Europe | France | Paris – Shopping, Eating, Shopping, Eating…
Some hot weather arrived in Paris at the same time that I came over by train from Prague, meeting my good friend Stephane who arrived by air from a yoga retreat in Montpellier.
Although it’s unusually warm, you won’t hear the Parisiens complaining. Instead, they are basking in the sunshine while reading a book by the Seine, taking off their shirts at a local fountain, or rollerblading and biking along the many weekend only pedestrian pathways.
So what have we been doing? We’ve been eating…a lot! Snails, Soup, Steak, Pastries, Croissants, Cheese, and drinking Café, or Wine along with it.
Staying in a hotel on a street that is a bit of a center for a local Kurdish and Algerian community, we are just around the corner from the St. Denis Triumphal Arch, within easy walking distance to the Pompidou Centre. With the good weather holding, we visited Notre Dame (again for me), and climbed the tower (again), then took the Batobus along the Seine, went all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and a nice dinner in the Latin Quarter.
We visited Giverny and the home of Claude Monet on another beautiful sunny afternoon. After taking the train to Vernon, we rented some bicycles for the short ride to the town of Giverny. Monet’s house has been turned into a gallery for his extensive collection of Japanese paintings or etchings, and the rooms, somewhat preserved in their original state, give a great insight into the simply refined environment that Monet lived in for the last 43 years of his life.
The gardens are everything you think they will be. A serene place to wander or sit (when you’re not being run over by a tour group), and full of pinks and grenns like the exterior of the house itself. After riding back to Vernon, we chilled out by the river eating some delicious strawberry soft ice cream. Steph did some Yoga and I did some snoozing in the sunshine.
Thursday, there was some airline business to attend to while Steph visited the Arc D’Triomphe, and then shopping along the Champ Elysees. Okay…all I bought was a small toy concept car from Peugeot for a friend’s son, but I still shopped! In the evening, a superb, fantastic, utterly delicious advance birthday dinner at the Julien restaurant in Saint Denis. The restaurant dates from the 1800’s and we had friendly service in the very large and atmospheric restaurant. Carved mahogany walls, large old mirrors with carved moldings, fantastic waiters who seemed to enjoy their work, lamb that almost gave Stephane and orgasm, and a delicious pastry and ice cream dessert topped with chocolate sauce that did. I had a traditional bean caserole dish with goose, ham, pork, and sausage. mmmmmmm…good. Thanks Steph! I can still taste it.
There is never enough Paris.