We set off for a long day of site seeing and museums. We had some breads at the hotel and pretty much followed the Seine all day. Strolling by the Seine is one of life’s finer moments I feel. You’ll pass by wonderful artists, performers and mimes! It is so French you just have to walk a mile if you in the city of lights.
The Louvre is on the path, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées and Notre-Dame. The old cathedral was under renovation for its 300th anniversary, so it was completely covered in scaffolding. That was a shame as this was one of the most beautiful cathedral facades I’d ever seen. We headed over a bridge, complete with locks attached, and began the slow walk back to the Eiffel Tower for dusk viewings.
We walked down a street or Rue as they are called, that I’d heard about in a song: St. Michele. The song was by Peter Sarstedt, “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?” I really enjoyed the accidental way this came about, these moments that just happen without planning are the best! About this time the clouds turned dark and it began to sprinkle. We sought refuge in a café with a covered awning. We drank absinthe and watched people walking by with umbrellas or run by if they didn’t have covering. It rained fairly hard but not long. We drained our drinks and walked on the wet bricks in search of food.
We found a café next door to a small grocery store. We figured the food came from the store so it would be fresh and good. I got ham and cheese omelets. It arrived a bit runny and very yellow, nearly orange, these were healthy chickens. It seemed that anything ordered arrived with a side salad which I found was a much better option than fries. In fact, these days when you want to substitute salad for fries it costs more to get a salad! Changing that so they you pay for fries would make things a lot better and faster. It takes awhile to fry something verse chopping a salad.
The areas around the Tower are full of vendors selling souvenirs, usually key chains, statues, anything that that you can sell an image of likely the most famous structure in the world. They would all scurry away, pulling up their wares in the sheet they displayed them on whenever the police showed up. It seems these aren’t official images or something. Maybe the city doesn’t want so many people out front of a major tourist attraction, which would be odd as there are many street performers, dancing, stunts and magic out front that lasted ten or more minutes. It gives you something to do while the sun goes down. Seeing the Tower lit up was worth the wait and we lingered a bit to take it in.
We hit up another café across the street from our hotel for beverages and dinner. I decided to go all French and ordered foie gras and onion soup. I was presently surprised at how good foie gras was it being duck liver pate. I thought it would be gamey but it was sweet and flavorful. You just spread it on bread like butter. The soup was nice, cheesy. I slowly chewed and watched as a vagrant tried to sit and drink some wine. The waiter seemed to have seen him before or the guy had been there awhile. It started politely, he told the guy to leave which he refused. It escalated into shouting match before the waiter began pulling the chair. Finally the vagrant left shouting at the beleaguered waiter while he walked away. The waiter watch and shrugged as he turned to serve more tables. Just another evening in Paris.