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Paris Day 6

2002 European Trip:






Our neighbourhood



June 30: Paris Day 6

Today was our last day to enjoy Paris, but everyone was tired, so we decided to stay on the island. After all, it would be a shame to be here and never have seen any of the many sites that are concentrated within three blocks of here!

However Lauren was too pooped to even move. So she slept in and stayed in her pajamas all day (except when she finally took a shower and then decided she'd sleep in her clothes to save time tomorrow... go figure!). She's trying to finish Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged before we leave.

Max and Patti and I got out of the house just before noon, and walked over to a local cafe for some brunch. The cafe was outdoor and sat across the street from the Hall of Justice (where the Conciergerie and St Chappelle church are).

I had a petit dejeuner, but as it was a little late in the day, I could only get pain au chocolat rather than a regular crossaint. Max had bread and juice, and Patti had a salad.

Max enjoyed his breakfast.

After eating, we walked to the other end of the place we were in to the bird market. The bird market is held every Sunday in this square, and there are all varieties of birds (and other animals) on display.

It was tempting to come home with something live! (Wonder if the beagles would sniff them out?) Max and I came back a second time later in the day and found a variety of other types of animals, arguably some birds, some not.

chicken and roosterratsguineas

We returned home to see if Lauren wanted to go with us to visit the places at Notre Dame.

I guess not!

We popped across the street and visited the Conciergerie, the place where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned before having her body shortened by the executioner's axe. At least she got her own room while she was waiting! And look... some books to read too. That's royalty for you.

Main hall of the Conciergerie.  Prisoners were kept hereMarie Antoinette and her guard watching her.

Although Max wasn't that interested, he can have fun and make friends whereever he is.

Max twirling in the ConciergerieMax and gendarme outside hall of justice

Saint Chappelle is right next door, and we visited that as well to view the beautiful stained glass within.

front of the St Chappelle

(If you've been keeping up, you'll recall that I heard a concert in this church just a few nights before. The stained glass was beautiful as the sun set...) It was more beautiful in the daytime though.

Looking towards the entranceThe altar of St Chappelle

Each panel of the stained glass tells a story from the bible. These panels were used to instruct people in Christianity when a large part of the populace was illiterate. (Many of the religious paintings also depict bible stories as a means of instruction.)

After Saint Chappelle, we walked down to Notre Dame, just a block away. It was just too crowded, so we decided to try again later in the day. While we were walking around in front of Notre Dame, an American man stopped us. He had a picture of Max turning somersaults on his digital camera! It turned out that he had been at the Jardin du Carousel the other day when Max was jumping on the bungie jumper thing. He'd captured Max on both his digital camera and on video. He'd recognized Max from the picture. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

We split up at this point. Patti was not feeling well, so she and Max went home while I went shopping for the evening's meal.

During the day I saw the same Jack Russell several times. I think Paris must have a large population of dogs roamin' the street. There are probably lots of scraps to feed on, so who needs a Russell rescue organization? This little guy knows to look both ways before he crosses the street.

In the late afternoon, Max and I went to Notre Dame to see if the crowds had thinned. Unfortunately, the crowds at Notre Dame were still crowds. So instead, I took Max through the Latin Quarter, where we saw the thinnest building in Paris.

Then, we stopped by a game store where we bought a combination travel chess/backgammon set to play on the plane. The proprietor was very nice, and we were able to do the entire transaction (including looking at the various sets, giving our specifications for what we wanted) completely in French. It's really satisfying to be able to communicate!

We picked up some croissants for breakfast tomorrow, and on the way saw the same Jack Russell we'd seen earlier in the day. We also ran into M. Max, from the bag store, who was standing in the street. Upon seeing us, he gave Max a big kiss and we chatted a little while.

It's nice to stay in a neighborhood for a while to get to know some of the people, if even a little bit.

We made sandwiches for dinner with the remains of the salami and cheese from the other day. The bread was still almost too fresh to cut! I just can't get over how good the bread is here. The cheese as well. Yum!

Then, we went out to a local creperie and had some crepes for dessert. Also deeeelicious. I had a cafe express with dinner so I'd have a hope of posting all the pictures from the past couple of days before leaving. I wouldn't want to leave everyone hanging on Monday morning.

The apartment is clean, our bags are packed, and we're ready to go crack o' dawn tomorrow. It's kinda strange how we now have more bags than we came with, but I'll figger it out when I get home.

Some musings on Paris (more tomorrow):

Everyone's favorite things about Paris:

Max -- the bungee jumping and getting to look out over the Seine

Lauren -- the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and the shopping

Patti -- the paintings in the Louvre and the bread and croissants

Polly -- the shopping, strolling through the neighborhoods, and the bread and croissants. Oh, and the Berthillon glacé.

Least favorite things about Paris:

The smell. Why does Paris smell so bad, worse than London? It's because people pee whereever they want, and the place smells, well, rather like a toilette. The smoking and diesel cars don't help with the smell either. Perhaps that's why perfume was invented?

Too many people. Of course we did come in the summer... but Luxembourg was really nice because it was relaxed and uncrowded. With Paris, you always have to keep the crowds in mind when you're deciding to do something.

Okay, I really have to go to bed now! (It takes me approximately 2 hours per day to do the site if I put photos in too...)




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