Thursday, December 18, 2014


As usual, we were up bright and early this morning.  We just can't seem to sleep much past 5 am., but at least we're not sleeping away our time in Paris!

As it wasn't pouring down rain this morning, we thought it would be a good day to visit some more Christmas markets.  We made a list of area markets and planned our Metro routes.

This poster the the Metro made me smile!  Even in Paris, Elvis lives ;}

Our first market was one near St. Germaine, a rather "ritzy" area of Paris.  We were a bit surprised when we came out of the Metro--the market was quite small, and there wasn't much of interest.  No problem, we just headed to the next one, which was by Notre Dame.

The Metro stop is right near the exit to the flower market, so of course we had a quick stroll through.  I loved the smell of the Christmas trees.  There are many interesting shops in the market, and they were all decorated for Christmas--lovely.

Just one of the many flower shops in the market.

The Notre Dame market was not actually at Notre Dame, as we soon found out.  We finally spotted it after walking all the way around the cathedral.

It was in a small pretty park across the river from the church--a really pretty setting.  Most of the items were hand made locally,  much more to our liking.  We bought some roasted chestnuts to share--I think we could get addicted to these little goodies!

I bought a cute little steel bird, totally useless but adorable.

As we were leaving the market, I looked across the river, WOW--what a view of Notre Dame.  I never get tired of seeing this magnificent cathedral:

We walked through a small garden area next to the park, and found this pretty old church:

Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, a Greek Catholic Church built during the 13th century. .

Part of the original building:

We went inside for a quick look, it did have a much different look.  Reminded me of some Greek Orthodox churches:

After our quick church visit, we decided it was time for lunch.  We wandered around a couple of blocks, and found a tiny crepe cafe.  Perfect!

David had a goat cheese, mushroom and caramelized apple crepe:

I chose a very traditional cheese, bacon and egg crepe--pretty tasty!

We were very near my favorite church in Paris, so we walked around the block to do a quick visit.  We think it's been partially restored since our last visit--it looks much brighter than we remember.

Church of St. Severin, built at the beginning of the 13th century

Beautiful Gothic design:

Gorgeous stained glass windows:

We were still feeling pretty energetic, so decided tonight was a good time to visit the biggest market in Paris, in the La Defense area west of Paris.   Even though we've been to Paris several times, we've never been to this area of the city.  It's a very new part of Paris, and is full of modern skyscrapers, which are banned in the central part of the city.  Thankfully, the city of Paris has very strict guidelines to protect the wonderful old buildings and architecture.

A view of La Defense area:

The Grand Arch, built in the late 1980's to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.  The arch is visible from central Paris.

Before we explored the 320 booths at the La Defense market, we needed a quick "pit stop break".  We couldn't believe there were no restroom facilities in a Market of that size!  Luckily, there was a huge mall right next to the market, off we went in search of le toilettes!

Ugh--what a mob of people--we couldn't wait to get out of there.  A regular old mall, full of chain stores--many of them American chains like McDonalds, etc.

Finally, mission accomplished, we headed back out to the market.  We did a pretty quick cruise through about half of it--mostly Made in China goods, and lots of "As Seen on TV" type of merchandise.  Kind of a disappointment--but oh, well!

There were some nice Christmas decorations, though:

It was about 7 pm by now, and we decided to catch the Metro back to our neighborhood.  We stopped at a restaurant right around the corner from our apartment, Relais Gascon on Rue de Abbesses.  I'd read some rave reviews of their huge salads, and that sounded good to us. 

Here's our salad with fried potatoes, roasted goat cheese and lardons.  Yes, there is really a green salad under all those potatoes!

We also ordered a traditional French winter dish--cassoulet.  It's one of the dished I'd wanted to try this trip, and we weren't disappointed.  It was delicious!  White beans, lardons and onions cooked with sausage and lamb.  We were surprised at the size of it--it was huge!  We only ate about a third of it, and I actually asked to take the rest of it home.  Leftovers tomorrow!

And, just so you all know--we put up our Christmas tree a couple of days ago!  I brought a small, 12" tree from home, and just a few of our favorite ornaments.  The cute little tree topper is our very favorite Christmas tree ornament ever!  We also brought just a few of our favorite Alaskan nut people, made by our dear friend Donna.

Good night and Merry Christmas from Paris.

Tomorrow in Paris?  The forecast is for rain, rain, rain and wind--so we'll try to pick some indoor activities.

1 comment:

  1. Love your little tree. Looks like you are having a lot of rain. It's raining here in Boise, too. Those crepes sure look yummy. We should make some when you get home. Miss you.