Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saturday, Sept. 24, Our Last Day in Paris

After our very looong day yesterday, we still managed to get a fairly early start this morning.  We didn't want to wast a minute of our last day in beautiful Paris.

I had read about a shopping area that sounded very interesting.  It is an old wine warehouse district that has been converted to shops and restaurants.  It's on the outskirts of Paris, and is quite a Metro ride, with a couple of line changes.

The shopping area itself was a bit of a disappointment, as most of the stores were closed up--as in out of business.  There were many restaurants, and they seemed to be busy.  This area is well of the tourist track, so it was nice to get away from the hordes of (other) tourists.

We did have a very nice surprise--in the small square behind the shopping area there was a bio food fair and market.  Several vendors from all areas of France were selling (and sampling!) their wares--delicious goods like pates, foie gras, beer, lots of cheese, honey and confitures (jams).  These vendors were all small producers, wonderfully friendly and wanted to share their products and talk about them.  We had a fun time looking around, trying to visit with the vendors, and sampling some great food.  We bought a rapeseed/sundried tomato spread and a couple of beers.  Some of the honeys were delicious, but I could just imagine trying to get those home....

Look at all the delicious cheese:

This is the nice man we bought the sundrired tomato spread from;  he very patiently explained the process of making rapeseed oil.  We sampled some, it has a wonderful, delicate flavor.
And here is David discussing beer with a vendor:

We Metro'd back to our apartment and dropped off our purchases, then headed right back out--no sitting around today!

Our plan for the afternoon was to find some old covered passageways.  These passageways were the first "malls", and there are a few of them left in Paris.

But first it was time for lunch, our last lunch in Paris.  We'd planned to find a nice sidewalk cafe in the area we were going to explore and have a nice leisurely last lunch.  Well, we did!   We just happened upon another moules y frites restaurant!  We never get tired of those delicious mussels.  Mmmmm, good!

After our yummy lunch, we set out to find our passageways.  We found 4, the first one was in kind of a sad state--we could see her former beauty, but she was sadly neglected and the stores were mostly closed.  Still an interesting stop, though.  The second one had been converted to some type of educational facility, and there was a meeting of some sort going on.  We were able to go in and look around, but had to go through a bag check first!

Our last passageway was the best--Galleries Vivienne.  She is a grand old dame--elegant and beautiful, full of very nice stores.  The architecture is lovely, very ornate with beautiful glass domes and wonderful details:

After we finished at the Galleries Viviennes, we wandered around this neighborhood, and found ourselves at the Palais Royal!  Where else but Paris can you just happen upon a Royal Palace?
It's a huge palace, and I'm not sure what it's current use is, but the grounds and surrounding park are very nice.  There are statues, a large fountain, and pretty flower gardens.  There were lots of families enjoying the park on this nice fall day.  I saw an old French woman feeding some birds right from her hand.  I took her picture, and she waved me away!
By now it was late afternoon, and as much as we dreaded the thought, it was time to head back to our apartment.  We needed to finalize our packing and tidy up the apartment a bit.  Tomorrow will be a loooong day with a very early start--our taxi is picking us up at 4:30 a.m.

Oh, but we aren't quite finished with Paris yet!  We packed a nice picnic dinner, a couple of beers and a blanket.  Our picnic spot?

And yes, she twinkled just for us!


  1. What a grand way to end your Paris stay. Everything so interesting and then the kiss at the end in front of the Eiffel Tower. So romantic and wonderful. You sure know how to end your blog and your trip in Paris in style! Can't wait to see some information on Venice. I understand that the pictures may be few but you'll make up for that in dialogue!

  2. Di- you will never be done with Paris...but you sure have had some wonderful times there and ended this trip in perfect Paris style! Glad you found the passageways-sorry the shopping wasn't the best.
    Perfect fall day here- frosty this morning sunny all afternoon---hope you are having wonderful weather also.(When I told Sam you were in Italy- she said "tell them to look for Snooky!!" So now you have another thing to add to your adgenda!

  3. What a wonderful way to end your visit to Paris---a kiss with the Eiffel Tower twinkeling in the background.