Here is a look at the Seine river from our hotel room window. We rose on the morning of day 2 to find it quite overcast. Not to be deterred by the gloomy weather, we got all gussied up, me in a skirt and sandals and him in shorts and a tee, and headed out for our first full day in Paris. The moment we headed out the exit we were shocked with a chilly breeze (the day before it had been sweltering), and I turned tail and headed back up to our room to change into jeans.
The first stop of the day was this cute little Boulangerie a couple of blocks from our hotel. So cute, in fact, that we proceeded to eat there every single morning for the rest of our trip. I dare anyone to try and stroll past a Boulangerie window and not be swooned by the sweet Parisian atmosphere and the aroma of fresh baked breads and pastries.
Because it was getting close to lunchtime, we split this savory french bread dressed in melted cheese and tomato slices.
Next, we headed to the Louvre.
This glass pyramid was constructed in 1989 due to some problems with the main entrance of the museum. It is now used as the entrance – visitors enter the structure, then immediately descend down by way of escalator to the lobby of the museum. When plans were made to build the pyramid, there was much controversy as many people believed the modernity detracted from the beauty of the Louvre’s architecture. While Jon loved it and thought it was brilliant, I was, at first a bit more skeptical; however, it didn’t take long for it to really grow on me and by the time we left I found the contrast of styles quite charming.
This sculpture of the Greek Goddess Nike owns the top of the front entry staircase.
Gotta love the peacefully quiet ambiance. lol.
Speaking of peacefulness, poor Mona Lisa will never have peace in her life again. This room was a madhouse. It was rather surreal to see The Mona Lisa in person, but by the end of the experience I wondered if it was worth it! These people were crazy. We got pushed, pulled, elbowed, stepped on, and even harshly reprimanded by another museum goer for taking pictures, when there is no rule about using cameras as long as there is no flash.
As I said, however, it was still quite novel.
And of course we both had to have our picture taken. If nothing else to make all the work of getting to the front of the mob worthwhile! ha.
On our way out.
We stopped for a snack at this little place – and the owner was a bit crazy! He even looks crazy.
I ended up with the only thing they had outside the realm of ham and hotdogs – a baguette with cheese and tomatoes. Very similar to what I had for breakfast a few hours earlier. Cheese and bread actually made quite a presence in my life while in Paris. All my hopes for veggies and legumes were crushed as we encountered cafe after cafe, serving jambon (ham), and fromage (cheese). And bread of course. I made due, though, and tried to enjoy the cheesefest.
Next up, we visited this Cultural Center. It was built with all the electrical wires on the outside. Nestled in among the charming French architecture, it is seen as an eyesore by many people and was also very controversial when it was built.
While I personally didn’t see much culture inside, I did find a couple of wonderful things – this clock, which is the exact same cuckoo clock we have hanging in our living room (random much?) and this….
The Mini Diana camera. It is a smaller version of the Diana F+ camera – but even better because it uses 35 mm film and has the unique ability to shoot half frame or square frame photos. Throughout our last days in Paris, I used two rolls of film in this gal and got some really amazing pictures out of them. If you stop back by tonight, I’ll be putting them up on the blog. It’s my new baby.
Don’t worry, Olive, you’re still my favorite:)
I’m not sure which one of us is more excited about the new addition to our family:)
Okay, okay. We’ll start taking pictures with Diana rather than of Diana;)
How about if we bike over and get some food??
Enter the Canal Saint Martin, Paris’ lesser known waterway (next to the Seine) that runs through old parts of the city and is lined with beautiful trees, cafes and locals living it up in their own Parisian way. We strolled by the water for awhile before stumbling on this perfect little cafe.
Cheese Ravioli with a cream and tomato sauce
And Spinach Ravioli with cheese on top
We shared these two dishes, and it was the best meal this side of heaven. Regardless of the fact that it was technically still cheese and bread (my third of the day), it was so delicious it didn’t matter. The cheese was French, and it had just a hint of sweetness. I die.
And the bread, of course.
We worked off dinner by biking home the long way back to our hotel. Hands down, the best part of the trip.
Did you know that every hour for ten minutes the Eiffel Tower illuminates with these tiny flashing bulbs that make it appear as if it is glittering? I didn’t know that beforehand, but it was so beautiful. We would often stop at it’s feet on our way home at night and linger for just a few extra minutes to catch the show.