Europe 2012: Day 19, Paris


Look up! It’s Nortre Dame Cathedral!

Monday, 6/25/2012

Woke up at 8:30PM.   It looks like the sun is out?

A French Supermarket, Monoprix (Paris, France)

My DH and I resumed our quest to find food to fill our refrigerator with heathy food options for a couple of days.  We bought:

  • Cereal
  • Coffee
  • Butter (the good French stuff with sea salt)
  • Orange Juice
  • Paper towels

Fruit and Vegetable Market by Parc Monceau (Paris, France)

We stopped at the fruit stand and bought:

  • Bananas
  • Apricots

We stopped at the bakery and bought:

  • A French baguette
  • A brioche roll with chocolate bits
  • A brioche roll with orange peel bits

All of this took about two hours to perform, but then we were lazily looking around at the same time.  I understand that this is the French way.  France favors small businesses over big corporate stores any day.   These policies allow farms and businesses to stay small and keep competition for the French consumer high.   These stores and markets give Paris its charm — a single big WalMart Superstore would not have the same effect, I think.

The streets were filled with people going about their lives.   It is always a surprise to me that life goes even while I’m on vacation and thinking only of myself and my DH.   My DH and I send our condolences to a dear friend who lost his dog today.   We also offer a huge sigh of relief to my cousin who had a close encounter with a gas leak while on her vacation.

For lunch, we had the remainder of our roasted chicken and potatoes.   For 9 Euros, we got 6 meals from that bird – that’s living on the cheap!   It wouldn’t always be this way.  As my DH knows, I like nice restaurants.   Especially French ones!

By noon, the sun was out and it was warm.   We decided to take another Paris Walks tour.  This one was called The Medieval Latin Quarter.  It is a walk through this the Latin Quarter to see Roman remains, charming old streets, the story of medieval scholars and the famous Sorbonne UniversityI enjoyed this walk too.  The tour guide also talked about French politics and the current Socialist government.   He talked about the history of student unrest in France – one of which brought about the French Revolution.   Overall, it was a great tour even if it did last two hours of walking and standing around.   I wonder how many miles we walked?

Oh, we found Notre Dame Cathedral.   Of course, how could we miss it?  It was just sitting there on the other side of the river.    It is such a French icon that I need to say very little about it, so here are some pictures:

The front of Notre Dame (Paris, France)

The side of Notre Dame (Paris, France)

The back of Notre Dame (Paris, France)

We hung out in the Latin Quarter of Paris.   This collection of streets are where the poor French students eat along with groves of tourists.  It is known for cheap and good street food and its carnival-like atmosphere.

Latin Quarter — Gryo shop on the left (Paris, France)

Latin Quarter – Roasting meats, sure to temp the most die-hard vegan (Paris, France)

Around 7PM we were hungry.   My DH told me about one of his first trips to Paris and how the Latin Quarter was one of his most favorite places in the world for great street food.   I bought us two Gyros with French fries.  We normally do not eat this sort of food but this is Paris and it was goooooood!   We ate these tasty pork filled Greek rolls in a tiny shop on one of the Latin Quarters busiest streets.  It was a popular placed filled with families of various nationalities – obviously, we were not the only people who smelled a good bargain.

The Latin Quarter gyro — my DH’s favorite cheap and tasty meal (Paris, France)

After dinner, my DH sprang for gelato!   We shared a small cup Carmello and Dark Chocolate – cool, creamy, sweet, and unfortunately very addictive.

Latin Quarter — Amorino Gellato, bad for your diet but good for your soul (Paris, France)

To walk off dinner (and dessert), we walked up St. Germain Blvd where all the fancy shops are.  At 9pm, it was still relatively early for Paris and the streets were packed with people of all ages and nationalities.  The night was still warm – we were loving it!  I even took off my raincoat!

By 10pm, our legs were tired and we descended into the nearest subway stations like mice into their hole.   The Metro was not busy and we were able to sit down between stops as we made our way back to the apartment – a rare thing, indeed!   It was a good day in Paris and I am glad for it – tomorrow it is supposed to rain again.

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