Monday, April 13, 2009

Paris Day 01

We arrived in Paris at 7:30 am. Cleared customs, claimed bags and we were curbside by 8:30 am. Perfect time to grab a cab and hightail it into Paris. During rush hour on a sunny Friday morning.

We arrived at out hotel at 9:30 am. Check in time was 2 pm. They were very gracious and took our bags into storage so we could stroll the town unfettered. First order of business, COFFEE.And let me introduce out travel partners on this journey, Richard (who if you click on this photo above you will discover is drinking "Café Richard) and Christine.
Christine is beholding the wide array of stinky cheeses available in Paris. Seriously, you could smell that shop from the street with the door closed.

After we had ingested some wholesome goodness, coffee and croissant) Lyle and I took Christine and Richard to the Isle St. Louis in the middle of the Seine.

Lyle explored mysterious courtyards...

Everyone (except me) went in to the butcher shop (look closely, you can see them inside).

And though we've been to Paris numerous times and walked down this street every single time, we heard music coming from inside this church for the first time and we decided to take a look inside.
St Louis en l'Ile Church: First built in 1622, this atmospheric church invites with a vast, stunning wooden door decorated with angels. Inside, it is surprisingly impressive and immense.

The Hotel Lambert on the Isle St. Louis has a rich and interesting history.

We stumbled and walked our way all over the city. We saw quite a large police presence around some government building and commented it must be in response to recent protests in Paris. This always brings up a quote from my first visit to Paris when I met a friend of Lyle's who told me, "You may have traveled to Paris before, but until you've been tear gassed in Paris, you've never really been to Paris."

We turned the corner in front of City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and found out protesters.
We took a quick photo and all agreed that we did not want today to be the day we got tear gassed in Paris. We moved on.

Lyle had done some research on where to eat in Paris and selected for our first meal, Robert et Louise.

Back in the 1960s Robert et Louise started charbroiling côtes de boeuf (rib steaks) over an open fire in the back of their small restaurant on the Rue Vieille-du-Temple in the Marais. With its low prices, the place was popular with impecunious students, some of whom paid the bill with paintings, which still hang on the walls (don’t expect any Picassos), along with all sorts of photos and kitschy memorabilia.

That is our steak for three (that more than served four) on the open hearth cooking INSIDE the restaurant. All the smoke went out the open door next to it... I can't imagine what this is like in the deepest cold of winter, but in the cold of early Spring we were loving it.

We sat sown at a communal table (after the staff moved people around) and we had our steak, potatoes, salad and a bottle of wine. I think we had dessert but at this point I can no longer remember.

At last out hotel rooms were ready. We checked in, unpacked, then Richard and Lyle took naps. Christine and I went out shopping. I think Christine bought a T-shirt (a nice Parisian designer t-shirt) and then we toured a few more shops including this lovely EXPENSIVE dog store.
After a few hours dodging doggie doody on the Paris sidewalks, you do not want to think of a dog that size leaving presents behind!

We all managed to stay awake for dinner and found ourselves wandering down the Rue de Saint Paul. We saw a menu board we liked, we ducked into a hidden courtyard et voila! Had dinner in a restaurant all to ourselves.
This photo is to illustrate that we had all received the memo that the current trend for scarf wearing in Paris is looped once around your neck and then both ends fall casually back to the front. Do not be caught with last year's scarf tie!

I found a groovy thing on the Internet that allowed me to plot out (approximately) where and how far we walked the first morning. Behold!
Approximately 3.5 miles. After a full day of travel, not much sleep, and not nearly enough coffee.


dit said...

ahhh, I am in heaven looking at your photos. It must be amazing.

Tim in Italy said...

"impecunious students"

Impecunious, Jim? If you're going to use words like that, I think you need to put a parental disclaimer on your blog.

I'm finding all of this very informative. You made it from the airport to your hotel during rush hour on a Friday morning in an hour? I can't find my way out of CDG in an hour. You are truly blessed.

Looking forward to part two... when do we get to the pastries?

"Just David!" said...

Fabulous, can't wait for the next installment!

Rachel said...

Hope the shoes were comfortable.

Robb said...

Robert et Louise! We are always with you.