After breakfast (no Gabrielle... again!), we spent most of the day on the Left Bank in the Latin Quarter and Saint Germain neighborhoods. The sun surprised with its presence this morning, so we decided to follow the sun-starved Parisians to the Luxembourg Garden and its Italian-inspired Palais du Luxembourg--home of the French Senate. As expected, the park was full of Parisians, drawn out of their offices and classrooms to sit by the fountains or jog or play pick-up soccer.
We grabbed a quick burger at Quick...a Franco-Belgian chain and a modest imitation of McDonalds that served its purpose. Afterwards, we attempted to use our Museum Pass at two nearby landmarks--the Pantheon and the medieval Musée Cluny--but were thwarted by the French tradition of inconvenient mid-week closed days.
Undaunted, we wound our way over to the St. Sulpice cathedral--infamous for its role in The Da Vinci Code. Yes, the 'Rose Line' from the book is clearly marked, and every tourist (including us) stopped to photograph this tiny golden line. Otherwise, the church is an impressive, yet understated, monument to Roman Catholic grandeur. It was free...so no complaints from us.
From there, we entered the Saint Germain neighborhood, which had street closures all over from either a rally or a protest. We saw smoke and steered clear.
We made it to the Hôtel des Invalides and enclosed Église du Dome right as sneaky rainclouds unloaded on us. (Note that this landmark is quite near the Eiffel Tower, which is where we were poured on this past summer...don't go near the Eiffel Tower without an umbrella!) Inside, we toured Napoleon's Tomb...a huge marble box for a tiny man.
Tired from walking, we hopped on the Metro. Lines 13, 8, and 7 deposited us near our Isle. We took a quick walk through the Village St. Paul, with its inter-connected coutyards brimming over with antique shops. We discovered why they call this a village--apparently it once stood outside the city walls of Paris--we spotted small sections of St. Paul's former walls.
Dinner was a delightful find--the Starcooker on the Rue des Archives in the Marais. Jeff had a wonderful risotto au poulet and I had a cheesy mushroom ravioli. We had equally hearty deserts before finishing our evening with drinks at nearby Amnesia while watching AbFab with French subtitles.
[Hmmm, is anyone still reading these scribbles?]