Posted by: vlibrizzi | September 23, 2009

The Paris Tour Guide: Days 4 and 5–Walking, Eating, Boating, Shopping

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Day 4: A Market Visit, A Walking Tour, and an American-style Pizza

On Sunday morning, A. and I visited the Fontainebleau market…which is awesome in the fall. There are so many colorful apples, oddly-shaped squash, and hearty mushrooms at the market nowadays that it kind of doesn’t make me feel sad that the summer is ending and we’re heading into the fall. You can see one of A.’s  photos of girolle mushrooms from the market in the photo to the left. 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1750Then, after C. got back from a run (he’s training for a race next weekend), the three of us headed into Paris to go on a great walking tour of a part of the city. We joined a two hour tour on the French Resistance during WWII led by the company, Paris Walks, which took us through the Tuileries gardens, the Place Vendome, the Elysees Palace (where the President lives—photo to the left), the Place de Concorde, and then ended at the Champs-Elysees.

Our tour guide was fantastic—he knew more about Paris during WWII than anyone, I’d imagine! Plus, the tour made us realize that although we’ve lived here in France for almost a year, there’s so much about Paris that we still don’t know….and so many places that we still haven’t seen. I think we’ll try to do another walking tour with Paris Walks soon. I’d like to do the two-hour Hemingway walk, while C. would really like to do the walking tour of the Pere Lachaise cemetary….we’ll see who wins with that one. 🙂

 

 

IMG_1765After our walk, the three of us wandered around the city for a bit and ended up near the Canal St. Martin. We stopped at the takeout pizza place, The Pink Flamingo, that we have been trying to visit since we’ve come back to France. 

Luckily, this time The Pink Flamingo was open, and we ordered our pizza, got our pink balloon, and walked down to the canal to wait for our pizza to be delivered. Then, after about 20 minutes of waiting by the canal, the delivery man rode up on his bike, spotted our pink balloon, and delivered our warm, think-crust pizza. The pizza was wonderful! We shared a small tomato basil pie, and also shared a funky paella pie (a pizza with all the things you’d put on paella, except for the rice). 
After dinner, C. met up with a friend to go to a Paris St. Germain vs. Lyon soccer game (which he loved!!!) and A. and I headed home to have some tea and dessert (a large raspberry-filled macaron from our favorite bakery in Fontainebleau). It was a perfect ending to a great day!

Day 5: Bateau Mouche, Shopping in the Marais, and French Bistro Dinner

Monday was A.’s last day here in France so we saved the most tourist-y, but fun, thing for last: a bateau mouche ride. These large boats slowly cruise down the Seine while tour guides point out relevant sights in English and in French. Our ride started at Pont Neuf, went all the way down to the Eiffel Tower, and then all the way to the Latin Quarter. I had heard from others that the tour guides are not very nice, but our guide was a sweet French girl who told us a lot about the surrounding buildings and the architecture. 

After the boat ride, we took the metro to the Marais, met a friend of mine for some falafel, and then did some shopping. Then, while I was in class, A. visited the L’Orangerie museum. She wasn’t up for conquering the Louvre with only a few hours while I was in class, so instead, she went to the L’Orangerie with great Impressionist paintings, including Monet’s water lillies.

After class, A. and I walked to the Bon Marche where we met C. who had come into Paris to meet us after his classes. The three of us shopped around the food store,  and then walked around the neighborhood by Saint Sulpice. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to walk around because we had a dinner reservation at this great, tiny bistro near Montparnasse called La Cerisaie. The restaurant specializes in food from the southwest of France, so we had lots of great wine and foie gras! Yum! The dinner was a great way to end our time together in France. It was a wonderful, jam-packed five days.

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