Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 26/27: Paris da Vinci code style

5/7 fri
5/8 sat

We had had our first French pastry yesterday. They call them drops - crispy layers of croissant around chocolate chips and a tangy custard cream. So today we had that again for breakfast then biked to Trocodero to view the Eiffel Tower. We had seen it in the background all yesterday but it really is quite something up close. We walked down, under it and through the gardens.

We made our way to a street I had read about that was suppose to be great windowshopping with stands of goods and what not - rue cler. We found it but maybe because of the hour (3) it wasn't much of anything. We grabbed some bikes and headed to notre Dame. B had a run in with the french police. We were riding on the wrong side and they were not pleased. Passed a cute gardeny marketplace I made a mental note of to check again. Notre was not busy so we checked out inside.

The inside is enormous breathtaking and awe inspiring. A service began as we were leaving to head to the louvre. The louvre was busy for it's extended hours but we got tickets and were inside within 10.

In 3 hours, we covered some good ground. Sadly we had to walk quickly through some rooms. Although I don't think it's possible to give the louvre any justice in even a full day- it's 3 wings with 4 floors each.
We saw the Mona Lisa which was roped off, enclosed, and guarded by 3+ attendants - kinda crazy. B found a new favorite painting but we forgot the name so he's been researching it and I was very very excited (after asking an attendant about it and he having no idea what we were talking about) to turn a corner and find one of my absolute fave paintings by pannini - modern Rome.
As we left the louvre - we saw this. The inverted pyramid featured in Da Vinci code where magdalene is supposedly buried under. I looked but no plaque on the roof indicating the rose line.

Left and saw the Eiffel doing it's night time glitter dance. I think we took the metro this time to champs élysées for dinner (listened to a trumpet player) and then home via bike.

Saturday morning, we didn't really have a plan. I realized that we hadn't had a crepe yet so at our first stop, luxembourg garden we saw a cute little stand making crepes. Mmmmm yum. We sat and watched everyone enjoying the gardens. It seemed to be the place to be for locals - teenagers hanging out on steps and lawn, sailboat races in the pond, parents and their kids playing sports, and even little toddler pony rides. It was a great way to spend the morning.

Afterrwards, we biked around the Latin quarter and up to notre dame again. There was a lot more people this time so we sat and read some info on the church and stared at the gargoyles. We also stepped on the "center of France".
Our next stop was st chapelle where we waited in our first line to anywhere on our trip. It was worth it tho to see the largest stained glass in Europe. A small room but beautiful. It was also next door to the supreme court of France which was cool to see up close. We went next door to the conciergerie - an old Parisian prison, where Marie antoniette was held.
A recreation of the area infront of her cell.

We walked around a bit more and I saw that market I'd seen the day before. It was just two rows of stands on each side and you couldn't tell where one stand stopped and the next started. It smelled like lavendar and gardenias.

Then we just biked. We tried to get to the marais area but it started to rain so we hopped on te metro to champs élysées.

Hotel de ville?

Since it was raining and early - only 7, we decided to see iron man 2. We think the theater was a theatrical theater not just a cinema. It was huge and had the nicest chairs we've ever experienced at the movies - plush with cushy arm and head rests.

The movie was great (better than frirst) and conveniently right next door to a restaurant that looked good and had beouf bourgignone as the plat du jour so we decided this would be our dinner out. Sadly, maybe cuz it was slightly touristy, it wasn't that gReat. It was very loud and the waiter was annoyed we didn't want to order 12euro drinks or 7euro water. And, again sadly, our food was cold, good, but probably wouldve been great warm. Oh well, we bipped literally next door after and had beignets and ice cream from what seems to be their big fast food chain (they do have mcd, kfc, and bking though). All for under 3 euros - nice!

Rain stopped so of course, we biked it home.

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