So sorry that this post is late! We took a late night walk up to Montmartre last night and by the time we got back I was too exhausted to write about our day!
On sundays, instead of saying "Au revoir" when you leave, the french say "Bon Dimanche", or happy sunday. Well.. we had a very bon dimanche!
We decided to check out a sunday market at Motte-Picquet in the 15th Arrondissement. We left the hotel and hopped on the metro to the Motte-Picquet Grenelle stop, then we got off and looked for a little cafe to have a quick brekky. Once we had finished our 2 coffees each (still kickin early am jetlag) we headed off in pursuit of the market. We didnt quite know where it was in relation to the metro, we just knew it was near by. After observing the people on the street though we started to notice people with grocery bags and fresh baguettes coming from a certain direction so we decided to head that way! Sure enough, a few blocks down we found the market.
It was amazing! We would definitely recommend going if you are going to be in Paris on a saturday or sunday. First of all, the 15th is a very residential area and we really got a feel for the type of neighborhood that real parisiens live in. Very cool area. Secondly, the market was an amazing cultural experience. This market in particular has tons of vendors: boulangeries, fromageries, patisseries, fruits, vegetable, charcuterie, scarves, shirts, kitchen tools, you name it. Oh and the flowers! Les Fleurs! Tres tres belle. Many of the vendors come in from Normandy, and many sell organic. Great place to grab a picnic lunch, and great place to buy gifts for friends and family, both of which we did!
We had decided that Sunday would be our cheap day. Meaning we were going to try to not eat out expensively, but opt for picnics instead. It worked out great! For 35 Euro we got: a quart of fresh strawberrys, a fresh baguette, 2 beautiful cheeses, a bottle of bordeaux, a rotisserie chicken, and some saucisse salami. More than enough food for lunch an dinner.
After exploring the market we headed through the 15th and into the 7th, where we took a page from the WDRs and picniced under le Tour Eiffel, on the Champs de Mars. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we ended up spending almost 2 hours there reading and people watching and munching.
A note on the cheese: We picked two cheeses we had never heard of, one big and one little. They turned out to be both fantastic. Seriously, we cant stop talking about the Cabecou du Perigord. There was also a crottin de chavignol. Delish.
After our picnic we were going to go to the D'Orsay but unfortunately the line was too long and it was too late. A disapointment for sure, but we have both been so we wern't heart broken. Instead, we headed to the Marais to check out the scene down there. On our way we ate tiny Creme Brulées that we picked up from the market. Yum! Who eats Creme Brulée on the metro?!
Marais is a very cool neighborhood. Definitely understand all the hype. Tons of cute stores and cafés. We wandered for a couple of hours, stumbling upon the Hotel du Ville, and the Place du Vosgues, both beautiful and interesting, especially after our trip to Versaille. Place du Vosgues and the Marais in general are where the French nobility lived for a while after the revolution, and the illustrious Hotel du Ville is evidence of that. Sort of off the beaten path but definitely worth checking out. We also saw the Pompidou, but didnt go inside as it was getting late. But really...its pretty interesting even from the outside!
We passed the French Open being screened live outdoors on our way to the metro, right next to Notre Dame. Waved at Federer and hit the metro, headed home. We had a lovely little picnic dinner in the hotel, and ate our left overs from lunch as well as the rotisserie chicken, which was so yummy. It was fun, and cheap, and relaxing. Overall, for those of you looking to maybe save a few euro here and there we would definitely recommend our "cheap day" itinerary. We didn't pay for anything but metro and our picnic, and we saw so much!!
After dinner we headed up to Montmartre for a romantic view from the Basilica at sunset. We got there just as Evensong had started so we went in and stayed for a while. The nuns had the most beautiful voices, and it meant a lot to spend time with God in His house on Sunday. I was really moved by seeing all the people there, by their singing and words of worship, even though it was all in french. After this, we explored Montmartre and then headed home to bed, tired but so happy and excited about all we had seen. Seriously feels like we have explored the city from one end to another, all corners, in only three days, and we have still managed to squeeze in some good people watching, reading, and napping.
Will update about today later, after we head to a special dinner on our last night. As I write, Johnboy, or "Jean-Garçon" as I have taken to calling him, is napping. I am going to start the biography of Marie Antoinette by Stefan Zweig that I got at the Army Museum today.
Emily & Jean-Garçon