Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dave and Di Learn the Metro!

Today was another beautiful day in Paris, sunny skies and mid 80's. We had a lot on our itinerary for today, and accomplished it all, and then some.

We got an early start from our apartment, and our adventures started with our first Metro trip!

This trip involved 2 line changes, so we felt pretty smug when we arrived at our destination way on the outskirts of Paris. I have been using a great app that I downloaded to my iTouch; I just enter our beginning Metro station and where we want to go, and it maps out our trip for us-- pretty nifty! We love Metro travel, but those steps! There are SEVERAL sets of these steps to climb on each journey. Down, up, down; over to the next line, down to the platform, up again and back out onto the street, etc. We must have climbed 1000 steps today! We might have buns of steel after this trip! Actually, I'll give up the "buns of steel" if all this step climbing will just burn off the bagettes and butter that I'm eating!

Our first destination this morning was the Porte de Vanves Marche Puces--which means flea market! Actually, it is an antique show that is held each Saturday, and about 200 vendors line the streets with their booths. Oh, my--I was in heaven! We walked and walked, looking at every booth. There were certainly some wonderful antiques, but a bit (hah!) over our budget, and wouldn't quite fit in my suitcase! My small purchase for the day: a straw covered wine flask with a great seal on the ceramic lid. I even managed to bargain a little bit in my Fractured French! Here are a couple of pictures of the market:

After all that walking and browsing, we had worked up quite an appetite. We stopped at a sidewalk cafe for a bite of lunch. David was "starvin' Marvin", so he ordered a pasta dish, and I had a really good composed salad. It's sure fun to sit and people watch.

Back to the Metro and on to our 2nd market for the day, this one an artists market in a different area of Paris. Three line changes this time! But we found our way just fine to the Marche Du Creation de Richard Lenior. We strolled around for an hour or so, admiring the handmade arts and crafts, I didn't buy anything, but it's always fun to look.

By this time, we were hot and our feet were beginning to bark at us--so guess what? Yup--another sidewalk cafe! Are you all beginning to see a trend here?? We each had a nice cold beer, and discussed where to go next. David decided to take my picture, and the waiter sat right down and put his arm around me for the picture! Here I am with my new French boyfriend:

Don't I look a little startled? Well, I WAS!

After our beers, we hopped back on the Metro towards our neighborhood. By this time, we're feeling pretty good about our Metro navagation abilities!

Our stop: Napolean's Tomb. (Which is more correctly called Hotel des Invalides, and The Eglise Du Dome.) In 1670 Louis XIV built the Hotel (not really a hotel as we think of them) to house a care for veterans of his wars. The Eglise Du Dome is the church attached to the Hotel, which was completed in 1706. In 1840, Napolean's body was broght from the island of Saint Helena to Paris. Here is a picture of his tomb:

The rest of the church is just beautiful, here are just a few pictures that really don't do it justice:

We left this beautiful place, and walked back to our apartment, did a quick change of clothes and caught the Metro, AGAIN, to the island that Notre Dame is on. Our plan was to attend a classical music concert at St. Chapelle Cathedral that started at 7:00 pm, but we had a little difficulty with our Metro navigation this trip! So much for our new found confidence, huh? So--on to plan B! We strolled around the "Latin Quarter", which is a very lively area of Paris! Popped into some souvenier shops, and had a delicious crepe for dinner. While we were waiting in the (very long) line for our crepes, we were talking to a very nice man from Poland, who was visiting with his wife and family. During a lull in the conversation, David decided this was another good photo opportunity, and this nice man jumped right into the photo and put his arm around me! Here I am with my new Polish boyfriend:

Hmmmm...what's the deal here? Do I have a sign above my head that says "snuggle right up"? I have NO idea! I wonder what tomorrow will hold in the picture taking department??

After we enjoyed our crepes, we strolled back in the general direction of our neighborhood, exploring a few interesting looking side streets.

When we found a Metro stop, we once again Metro'd back to our "home" station. By now it was dark, we were tired, and our feet hurt! There is a nice little sidewalk cafe about block from our apartment.......Yup, we sat ourselves down at one of those cute little tables on the sidewalk; David had a cold beer and I had an espresso and creme brulee--yummy! I told David--NO pictures here! After a relaxing nightcap, we strolled back to our apartment. Look what greeted us as we turned the corner:

A perfect ending to a perfect day in Paris!


  1. You saved the best for last didn't you Di. The picture of the eiffel tower all lit up at night..breathtaking. I never will see this site and to have you share this with us...thanks Di. The way you write and the details and the names of things and places you do you do that? You have a real talent and I love the pics of you and your french and polish boyfriends. Napolean's tomb and the pic of the church. I am so into your blog and want to thank you for remembering your friends and posting so beautifully for us...can't wait for the next u...Brenda

  2. You sure did save the bet pic for last....all lit up WOW but I love the angle of the church ceiling-and all those steps!!! Keep on walking, taking pictures and blogging-look forward to checking in with you often. (are you keeping your pocketbooks zippered closed?)