Today was bittersweet. We had a great day in Paris, but it was our last. I don’t know when we will be back, but I hope we won’t be away too long, since it is my favorite city in the world.
There are two things I’m looking forward to about getting back to California – seeing Harper and hopefully leaning how to sleep again. Every night since we’ve been here at least one of us has slept terribly and been up for 3-4 hours straight in the middle of the night. We just never really got on the right schedule here, and it seems like we never will. I can’t imagine what it will be like going to work on Monday morning. Oy.
Based on the strong recommendation of my guidebook, we headed to tiny Rue Cler to see a genuine Parisian market street in action. Rue Cler has been closed to traffic (though you see an occasional car there making a delivery) since 1984, making it ideal for a stroll.
We went to Rue Cler not only for the eye candy, but to pick up a picnic for lunch. At Top Halles Fruits and Vegetables we picked up a package of raspberries and a Clementine, since we basically haven’t had fruit in a week.
Rue Cler offers shopping the traditional way – where every store has a specialty and you stop in at all the shops to get what you need. We picked up a hunk of Swiss (for John) and thin Parmesan slices (for me) at the Fromagerie.
We had to stop at the bakery to pick up a few beignets and a baguette.
My favorite shop was, of course, La Mere de Famille Gourmand Chocolats Confiseries – a chocolate shop that has been in the neighborhood for 30 years. I may or may not have walked out with more chocolate than anyone could ever finish in a single picnic (even me).
We took our picnic to the nearby Champs de Mars, a huge park that runs from the Eiffel Tower to the Ecole Militaire (Military Museum – no thanks!). Not a bad view during a picnic, right?
We were standing too close to the Eiffel Tower when we made the ascent, so we had to get a few pictures in front this time.
In one of the fountains out in front of the Ecole Militaire, two dogs had a great time playing and swimming. You probably couldn’t get away with that in the U.S.
When I told John this was Napoleon’s Tomb he basically blurted out “NOT INTERESTED!” Did he think I wanted to go in and take a look? In the words of Cher from Clueless, “As if!” [I’m not a history buff, if you couldn’t tell.]
We walked over to the Musee Rodin and instead of doing the whole museum, we paid one euro a piece to just see the garden. This ended up being a great decision since the garden is huge, beautiful, and full of many of Rodin’s best works. (Above: Burghers of Calais, Gates of Hell, The Shades, and Victor Hugo)
The museum is housed in a historic mansion where Rodin once lived and worked. Even when he was alive, his sculptures found a home in this garden. I can’t think of a better way to appreciate them.
Since it was our last afternoon, we headed back to the Left Bank to do some more shopping in the lively area. I didn’t snap many pictures, but believe me when I say it was packed with locals and tourists doing their best to support the economy. We picked up a large carry-on bag from a boutique to help haul home all our goodies.
Our favorite restaurant of the trip was one we visited a couple nights ago and booked again for our farewell dinner. L’Entredgeu was within walking distance (barely) of our current hotel – which means it is probably nowhere near anyone else’s hotels. It is definitely worth the trek, though, as this place was perfect in every way. The tiny restaurant looks like it has for probably the last 50 years, but nothing feels dated. The waitress was kind enough to help translate the chalkboard menu for us, which changes frequently. I got a “vegetable soup” (perhaps celery root) and the best roast pork imaginable. John got scallops St. Jacque, served atop their shells, which he proclaimed to be the best scallops he had ever eaten, and an amazing piece of lamb. John got two triangles of chocolate mousse for dessert and I had a thinly-sliced caramelized apple (put back together to look like an apple – stem and all), atop a cookie and served with burnt caramel ice cream. They were as good as they sound. (83 rue Laugier, 17th, 01.40.54.97.24.)