Day 1 in Paris – getting our bearings! 6 April 2013

After a pretty good night’s sleep we woke to our first day in Paris. Despite the very cold temperatures outside, we were sweating as we hadn’t quite worked out the apartment heating and how to turn it down.

A market had been set up in the early hours of the morning in the square below us. We headed off down our spiral staircase to have a look. It was mainly food and it was divine. Big, plump roast chickens, luscious strawberries, oozy, stinky cheese and piles of seafood. We had to tear ourselves away and head off in search of our favourite meal of the day – breakfast!

We had a recommendation from our hostess which we decided to try and track down. We took our first walk down our street, Rue Francois Miron which turned out to be very charming and lined with shops and cafes. We were distracted by a few cafe menus on the way but decided to push on to the recommended one. When we finally got there, it seemed to be closed and nothing like the authentic Parisian cafes that we had passed. The neighbourhood had also declined. It was probably great inside but we wanted the real Parisian experience for our first breakfast. So we headed back to Rue Francois Miron in search of a cafe where I had seen an appealing omelette on the menu…

As it turned out, it was 10am and 7 500 steps before we settled down to breakfast. Nothing like a brisk 5.4km before breakfast in the chilly air. Thankfully the owner of our chosen cafe spoke English and helped us out. Brekky was great. My omelette and hubby’s Croque Monsieur were delicious! I chickened out on the milk with coffee and have settled into black coffee for the rest of the trip. Mostly short blacks. However, while they give you the caffeine hit, there is no pleasure in two mouthfuls of coffee. The cafe endeared itself to us even further with their 80s music – Police, Message in a Bottle with the two waiters singing along in French. Very cute.

Then we decided to familiarise ourselves with our neighbourhood and try to track down a winter coat for me. We got quite familiar with the neighbourhood but no winter coat for me. The stores are full of Spring fashion despite it being a chilly/freezing 8 degrees. I just keep looking at the long, warm, puffy coats that all the Parisians were wearing and obsessing about where they might have got them from. Maybe I will find one in Brussels but I need it now! I’m freezing and standing out like a beacon in my burnt orange trench coat amongst a sea of glum winter colours!

We walked down Rue de Rivoli, popping into shops and treating ourselves to our first half dozen macarons. Yummo! They sang with flavour. Every patisserie and boulangie was exquisitely presented. Here are some photos.

20130407-202234.jpg

20130407-202249.jpg

We walked down around the Louvre but still feel no urge to go in again after 19 years. If we were in Paris for a longer period of time, maybe we would but last time we lost the best part of a day looking at religious artwork before finding out that the impressionist paintings that we really wanted to see were at Musee D’Orsay. We are enjoying the outside French world too much.

We checked out the Jardin des Tuileries which is in winter mode with severely clipped trees that are completely bare.

By this time it was mid afternoon and we were thinking about lunch. We decided to head back to the apartment and buy some food at the lovely market. We were quite tired as we rounded the final corner and I had been fantasising about the chickens, cheese, gourmet tomatoes, fat white asparagus and mushrooms with the earth still clinging to them for most of the afternoon. It was 3.30 by the time we got there and the market was completely gone and hosed down! Bummer. It is only on on Saturdays too. So we had to trudge on to the supermarche and buy some goods. Then we trudged up 119 steps to the apartment. With that amount of steps you don’t just pop in to drop something off. You think long and hard about whether you really need to!

We had a bit of a rest then headed off to check out another one of our hostess’ recommendations for dinner. It was too easy – we found it only 500m away on Rue de Pont-Louis Phillipe right opposite Ile Saint Louis. So of course we thought that we should keep walking to work up a bit more appetite and check out some other restaurants… We walked over the Pont Saint-Louis bridge which is smothered in love locks, past Notre Dame and ended up on Boulevard Saint-Germain and checked out some of the left bank.

20130407-205127.jpg

We stopped at a small cafe on the way back and had some steak and fries. It seems like every time we successfully order a meal and get what we thought we ordered, it is a major achievement. We are OK with the basic ordering but problems arise if options are offered. I’m getting good at the blank look and saying ‘Australian’ – just to distinguish myself from the British and Americans…

We staggered back to the apartment and worked out that we had done 29 441 steps for the day which equated to 21.2km! That more than doubled my daily best in the lead up to the trip!

Leave a Reply