Monday, May 28, 2012

Paris, Day 2 - Sunday

Rick and I got up before the girls and headed out on a search for pastries and a few groceries.  We thought we'd get coffee to go at the pastry shop, but that is a rarity here in Paris.  You just don't see people walking around with Starbucks or DunkinDonuts, like we staties do.  So after we found the pastry shop and had selected some pain au chocolat, raisin pastries, croissants and a baguette, we headed to the little market for coffee, yogurt, fresh strawberries and a few other necessitities.  We went back to the apartment, made coffee and enjoyed every morsel of our continental breakfast.

We had a date with "Christophe" from Paris Greeters, who showed up promptly at 11 a.m.  He helped us travel by bus to the Latin Quarter, where we walked along streets full of shops and restaurants, past the Sorbonne, and the site of the Roman Baths which is now the Cluny Museum. 

After a nice lunch at Cafe Le Dante (see the Croque Monsieur and the Caprese salad above) we made our way to Notre Dame.  It's just a magnificent structure, and it's hard to imagine how something like this was created without power tools.

After viewing Notre Dame, we checked out the bridge covered with locks of love.  Tradition says that if you attach a lock to the bridge and drop the key into the Seine, your love will last forever.   I understand that true Parisians are not all happy about tourists "trashing" their bridges.  This is just a tiny sample, and I can see their point.

we made our way back to an antique market we had seen earlier in the Latin Quarter - easier said than done.  We thought maybe there would be local artisans, crafts, etc., but it was truly an outdoor antique shopping area.  We spent a few minutes looking around, then spent a lot of minutes looking for a taxi to take us back to our apartment.  We were way too far to walk, we were exhausted, and we were relieved when we finally found a taxi stand.  (Note to self - take taxi company number with you from now on!)

Back at the apartment, we took a break and changed clothes.  It's been very warm and sunny here during the day, so the clothes that started the day are not necessarily the ones that go to dinner at night!  Speaking of dinner, we finally went out in search of something not too heavy at about 10 p.m.  Now you know we really are on the Parisian schedule.  They tend to eat really, really late by American standards.  We found ourselves at Le Clement, which was only partially busy.  But we didn't have reservations so they had us wait for about 10 minutes, then they seated us.  The food was just OK...not as interesting as the decor in the entrance, where they had covered the ceiling in different size copper pots, with big lids serving as door handles.   This picture is from Le Clement on the Champs Elysee (not where we ate). We didn't realize at first that it was a chain restaurant. We noticed a difference from the other cafes/brasseries that we have tried. There are so many cute little places, there is no need to go to a chain restaurant. Lesson learned!


  1. It sounds like a very full and interesting day. I will use your experience for our trip - especially about taking a number for a taxi service!


  2. Michelle, like Elaine said a full day. I wonder if they have a late dinner because maybe their work lunches are later.


  3. You could have left it with "the French are unhappy with tourists", maybe even "the French are unhappy"..........

    Sounds like a great time is being ad by all.

  4. Bob, you crack me up!

    Michelle, thanks for sharing your wonderful Day 2. I know what you mean about Notre Dame. When I was in Paris for 5 days many years ago, I went to Notre Dame every day ... it is just so incredible. Did you ever read Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett? That is how I came to appreciate the sacrifice of blood and sweat in the building of these magnificent edifices.

    Today you're in London I think. I can't wait to hear your experience of the Chunnel.

    Thanks, again.


  5. Michelle, too beautiful. Everyone should see Notre Dame.

    I hear you about chain restaurants. When I went to Montreal and Quebec City, a point was made to investigate on our own places to eat. If we saw a neat little cafe or restaurant, we would stop in. The only thing was, the menus were all in French. LOL. One place, they had to find someone who spoke any English. We couldn't order anything until we had a translator. LOL. AND, the poor translator's English was so heavily accented, it was difficult to understand.

    Old Quebec City and the old part of Montreal are very much like parts of Paris. Just fantastically old and beautiful. When we were there, many of the tourists were from France.

    Glad you and family are enjoying your stay.


  6. Oh, it sounds like you're having such a wonderful experience, Michelle! Thanks for sharing this all with us with those beautiful, beautiful photos of food and places! It's fantastic to be able to view your trip with you every day!