Sunday, April 22, 2012

An Easy Day

Got a late-ish start: had coffee at home and only headed out the door about 10. Today is officially market day on Rue Mouffe' and we determined to buy a few things for the house before the whole street shuts down tight this afternoon until Tuesday morning.

Marian avoids buying flowers from one of several itinerant vendors.

At the supermarket we bought milk, butter, kleenex and coffee. Out on the street we bought 100 grams of English Breakfast tea from one of the two tea vendors (merchants de thè) and fruit from one of four fruit vendors. Back to the flat to stow stuff, and finally out for sightseeing.

Carrying umbrellas, because the weather is increasingly iffy. The last couple of days have been grand, with big lumpy clouds blowing by and only rarely a shower. But the forecast is for increasingly crappy weather tonight and also the next four days. But today we only got rained on once.

We walked from Rue Broca up Mouffetard almost to the Seine to catch the fourth route of the hop-on hop-off tour bus line, the only route we hadn't ridden at least some of yesterday. Helped one french-speaking tourist with directions (she saw we had a map). Spotted a tourist couple on rental bikes getting directions.

The guy had just thrown his map into the bike basket in disgust when these people came along.

This bus went east past the Place de la Bastille and the National library, then back in toward town.

Notre Dame flaunts its buttresses.

This composition of living and stone figures tickled David.

Marian liked the two kids on scooters.

Mercury, on the column in the Place de la Bastille, tries to wave off the rain.

Back toward town we note some graffiti. There is lots of graffiti in Paris, little of it as artistic as this.

The bus was about to retrace scenes we'd seen yesterday so we got off to see the Place des Vosges ("vohzh" we think). We had no idea what this would be like; just mentions in the guidebook of a magnificent square with formal garden, "the first planned development in Paris" in 1612. Turns out there are brick arcades all around, populated by trendy art galleries and some restaurants. We walked all around and stopped for coffee and a crépe.

General view.

View from the garden.

From here, with rain threatening, we decided to see what Les Halles was like. The city's central market until 1969, the space was converted to the biggest metro station in Europe (Chatalet-Les Halles) and an underground mall "widely acknowledged to be an architectural disaster," to quote the Rough Guide. But still, a big mall on a rainy Sunday? Why not? So we found the nearest metro to Place des Vosges and three stops later got out. Very few stores open, confusing layout, and yes, pretty ugly. And the two (2) public toilets were bolted shut.

So we traipsed through the immense rabbit-warren of the metro station following the seductive lure of a 7 in a pink circle, the icon of the line that serves our place. At one point there was a whole Klezmer band busking away.

We walked and walked and walked and we also rode on two of the longest trottoir roulants (powered walkways) we've ever seen. Feeling a bit tired, we obeyed the Tenez Votre Droite signs and kept to our right, while what seemed like hundreds of people strode briskly past us.

Tenez votre droite or be run the heck over.

Back to the flat for a quiet afternoon, then out to find out which of the cafés around Square Medard have stayed open on a Sunday. If any.

1 comment:

  1. I eagerly await your comments and pictures each day. You could write a book. Love your hat David. Love Marians tennies. That one guy in the first picture looks like President Johnson! Your flat looks like your place at home. No unnessary stuf around. What a trip. Lol