Waking up to a beautiful sunny day, we decided today we would just
walk the streets of Paris. We would walk till we could not longer
feel our feet, which believe me, is very possible for me. But this is
Paris and any pain or numbness would be tolerated, after all I was in
Paris, my favorite city in the world, I can get physical therapy when I
hobble off that plane in Detroit.
Paris-Sorbonne University at Place de la Sorbonne Square, right down
the street from our hotel.
We decided to walk behind the Sorbonne, past the Pantheon to the area
where the working class of Paris has always lived and still does. This is
the market street of Rue Mouffetard. The Place de la Contrescarpe is a
square surrounded by cafés and taverns where at any time you might have
seen Balzac, Victor Hugo, James Joyce and of course Hemingway sitting
at a table with a drink in front of them, perhaps a cigarette in one hand
and pen in the other, writing their novels that we so enjoy today.
Walking down Rue Mouffetard is always a sort of feast for the eyes. There
is always something interesting going on. Street musicians ready to
entertain the people on this colorful market street.
At the bottom of Rue Mouffetard this late gothic and early classical
style church, St.-Medard. We happen to be there as a mass had just
started, so we stayed and even though we could not understand any of
it, it was still an experience that we were happy to be part of.
Yes you are seeing correctly, we had Asian food for our lunch today
in Paris. It sure was good.
After leaving the Rue Mouffetard area, we jumped on the metro to
visit an area I had discovered many years ago, Rue Montorgueil in the
heart of Paris, near Les-Halles and the George Pompidou Museum.
This area boasts some of the best meat and fish markets, along with a
renowned pastry shop, cozy bistros, boutiques, and bars. It is a sort
of up-scale market area that is always bustling with locals, tourist and
families, just enjoying the everyday happenings that this area provides.
Stohrer is the oldest pastry shop in Paris. The inside of the shop is
exquisite with a killer ceiling. More on that later. Walking this area,
going in and out of shops, and of course a pastry from Stohrer, we walked
a couple of blocks and saw this covered passage with shops and cafés.
Walking back to the market area we had dinner at a little bistro where
we sat outside enjoying the sweet crisp fall evening watching all the activities
of a neighborhood market street on a Saturday night.
Back in the area of our hotel, we would again do our nightly ritual of
walking the Seine. It was Saturday night in Paris and it was crowded.
Stopping for a glass of wine at a cafe facing the Seine was a perfect way
to end this fabulous day in Paris. But wait, there was one more thing
I needed before calling it a night.
Now you might ask what is a Kouignette? It is sort of like a croissant
in its layer goodness, only with fewer layers. Basically its dough with
lots of butter and sugar, caramelized so that they create a nice crusty
layer over and between the baked dough. It is definitely not good for
you, but one bite and you throw all caution to the wind, thinking “I’ll
take my chances”. Pure heaven.
More tales and photos to come – Au revoir