Monday we decided to begin our major sightseeing. I had purchased Museum Passes at the airport, and we planned to activate them on Monday and then we’d have them for 4 days, through Thursday. I thought this would give us enough time to see some of the major museums, etc.
The Museum Pass is a wonderful thing! You are able to skip the long lines (especially attractive in this FREEZING weather!!) and just scoot in a special entrance in most cases. Sometimes there’s a line to go through security, like at the Sainte Chapelle, which is unavoidable, but otherwise there is very little line-standing.
Oh, yeah, and with respect to security, I’d like to go on record that it’s not a good idea to carry a knife when you might be going through security screenings. Don’t ask me how I could know such a thing…let’s just say that the lady in the café across the street was welcome to her couple of euros to “watch” the knife while we visited the Sainte Chapelle.
So, Ste. Chapelle, Notre Dame…it doesn’t get much better than this! Literally awesome! After which, we were ready for lunch!
Our landlady had recommended a restaurant near the Louvre, L’Auberge St. Roch, so we headed over that way. We found the little place, and were fortunately early for lunch in Paris, which means that we got a seat without having had reservations. Just a tiny place tucked away on a little street in a regular neighborhood. As I was to learn, this was like most of the places we would end up eating.
Lunch was fabulous! We both ordered off the chalkboard, and had the “formule”, which means that we had a “combo” of some sort for a price that was less than ordering each item separately. I had some preparation of escargots in a light cream sauce that was totally delectable, and then a grilled duck breast prepared with a light, vaguely fruity sauce – delicious!! Roy had an equally delicious meal, and we shared some profiteroles for dessert. And did not break the budget AT ALL.
After lunch we’d planned to go right on to the Louvre, which was pretty close by, but we both became chilled after leaving the restaurant (have I mentioned that it’s COLD!!!? I don’t think we’ve been above freezing yet!), so we decided to head back to the apartment for some hot tea and to warm up before tackling the museum. It was also a good opportunity to lose the knife!
So, that we did, and, feeling fully rejuvenated and warmed, headed back out in the cold to the Louvre. There isn’t much to say here, only that it really is all it’s cracked up to be. Some of the most famous pieces of art of all time: Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Venus de Milo…you know the stars. And it’s truly humbling to be in this amazing building, with its worn-down by the centuries marble floors and steps, surrounded by some of the greatest works of art in history. Words elude me.
After we’d saturated ourselves with art, we headed home, planning to buy another of the delicious rotisserie chickens from the butcher across the street. We didn’t need anything much for dinner, after the substantial lunch we’d had, and were happily prepared to have another chicken, bread and cheese dinner. Alas, it was not to be. Our butcher is closed on Mondays.
Plan B was to head back to our neighborhood crêperie, where we both had the soup which I thought had said was pear (poire) with potatoes (sounded interesting), but turned out to be leeks (poiraux) and potatoes. Even better!! And then a delicious dessert crêpe for each of us. A perfect dinner!
After dinner we walked into a part of our neighborhood we hadn’t explored yet, and it sure is a vibrant, diverse, exciting area! If you can’t find it here, you don’t need it! Every kind of store and restaurant imaginable, and throngs of people out shopping, etc. I can only imagine what it’s like in warm weather!!! Anyway, a lovely way to end a lovely day.