Edit Blog Post
Published: November 11th 2013
These next few days passed very quickly. We went back to the Bois de Vincennes for a much longer walk. We travelled down wooded side paths and found that many of the homeless in Paris have tents set up in the deep bushes. We ended up by walking to the Chateau Vincennes, which was built for military protection. It had a round keep that went up four stories. There was the King's residence and the Queen's plus another stunning church. We ended the day with cards and a very typical and tasty Drench sausage cooked at home.
The next morning was clear and sunny so we headed out to the Eiffel Tower. The lines are still long even in off season, but it was worth every moment. The views of Paris that you see from the heights are stunning. We came down to go for lunch, back in the quartier Saint Michel, the gyros we'd had the other day seemed like the best fast food in the world. Unfortunately, we meandered for too long and couldn't make our next stop, the catacombs, because we were to late for the last entry. So we walked over to get a look at
the flower market near Notre Dame. There were long stalls of plants and bulbs and garden decorations at this time of year more than flowers. We particularly liked one stall where they sold orchids, some had many roots spun around frames but no dirt, we guessed that they needed just sprays of water to survive. Our feet then told us it was time to go home. We've loved the metro in Paris. It truly gets you everywhere with ease. More importantly it is one of the best places to people watch. We now know which shoe/boots are the height of fashion, that everyone one, I mean everyone wears a scarf casually knotted or artfully draped around their necks. I couldn't convince Butch to get one, although Jacob is angling for one. The amount of people begging has disturbed us although we know it is not as bad as some parts of the world. On the metro we see the woman with no shoes holding their babies crying out for help. We've enjoyed and sometimes not many accordion players, it is better when they don't sing. Or favourites were a clarinet player, a violinist and a harp player. When you leave
a station you often see someone on a blanket missing a foot or arm. It's tough to know how to respond. Hardest when it is a family with a child Jacob's age sitting on the heat vent outside our apartment each night, not begging at all, just trying to stay warm. They disappeared after 2 nights, we wonder what forced them away. We came home to our warm apartment to play cards and end another full day in Paris.
Friday, we had to return to the Tanzanian embassy to get our passers and visas, then we were off to the catacombs. The under ground of Paris has many different levels. There is the sewers, the metro tunnels and the catacombs. Here, you walk with the dead. You start the journey learning about prehistoric times, limestone and the miners of historic times in Paris. Then you walk through barely lit and damp tunnels to where the bones of Parisians were moved in the 1800s when the grave yards became to full. It is eerie, thought provoking, but not really frightening. I thought primarily of the respect it takes for a city to want to continue its respect for the dead
even when there is no space. People carefully and tenderly stacked bones upon bones, and now we tourists came to gawk or perhaps pay our own respects. When we mounted to the surface,we needed to reaffirm our own joy of life, so we headed back to the Latin Quarter. There we had huge meals with, mussels, oysters, escargot, duck, lamb, crème brûlée, and chocolate mousse, along side wine and fanta. To work off this luxurious and rich meal, we walked back to the Eiffel Tower. We wanted to see it lit up at night. It is a real show stopper glowing in the night with sparkling lights going off for minutes on the hour. It was a phenomenal day.
Our last full day, we took a little slower and finally got to the Sacré Coeur at Monmartre. The church is glorious at the top of the hill and the views are fantastic again. Walking around the side of the church we ran into a great bans singing for tips and selling their cd. We liked them so much we bought one. Around the corner from them, you arrive in the artists quarter. You can have your portraits done in
5 min. There is a square where local artists are painting and selling there works. The streets are tiny and winding as you make your way back down the hill. Since it started to rain, we decided to go home early (not visit a cemetery) and enjoy a roast chicken from the local butcher while we took our time packing, playing cards and Butch and Jacob threw corks at each other. We had thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our time in Paris.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams
Tot: 0.142s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 6; qc: 45; dbt: 0.0097s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb