View from Montparnasse Tower (2013)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Day 2

I managed to stay up until about 9 last night, read for about 10 minutes before turning out the light.  I slept through until 2, read for 30 minutes and slept through til 8.  A good night's sleep is the best remedy for jet lag.

Kathy went out to get a baguette for our breakfast, and I had some yogurt (I love French yogurt, and this came in cute little blue ceramic pots -- it isn't fat free, either) with cassis jam and some Nutella on my baguette.

There is no shower mat and neither of us were willing to risk our necks in the shower/tub without one, so after breakfast we went back to the Monoprix to get a shower mat and a few other items.  After dropping them off at the apartment, we retraced our steps to a metro station near the Monoprix where I charged my metro/bus pass (the one I got last time is still good), and Kathy got one.  The pass (Navigo Decouverte) when charged for one week is valid Monday - Sunday, so we will need to charge it again for next week. Unfortunately, there is no cost reduction for a partial week, but it is convenient to have the pass rather than having to buy tickets for each trip.

We rode the Metro 3 line to Opera.  When you ascend from the station you are right in front of the Opera Garnier, the original Paris opera house, which is all baroque and gilt.  A really pretty building.  We walked around it, however, to the two "grands magasins"  or department stores - Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. Galleries Lafayette has a beautiful glass dome above the cosmetic area, which is so beautiful it takes your breath away.  We went up to the roof where there is a wonderful view of Paris to the south laid out in front of you; we got our first look at the Eiffel Tower. We had a rather  pricey and disappointing lunch in their cafeteria.  While we looked at a lot of things, purses specifically, we didn't buy anything. After lunch we went to Printemps and then over to the gourmet department of Galleries Lafayette, which had moved since I was there last.  It was quite a sight with all sorts of pastries, including macarons (I bought some), eclairs, breads, etc.  Also, foie gras, truffles, smoked salmon, and several places where you could eat prepared food - we should have had lunch here.  Next time. We then went back to the Metro and back to the apartment.

We both took naps and then around 4:30 walked down to the Pompidou Center and up the street where I stayed on my last trip, which is only about 1 1/2 blocks from where we are now.  There were so many people about.  By this time, school was out, so there were lots of kids.  There were also some buskers entertaining people, and thousands of pigeons.  We had some ice cream at Amorino, which I think is the best in Paris.

Tomorrow is a holiday -- 70th Anniversary of VE Day -- so a lot of shops will be closed tomorrow and there will be a big celebration at the Arc du Triomphe.  We will not try to go there.

Walking around Paris does have its challenges.  First, the traffic.  It's hard to see the "walk" signals at some corners.  Once today, Kathy & I started out and all of a sudden a surge of traffic came up -- we walked against the signal -- we grabbed each other's hand and ran across as fast as we could, which isn't very fast in my case.  It was like "well, if you are going to get one of us, you're going to get both of us."  Fortunately, this was a narrow street, so we didn't have to run far.  Second, the other walkers.  Parisians are intent on their objective and will plow right into you if you don't move.  Of course, many are intent on their cell phones, just like in the US, too.  You have to be constantly aware of what is going on and be ready to step aside if you don't want to be trampled.

We didn't run into any scammers today, but I'm sure they are out there.  Also, we didn't see any armed military walking around, which surprised me.  They were very evident at the airport.  I carried my sweater and umbrella in my shopping bag today and security in the department stores asked to look inside - no problem.

We had good weather today -- somewhat cloudy, but some sun and no rain.

Another nice day in Paris.

1 comment: