Thursday, July 7, 2011

6. Ile St. Louis and Rue de Faubourg-St. Honore

We woke up on our own time and had a nice breakfast at our hotel. It is so fantastic to not have to eat at a designated time and be in a big rush because of our agenda for the day as our past trips with students! We decided to walk first this morning to the Pompidou Center - a bizarre modern art museum that looks like it is inside-out due to all the mechanics being on the outside of the building. There is a large area on the outside that often has entertainment going on but not this morning. This is definitely a city that starts and ends late! The Stravinsky fountain was entertainment enough - bright colors and twirling water spouts - coming out of weird shapes (even a woman's breasts) and it always attracts a lively crowd.

The walk to the Pompidou from our hotel (Golden Tulip Little Palace)took us down a street composed almost entirely of shops selling purses (Rue Beaubourg) although quick glances show me that prices were quite outrageous even though this is their month of sales.
We decided we were enjoying the walking and headed to the Ile St. Louis - the home of many of the wealthiest Parisiens - for us it was a walk past pretty and very old homes with interesting facades. We enjoyed very good ice cream at Berthillon and enjoyed a brief respite with chocolat chaud (hot chocolates) at a corner cafe to get our bearings - decide where to head next - and use the facilities!!

Even though our walk last night had already taken us along the Seine, we enjoyed it so much and it would take us to our next destinationm so we went back along the river passing many famous monuments for quick photo ops. We had both seen these famous places many times before so stopping to see them was not necessary. It was nice to see Notre Dame from the back side with the beautiful flying buttresses - perhaps this is truly the front! We also noted the Musee D'Orsay with wonderful exhibitions especially of Impressionist paintings. On the other side of the quai were interesting animal and bird shops...disappointing that few of the bouquinistes were open for business.

We continued past our stop last night at Tuilleries and headed towards an indulgence for me (John was nice to put up with this!) and a stroll down one of the famous shopping areas of the world...right up there with Worth Avenue in both price and reknown - Rue du Faubourg St Honore :) We passed through with difficulty due to construction at the Place de la Concorde and remembered watching the Tour de France from this spot with our daughters on a trip back in 1991. Back to shopping ;) and the whole of 10 minutes I had to check out both Hermes AND Cartier before John would leave me behind hahaha - truly OK with me as we do have to be able to afford to stay here another month in France.
The return to our hotel for a much needed break included a stop at a stand for sandwich jambon et coca lights. We passed by the Palace Elysees which is the home of the French president - Nicholas Sarkozy. Extremely impressive and surrounded by many gendarmes (police) ... tonight we are heading back into Les Halles to see Bad Trip 2 (the French title for Hangover 2!) and dinner. Enough major walking for one day!
Oops John reminded me that I need to own up that I was taken in by a gypsy scam while we walked along the Seine. This woman stopped and seemed to pick up something along the path, showed me it was a gold ring, and explained that she could not take it herself because she is an "evangelista" whatever that is....she wanted me to have it. I accepted and then as we walked off she said that perhaps we could buy her a cup of coffee and I gave her a few small coins. Later on our walk another man did exactly the same thing - only this time we were observant to his arm going down and dropping the ring from his sleeve into his hand. :) He didn't get me this time!! hahha oh well - the ring is now a conversation piece and did not cost me much!

PICS captions:  Stravinsky Fountain, Pompidou Center.
                         Art gallery along street on Il  St. Louis - Jupiter in Paris!
                          Lynn on Right Bank, with  Notre Dame & flying buttresses behind.

CLICK here for all photos and vids:
2011 Dinan and Paris French Adventure

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