Thursday, November 01, 2007

Jeudi (Paris)...

Happy All Saints Day! (And Happy Birthday to Susan and Matt.) We were warned that "everything will be closed" for the holiday, but the exact opposite seemed to be true. By midday, the streets and parks were teeming with Parisians, in defiance of the gray cloud cover.

The day started quietly...the morning streets were silent. Walked to the Gare de Lyon to figure out how to buy next-day tickets for Fontainebleau. Discovered that none of the self-service machines would get us where we wanted...so, we had to ask information, who directed us to a non-descript set of ticket windows that only sold tickets to the Paris suburbs. Still, the people were mostly helpful...but they each only gave us a little bit of information, and then we had to go get another bit from someone else. Let's just say that it was not obvious, and more than a bit frustrating.

Since the international train ticket lines were long, we thought we would find an internet cafe and reserve our tickets that way for our Saturday return to Germany. (And since there were no self-serve international kiosks in the station.) Many blocks away, at a hole-in-the-wall internet cafe, we soon discovered that you can't buy these tickets online two days ahead...not sure why...and not sure how many days in advance is ok. We believe this is due to manual labor still existing and hanging on to their privileged jobs. Very frustrating...and not how we wanted to be spending our day. Sooo, we gave up for the day, since we would be back at the station in the morning.

Enough about THAT fiasco. No rants on vacation...right!.

The remainder of the day was fantastic. Randomly visited a big, brooding church...Saint Eustache...off the beaten path in Les Halles, so not many tourists...but many worshipers for the holiday.

Lunch at Crêperie Suzette...a cozy cafe in the Marais...fantastic galettes full of savory ham and cheese and potatoes...a warm cioccolate et banane desert crêpe...and two strong cappuccinos. Window shopping with the now-bustling holiday crowds in the Marais.

In late afternoon, walked through the Jardin du Palais Royal. Crossed the Seine to the Musée d'Orsay for obligatory photo-ops with the rhino statue. Wandered into the Jardin des Tuileries and down to the Place de la Concorde. Our first-ever ride on the seasonal ferris wheel...La Grande Roue de Paris...a popular diversion and a unique view of Paris at night.

Walked back to the apartment along the Seine. Dinner at one of our old favories...Starcooker...really wonderful risotto with chicken and mushrooms...very yummy mojitos as well. Stopped for gelato afterwards. Took our tired feet home to bed.

1 comment:

Matthias said...

Quelle chance! Thanks for taking more rhino shots on a my birthday to boot. Can't wait to see them.