Sunday, August 21, 2016

BJ's Paris Diary: Days 3 & 4

Day 3: The Musee D'Orsay, Drinking with the Cafe Staff, The Army Museum and a Michelin Star Dinner

We slept in until 9.  Yoga was in order for Sarah after the walking yesterday.  We have a quaint room set up like a Studio apartment.  It is not lavish but very comfortable and efficient and the location can’t be beat.  Citedenes St. Germain: I would definitely recommend.  

Museum D'Orsay was the first stop.  I enjoyed this more so than the Louvre’;  I related and felt more captivated and drawn to this space than the Louvre.  The impressionist gallery with Monet’s and others were intriguing the way the eyes of the subjects seem to stare through you. I really liked the Van Gogh and Surat paintings.  The vivid colors were spell binding. I enjoyed the backs of many sculptures with the same if not more details taken into account.  There were several I felt as if that is the way they should be enjoyed rather than assume we should view from the front. 







It is almost 2 pm and we have not had any wine.  Here to help fix this issue were the delightful staff of Joy and Steve at Au Coin de le Rue.  These people have life figured out (they sang, and sunbathed outside while we ate).  Sarah had a shrimp and avocado salad and myself it was a chicken kabob with jasmine rice and a wonderful curry sauce to add.  Of course Steve selected us 2 nice wines.  These two were decided too have lunch as well while we dined.  I bought Steve a beer and Joy a glass of wine.  They in turn shared a shot of some strong wine esq. drink mixed with oranges and citrus(very good) 






On to the Muse de Armies,  so much to see here and we love the way it was a story from the Seven years war (what we call the French and Indian War) and before up to WWII.  France has a very rich military history. 

Napoleon is buried here( very Napoleon esq tomb and sarcophagus --- you have to bow to look at it)  The uniforms and weaponry were brilliantly preserved.  The  pride that was felt watching Charles De Gaule walking down the the streets of Paris after the end of the war knowing he never lost the love or faith in the French endurance is awesome.




So far I have enjoyed the museums and the architecture of Paris. What I love most thought are its people and its cafes and the life of the city.  
Dinner: Me oh my!

This was something I was apprehensive about.  There are some fabulous restaurants in Paris (they come with a fabulous price tag) My brother-in-law insisted we have one experience from this level of french dining.  Our choice was Resturant David Toutain ( a one Michelin star).  It was much like theater, the entire staff had a role and set pieces they provided to the show.  The food was modern french/asian fusion.  It pushed boundaries but expanded our palettes to a level we have never been to.  One example was  smoked eel in a sesame seed and squid ink sauce with bits of granny smith apples.  It was delicious.  The meal lasted 4 and a half hours and was an experience we will remember forever. 



Day 4: Notre Dame, A Farmer's Market, a Cafe, Street Dancing & The Eiffel Tower

It is one thing to visit and enjoy the beauty of a city and its buildings , another to learn the history of the buildings for example a church, but it is quite another thing to experience a mass in a church such as Notre Dame.   We attended the Gregorian mass on this Sunday and though I did not understand a single word, I was able to worship and sense the Lord as thousands have done for hundreds of years.






I wanted to experience a Parisian market so we went to the Bastille market.  This is where the eclectic cultures of a city are alive.  We ate wonderful wraps from a Lebanese vendor and then some fruit from a Parisian farmer.  In between, we looked at wooden bowls from a local artist, oils from Madasgascar, Italian cloth and fresh seafood.  









 (This picture is so cool, but hard for me to look at it since I love fish and this GROSSES ME OUT!)

We then found a cafe and had a desert and a little wine.


 From here we decided rather than the subway, we would walk back, and what a nice stroll.  We ended up on the banks of the Siene and mingled with locals enjoying a beautiful Sunday in Paris.  From swing dancing to early 40’s music, to sunbathing and bocci ball, the day was made for time outside.











After a quick shower and snack, we made our way to our sunset tour of the eiffel tour.  We booked the tour through Fat Tire tours (I highly recommend, the cost is a little more but very little waiting in line.)  I hate heights and was only willing to go up to the second level.  The views and the sunset were amazing.  The structure was built for the world’s fair in 1890 (200 men, 2 years, each receiving 2 bottles of wine a day and no one died in the construction.  All wood scaffolding to erect the eiffel tower)  The views were great from the second tier. 








We grabbed dinner at 10:30 at local yelp recommendation near the tower then wandered through some street vendors (Sarah got some great lavender bouquets). 
We called it a night, 24,538 steps (The dogs were barking tonight)


We have walked about 10 miles each day and used the subway some.   We have splurged a couple times on cabs, and each time the cab ride was a adventure.  One was a lovely man from Tunisia who was impressed Sarah guessed in 3 questions where he was from.  He described it after as “a small country with big people”.  Next was a Lebanese who was raising two daughters on his own.  Third was a man that hated the us govt. and its involvement in the middle east.  “they come in get rid of the crazy leaders and leave and then the sh@t is all messed up and the Russians come and make all the money”.  Then, there was a french man that was a doppleganger for Woody Allen; he spoke no english and drove like a bat out of hell.




“There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even—the French air clears up the brain and does good—a world of good.” 
― Vincent van Gogh






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