This morning I fixed Papa some hot tea in the electric kettle (we found tea bags and honey in a cupboard) and some hot chocolate for the girls. Then O6 and I walked across the street to the bakery, Patisserie Stohrer. S8 was on the ball and leaned out the window of our apartment to take a picture of me and O6 going in.
There’s another little sign that’s obscured by the awning which indicates this “house” was established in 1730. Inside, we found an incredible selection of pastries and breads, each more impressive and mouthwatering than the last. O6 and I purchased deux croissants, un brioche sucre, un brioche avec chocolat, et quatre petits beignets. We also bought a surprise for DH- une tartlette aux pommes (apple tart). Armed with our fabulous finds, we came back up and set the pastries out on a plate, and served them with juice, yogurt and apples from last night’s trip to the market.
We planned to hang out at the apartment until DH came back from Milano, but he emailed late last night to say he had actually booked an 11:45 AM flight, not a 9AM, and therefore would not return until at least 2- 2:30 PM. We relaxed and finished up some laundry, packed some of our things in anticipation of the next day’s departure, then decided to take a walk in our little Montorgueil neighborhood.
We walked east on Marie Stuart to the Grand Cerf, a narrow street with a glass arcade above, which protects shoppers from rain and incliment weather. Grand Clef is very artsy, with shops selling all sorts of clothing, jewelry, art, home decor and the like.
We even browsed a little knitting shop.
I practiced my French shopping etiquette: always say, “Bonjour Madame/Monsieur” when entering a shop. If just looking, say “je regarde!” Of course, leave with an “au revoir”. (Merci, Rick Steves!)
Back on the northern end of Montorguiel, we started assembling our lunch. We bought a ham sandwich on mini baguette, then a few pastries (chocolate eclair, two cookies). We stopped at a Greek traiteur and got dad a pita au viande with tabbouleh and roasted peppers.
Finally, we went back to the Patisserie Stohrer and got a ham and cheese crepe. We took everything back to Marie Stuart and set out lunch, cutting everything into bite sized portions so we could all sample everything.
A pigeon watched us very intently, but did not try to come in the open window, fortunately.
Maybe she was just admiring the view of our street.
After lunch, Papa took a nap and I washed the dishes and checked email. The girls played awhile in Elliot’s room (Elliot is the son of the family who owns the flat). We waited for DH to return… and waited… and waited. 2:30 came and went, and then 3:30, then 4. By 5:30 PM I was quite concerned, as was Papa. I sent a Skype IM and also a text to Michele to see if he knew whether DH had at least made it onto the flight, which had landed at 1:20 PM. Michele didn’t respond right away, and I became more and more worried. Finally, we heard him come into the apartment. The RER train from CDG airport had a mechanical problem, and the passengers had to get off and take a bus over quite a distance. Sounds like he had an adventure similar to the one the girls and I experienced in Milano. No matter, at least he was back.
DH checked in with work and had a lengthy Skype conversation with one of his U.S. colleagues. Finally, we set out for Rue Cler neighborhood and hopefully a trip up the Tour Eiffel.
We walked south down Montorguiel and around & past St. Eustache, then down to Rivoli, which we followed to the Louvre.
On the way, we passed the Bourse de Commerce.
From the Louvre, we got a glimpse of the Tour Eiffel in the distance.
The courtyard is enormous. We would probably need a week to go through the entire Louvre museum, which has five wings- each an enormous museum in its own right.
We crossed Pont Royal, from which we caught a glimpse of the Notre Dame bell towers.
Back side of the Louvre:
Then we passed Orsay station, which was important during WWII for repatriating POWs and civilian refugees of Nazism.
Next we passed through the courtyard of the Musee d’Orsay.
By now we were very near our dinner destination, Rue Cler. We followed the Rue Briande east of the Assemblee Nationale, turned onto Rue St. Dominique, and passed Place des Invalides- formerly a veterans’ hospital, but now an elaborate hotel.
Finally we reached Rue Cler and looked for a place to grab dinner.
We settled on a place called Cafe du Marche.
The girls and I each got pasta with tomato sauce and basil. Papa had a goat cheese salad, and DH ordered steak and fries. The girls had limonade (very tart lemonade with gas) and we drank water. For dessert- compote of apple (no crust) and cafe au lait for me.
On to the Tower! We passed more shops,
We walked west on Champ de Mars, up de la Bourdonnais and over Grenille, and there we caught a glimpse of the tower:
We turned onto Parc du Champ de Mars leading up to the tower. It actually worked well that we came so late (nearly 8:30)- the tower was lit up, and the lines weren’t unbearably long.
At first it appeared that we would not be able to go all the way up to the summit- the marquee out front changed to “Fermee” while we were halfway through the ticket queue. But it reopened just as we reached the ticket counter. So we bought tickets for the summit, and entered another queue for the elevator to the second (top of the base) level.
At the second level, you have to get off the large, two-story elevator (which probably holds 40-50 people) and enter another queue for a smaller elevator to take you to the summit.
But the view from here ain’t too shabby.
While we admired the view, DH and Papa admired the construction.
It was about an hour and a half for us to get from ticket booth to summit, a lot better than I had expected. From the top, the views are breathtaking.
They have a little room with a figure of Thomas Edison (left) and M. Eiffel in the latter’s office area.
But most people come here for the view.
If you want to be really fancy (read: French), you can buy a 10Euro glass of Champagne at the top.
Finally, it was time to head down. The girls were crashing and we still had to get back home.
The kids were troopers, even though they were falling asleep standing up. We made it down, regrouped on a bench to get our bearings, then headed weast to catch the RER-B at Champ du Mars. Finally, just after midnight, we opened the door at Marie Stuart. The kids fell asleep immediately. DH and I packed and cleaned up, and were both asleep by the time our heads hit the pillows at 1:30 AM.
We are going to miss this apartment, even though our time here was so incredibly short.