Day two in Paris.
We walked with our tour guide up the Moutteraurd Blvd where there are many cute boutiques. We were surprised at how quiet it was at 9:00 in the morning. We were the only ones out! We also discovered that you cannot get a cup of coffee and a croissant to go with it, like at Starbucks. You have to sit down in a café, which costs more. And if you want bread with your coffee, you must bring it from your apartment or a bakery a few doors down.
We passed Mosque de Paris and walked into the beautiful tea room. We said we must come back and have tea. The colors were white offset with beautiful Mediterranean blues and green tiles. All was in a wonderful Moroccan style. I will show you pictures when we have an afternoon meal there soon.
We walked through the Jardin de Plantes at the National History Museum. This was my favorite! I wish I could take a photo to show how magical this place is. It won’t do.
On one side was a long row of chestnut trees and a sweet little merry-go-round. The dirt of the garden is stark white with rows a quarter mile long of cottage flowers and roses in between grass. Big puffy white clouds were against a blue sky. The air was a bit cooler here because it was near the Seine.
We walked along the Seine river for a while and crossed over to one of the islands. There are too many bridges to remember by name.
As we walked over the bridge you could see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
We walked down streets which started to fill with tourists and stepped into a church with beautiful chandeliers hanging in rows in a gothic style, urging us to glory in God’s greatness and to fear his holiness. I felt uneasy about Tina taking photos because it was dark and hushed inside with people praying. It felt weird to not tarry, but our tour guide urged us on.
We photographed and enjoyed seeing the apartment of Hemingway. All three of us had just read A Moveable Feast written while Hemmingway lived here. It was quite wonderful to stand where he walked. We don’t have much of that kind of history in California.
As we searched a place to eat, we walked through the Place des Vosges Hotel Sully, which is a square row of beautiful homes where the king and his court lived, the king’s quarters being higher than all the rest. People, tourists and families rested everywhere on benches and lawns. At the center was a beautiful fountain. For some reason, water is something you see everywhere, which has a calming, beautifying effect.
Also in the morning, the streets everywhere are hosed off so that water runs down the center making everything feel fresh. I have not noticed any unpleasant odors, but only perfume everywhere. There is a scent to Paris, but I could not describe it. I must buy a bottle of perfume!
Our tour guide, Brit, from Sweden, was a gift from one of our friends back home. She finally left us in the Jewish area of Paris where we had an amazing falafel.
We observed how no one that day tried to sell us ANYTHING even though we went into plenty of stores.
There was a long line at this falafel place where a nice young man who spoke English directed us where to stand and took our money before getting to the counter.
Even though we were tired of walking we could not resist the Center Georges Pompidou, a modern art museum.
We just visited the outside. It was revolutionary because all of the forms, systems and functioning parts are on the outside.
But what is interesting is that it is right next to the pompidou is Saint Marri, a medieval structure with flying buttresses, which are also extremely functioning parts. We were all enchanted by the startling contrast of the modern building against the old. It was brilliant. It reminded us of how much we love the current trend of mixing the modern with the old.
We saw a false beach along the Seine set up for the Parisians who are not on the traditional holiday most take during the month of August.
Next, which we could not do justice to by writing a small blurb, but also because there were so many people, was Notre Dame.
The grandeur, the detail, the immense desire to glorify God and lift man up, left us overwhelmed by the desire of the people to construct such a building over generations., especially in our world of instant gratification.
We notice that we often found delight in simple things that are not in tour guides, like a planter that looks like a tree stump. My father would have loved this.
Tired beyond all comprehension, we walked on our stump-of-feet back toward our apartment, bought things to make crepes and a salad, and gloried in a simple dinner in a cute Parisian apartment.