Dernier jour à Paris!

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June 21st 2010
Published: June 26th 2010
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Our last day in Paris began again with coffee and croissants before heading toward the center for a few hours on the islands - the Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis. The latter island forms the center of the city and is where the medieval city was refounded, but today it is best known as being home to Notre Dame. The first two times I went to Paris, in '96 and '04 the front of the cathedral was covered in unsightly scaffolding, so it has been great this year to see it in its full uncovered glory.

While waiting in line to get in this group of Spanish girls started not-so-clandestinely taking pictures of me - time number 2 of this weirdness. In response Lou and I whipped out our cameras and started taking pictures of the girl. Anyway, the interior of Notre Dame is obviously beautiful, with its wonderful stained glass windows and soaring arches. Not gonna lie, though, I think I prefer Catalan gothic architecture. Anyway, moving on along we didn't feel like waiting in like 18 hours for Saint Chapelle, whose line ran down the street and almost around the corner, but we did have a nice time walking through the flower market.

On Île Saint-Louis there wasn't anything particularly interesting to see, but I very much enjoyed walking along the narrow streets and looking at delicious meats and cheeses, among other things, in the various shop windows. Berthillon ice cream, supposedly France's best ice cream, is located on the island so obviously we had to give it a try. My white chocolate ice cream was outstanding - so creamy and rich if it weren't so cold I might have thought I was eating mousse or something.

Next it was off to the Latin Quarter for some exploration and a pitcher of wine while people-watching. Our plans to visit the catacombs went to sh*t since the last entry was apparently at 4pm, so instead we continued along toward Luxembourg Gardens. Before heading in we stopped for lunch at a great little place just outside. We split two "salads" - one with four giant duck legs, the other with cheese and cured ham among other things. That and another bottle of wine were delicious.

The gardens were of course very nice, and there was a Spanish music concert going on in the gazebo thing where I played with Symphonietta. Oh the memories...

The rest of the evening basically just had wandering around more of the Latin Quarter, visiting Saint Sulpice of DaVinci Code fame, and having yet another bottle of wine as we enjoyed another hour of people-watching. Grabbing a really good ham and cheese crepe on the way, we then headed to Gare Austerlitz to catch our overnight train to L'Hospitalet Pres-Andorre...Au revoir, Paris!

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26th June 2010

Looks like the weather finally improved for you. Glad to read the scaffolding is gone - I haven't yet seen Notre Dame without it. Too bad about St. Chapelle - it's almost all windows. That's where your sisters and I attended a concert - an incredible venue for it. I remember the ice cream was incredible. It all brings back great memories.

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