Saturday, 11 July 2015

June 29, 2015- Depot-Ventes, Walk Through the Bois de Boulogne, Notre Dame, Ile Saint-Louis

A Cold Induced Sleep-in Again, We Have Breakfast at Home, We Visit some Depot-Ventes in Search of a Unique French Souvenir, A Gross Take on a New York Bakery, Going Natural in the Bois de Boulogne, The Walk Becomes a Really, Really Long Walk, We Fail to See Sainte-Chapelle, We Visit Notre Dame Cathedral, We Explore Ile Saint-Louis, We Return Home to Have Bill's Well Cooked Eggs Again for Dinner, We Sleep Like the Dead After We Have Traversed Much of Paris in One Day

April was forced to sleep a little longer this morning again due to her awful summer cold. There is truly no cold like a summer cold. We ate breakfast at home feeling lucky every day for the baguette, croissants, and the pain of chocolat that we would share. April contemplated what it would be like to live without this again when we returned home, but Bill reminded her to just stay in the present moment and enjoy the vacation.

We started out by taking the metro to the 1st arrondissement to look at a couple of Depot-Ventes, but they wanted thousands of dollars for used clothes and handbags, so we left and walked into the neighbouring area, where we failed to find a second Depot-Vente that was listed online.

We stopped for lunch at a truly gross French take on a New York bakery. We didn't exactly know this was the theme of the restaurant, being lured in by hunger, a lack of other restaurants around, and the offer of burger and fries. It all sounded good to us until we discovered that the burgers were on bagels and had weird things like guacamole with cream cheese dripping out of them. It was like when you order something foreign in Canada or the U.S. and the restaurateur has never been to that place and just imagines what their food might taste like based on pictures they've seen and stuff they've heard about it. But seriously, guacamole with cream cheese? No!

We cut our losses and took a metro to the Bois de Boulogne. We walked through the vast park, ate our watermelon quarter, that we had picked up at a fruit stand on the way there, like wild animals on a park bench, became lost more than once, failed to find the one public restroom on the map, used the bushes like true Canadians, walked more, stumbled onto the one public restroom, ran into a weird collection of vans and people in a hidden corner who looked like they were up to something tawdry, hastened away from them, wandered more, and eventually came out the other end by the river, overlooking La Defense. The modern high rises in the business district of La Defense are in sharp contrast to the old low buildings of the core of Paris and it was neat to look across the river at them.

We stopped by a cafe and had a cool drink and then caught the metro to Ile de la Cite where Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle churches are. We wanted to see both. Sainte-Chapelle closed while we were waiting in line, so we joined the lineup for Notre Dame (the Paris Museum Pass does not get you priority in either of these venues and you have to wait with everyone else). We did get into Notre Dame and marvelled at the stained glass windows and beautiful soaring ceilings. We also enjoyed the gargoyles on the outside of the church. Why don't we add gargoyles to our buildings nowadays? Everything around our neighbourhood in Victoria is so boring. It would certainly be more interesting with a gargoyle or two (neighbours don't count). We were too exhausted from our very very hot and dusty walk through the Bois de Boulogne to walk up to the bell tower of Notre Dame to take in the view of Paris.

Instead of old fashioned stair climber cardio, we walked across the bridge to the neighbouring Ile Saint-Louis. We tried a pastille at a candy shop that had been around longer than Canada, walked the island one end to the other (not impressive, it's very small unlike the island we live on at home), and then ordered an ice cream at a local shop (Ile Saint-Louis is sworn by many to have the best ice cream in Paris). It was very good ice cream, but it was impossible to say if it was better than other ice cream we had tasted in Paris and we were too tired to debate the issue.

We took the metro home. Despite having taken the metro four times today, we walked 20.06 km and were absolutely exhausted when we reached home, so we had eggs at home for dinner and peaches from Spain (even Bill admits that they were very delicious, but won't say they were better than Okanagan peaches). By some strange magic, Bill managed to cook the eggs again, there were no raw parts and they weren't cooked to hell either. Maybe some people just don't possess the spell necessary to cook eggs . . .

Beautiful wildflowers in the Bois de Boulogne

A ravenous animal in the distance devours a watermelon
La Defense, business district

Notre Dame

A Costa cruise customer captured for eternity on the side of Notre Dame

Bill leads the way

Ile Saint-Louis is pretty much the most prestigious place to live in Paris

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