Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I See The Light
As sappy as it may sound, that was the highlight of my day. Yeah, the Arc du Triomph (sp?) was impressive and the view from atop it astounding; Orsay Museum hid a different masterpiece in its little nooks (I can't even imagine what the Louvre will be like tomorrow, my feet and brain hurt already just thinking about it); Sacre Cour was beautiful, even though the surrounding area had a seedy feel; the walk down the Champs E'Lysees had my head spinning and my wallet crying. But those moments that you can't get from the Rick Steve's guidebook, that you can't capture with your Nikon, are the ones you remember the longest.
Rick's a good guy, one of the best people I've never met in person, in fact. But as I said to Danielle today, sometimes he's just a suggestion, not a to-do list. And Rick, I'm absolutely sure, would agree with me. Which is why on our walk down the hill from Sacre Cour, I took a right. Then a left. Then I don't know what. I used the map to put us in the vicinity of the street that may or may not take us to Moulin Rouge (tourist trap in a seedy XXX part of town - photograph the big red windmill and move along).
Along the way we found a cheese shop. We stopped in a bought some cheese, somehow, from the shopkeep who didn't speak English. We ended up with a small wheel of soft, stinky French cheese that was too pungent to eat on its own. So around the next corner, when we smelled fresh baked bread, voila! Another left, another bakery, another baguette. Further down that hill we stopped into a wine shop and scooped up two bottle of what we think is local wine (we can't translate the bottles but who cares, its wine - oh and my French pronunciation must be getting good because my Bonjour, Monsieur made the shopkeep start a conversation with me in French. Danielle had to tell him we had no idea what he was talking about). The last stop before the train home was a tiny shop filled with mustards, jams, spices, pattes, salts, etc. The jelly sampled would go well with our little dinner. So just like every other Parisian I've seen trekking home from work, we hopped a train with our baguettes, en route to a makeshift French meal. As I sit here polishing off one of the bottles of wine, I must commend myself and my wife - tre bien!
Stupid Tourists: 2 - As we left Saint Chappelle four tourists passed us. How did I know from 30 feet away that they were American? For one, the men were wearing "The Da Vinci Code" baseball hats they obviously bought for their trip to Paris. Two, they were from, I'd guess, Long Island - and I know that by accent and attire. The loudest of the women yelled to her friend across the entry courtyard, "Do you think its real stained glass in there? Pssh, the woman said so but, pssh, I don't know." Stupid Tourists.