food and wandering about (and perhaps the wine at lunch and the glass of champagne) wore us out so we had a quiet night in – even found some English programs on television to pass the time.

Today we had big plans to see some sites but the weather did not cooperate very much.  We caught the subway a few stops and set out to walk along the Champs-Elysées to the see the Arc de Triomphe.  The light rain we had as we left the apartment started to get heavier so we ducked into a coffee shop to hang out for awhile and people watch – always entertaining in a big city like this.  We made our way through a fresh food market, checking out all the seafood, veggies and fruit.  The market was two long rows of covered tables set up with a narrow aisle way between them.  It was quite busy and with the umbrellas and all the forceful old French ladies dragging their rolling shopping bags it was a bit of a scrum trying to get through.

By the time we finally made it to the Arc de Triomphe we were pretty soaked so after a quick look we ducked into a few stores to check out the Paris shopping scene and then made our way back to the apartment to dry off and warm up – it’s pretty cold out in the wind and rain.

We have no firm plans for the next few days other than to get out and enjoy a bit of the city.  Hopefully the rain ease off so that we can spend more time outside, though it isn’t too bad hanging out in coffee shops trying out all the different kinds of French pastries…

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3 thoughts on “Paris Update

  1. those potaotes look far too tastey – I think boiled with a bucket of cheese like substance was the french answer for taters au gratin.

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