Sunday May 10
We were up a little later than usual and left the apartment around 10:30. We headed to St. Eustache but as Mass was just starting, we decided to have a look through the church at a later time. We went to rue Sebastopol to the internet café MILK to check back in at home, then walked across to the Pompidou Centre to take some photos. It is quite something! I don’t think it’s my kind of something though. We had a look at the Stravinsky fountains and made a mental note to bring the kids there when we go to Paris with them next year.
We then wandered over to the Marais. Wow that place is jumpin’ on a Sunday afternoon! Lots of people, very lively, most places were open. We walked along Rue des Rosiers and just had to try L’as du Fallafel. We ate inside, as the line up for take out was huge. The tables are tight and there’s certainly no ambience inside, but we did love the falafels. I kept reading all about L’as on TA, and thought it was probably going to be very overrated, but we REALLY enjoyed them! We each had the “special” falafel, Perrier and Coke Zero and the bill was 20 euros – it’s cheaper if you get takeout of course.
We enjoyed our Sunday afternoon looking around the Marais. I went to Pylones to get a gift, and we checked out many of the wonderful stores in the area. Actually, I checked out the stores and DH dutifully tagged along – he’s a very good sport!
Next we headed to the Musee Carnavalet and we both quite enjoyed it. We had a little rest in the lovely gardens of the museum before we made our way over to Place des Vosges. Clearly this is the place to be on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The park was packed as people sprawled out on the grass and enjoyed the weather.
We took a walk all around the perimeter of the park and had a look at the beautiful art galleries and all of the works on offer by the local artists. We sat on a bench in the park under the trees for a little bit, and then walked back along rue Francs Bourgeois which then became rue Rambuteau.
We decided then to have a late afternoon meal at the Creperie Beaubourg. I had a wonderful savoury crepe called the Larzac which had ham, mushroom, Roquefort, crème fraiche, and ground hazelnuts on top. It was soooo good. DH wanted something sweet instead, so he had the lemon crepe. I had a glass of red wine and he had cider and the bill was 18.20 euros.
We then strolled back towards St. Eustache and had a look inside this beautiful church. As we were just about finished our look around, the organ recital started at 5:30. We stayed for a few minutes of this [Denise – grndma – if you’re reading this, I will agree with you that this music is perhaps a little too highbrow for me too ;-) ]. It’s that scary organ music which I’m sure is incredibly well performed but just not to my taste. But for true classic organ music lovers, I’m sure you will enjoy it.
We then passed by the Fontaine des Innocents for a few pictures. We went back up rue Montorgueil and stopped at Stohrer for pastries to take back to the apartment (4 euros each and fabulous!). We relaxed at the apartment for a while, then headed out around 8:30 p.m. As we walked down rue St. Denis again, this time the ladies were out on the street. They weren’t intimidating at all, they just sort of stood there and didn’t seem to approach anyone. We strolled down towards the Seine, and went to Pont Neuf to catch the Vedettes de Pont Neuf. We were a little early as we wanted to catch the 9:30 boat, so we had a little wander past the galleries on the Ile de la Cite and past Place Dauphine then back to the Pont Neuf.
The cruise was enjoyable, even though it was raining for all of it. Tickets were 12 euros each for a 1 hour cruise. We stayed on the lower level, protected by the glass enclosure, but many others decided to go for it, and sit up top with their umbrellas. The one thing that both DH and I noticed particularly on this tour is that obviously there has been a fair amount of cleaning and restoration work that has been done in Paris since we were last here 9 months ago. The conciergerie and Palais du Justice facing the Place Dauphine are now so much whiter and brighter than before. We also noticed that many of the bridges have been cleaned and restored and the Alexandre III bridge in particular looks amazing!
By the time we got off the boat and headed across the Pont Neuf, it was now about 10:45 p.m. DH suggested that we clearly had not spent enough money or consumed enough calories that day ;-) and it was our last night in Paris, so we went off in search of a late night dinner. On a rainy Sunday night, most places were closed or were about to close, so we walked over to Au Pied de Cochon which I knew to be open 24 hours, and it was conveniently on the way back to the apartment.
So we enjoyed what turned out to be our most expensive meal in Paris on this trip. I knew going in that the prices were going to be a bit steep for what we were having, but that was okay. We decided since it was our last night, what the heck. I had white asparagus for an entrée and DH had oysters – they serve lots of them on a big tray of ice. We both had the same steak béarnaise with amazing potatoes that were like giant French fries. We splurged on a half bottle of St. Emilion Grand Cru that was 31.50 euros, so our total bill was 135 euros. The service was good and the staff members were all quite nice.
We left the restaurant sometime after midnight, and I didn’t want to walk past Les Halles, so we went back to Rue du Louvre and up to the apartment.