"Everyone knows the more you wear pearls, little by little they become real....And isn't it the same with memories?" - The Madwoman of Chaillot

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sleeping in the park and walking in the rain - to a phantastic ending

Today you find out why I told you to remember three pictures from yesterday. It was a good thing I remembered them!

But first, at the end of the "Tour de France" (ok, just a little of Paris), we were thirsty and tired, still a bit jet lagged... So we stopped at a cafe and had coffee and a cheese plate.

French cheese and French bread, my new favorite meal...as you will witness as we go on

The plan was a boat ride on the Seine, which we had been told to do at night. So now we had to use up about 4-5 hours which sounded too short to go home, take a nap and come back, but too long to keep walking aimlessly. Saw the park with this impressive monument and sat down on a bench, "just for a minute" and ended up sleeping on Bill's shoulder for maybe an hour.

Then Bill had the great idea to just forget the night boat ride and do it now - we walked to the boats and had about a five minute wait only until it left. We cruised up and down the Seine, having buildings and many of the bridges over the Seine pointed out. Pictures are grouped as pictures of bridges, the Eifel tower and boats I thought were cool - there are lots of dinner cruises including one from Maxim's restaurant and lots of personal house boats...


The statue here was used to measure flooding. In one major flood it got to his neck..

And boats

A party on our boat - seemed like a bridal shower or bachelorette party until the "angel" (dressed in white with halo) stood up and posed with a boat employee in a fake kiss shot - and she's about 8 months pregnant.... So who knows? They were having fun though...

And what's Paris without some Eiffel Tower shots...

Ok, so boat tour accomplished, we set out to take a bus back up to Montmartre area.

I forgot to mention that on the way down we were waiting for Bus 74 near our apartment and a woman at the stop asked if we needed any help - very nice. Any stories about the French not being friendly I have to take exception to. They do not greet strangers they pass on the street the way we do (at least in Minnesota) but every person has been lovely, helpful and interesting to talk to. They seemed to enjoy that we attempted to speak French but did not mind speaking English when they knew it. Some people seem to not know English, even in cafes but they worked things out...

So, back to the bus home. We waited at the published stop but there was a sign that my rudimentary French could not decipher about our bus. Another couple came and we asked if this was correct - they assured us it was and said they were going to the same stop. Then another person came who knew the, and said that bus 74 no longer stops there, go down 3 more bus stops. So they explained and brought us along. Not one 74 bus came in around a half hour so they decided to give ip and take the metro and told us to follow them...through two metros lines in very crowded cars where they constant kept track to make sure we were with them, including pulling me into a car I was sure had NO room. Very nice people...

So now we were back in the Pigalle area and walked up the hill to Monmartre area. Our goal for the night was Le Cave Gaston Leroux for dinner. A cave it turns out is a small wine bar with just small plates like appetizers. However by this time it was dark and raining. And while Bill said he remembered right where it was, it turns out he did not.

Now comes those three pictures I told you to remember. Suddenly I remembered I had photographed the place

and that pictures taken before and after might help pinpoint the place. The Cave was not in our GPS database but after ducking under cover, looking at pictures we remembered that the Moulin de la Galette was just 2-3 minutes before our goal,

and Le Consulat was right after

Bill was sure it was past the Consulat but that proved him wrong and after 20-30 minutes of walking in the rain, we turned downhill and there it was...

For those who don't know, our daughter Colleen LOVES Phantom of the Opera and Gaston Leroux, the author of the book. This place, it turns out, is owned by Gaston Leroux's great granddaughter and was FULL of memorabilia - a "Colleen heaven". We tried to get her on Skype but she was sleeping (in South Korea, where it was the middle of the night).

We had a wonderful cheese plate and wine.

Will save the rest of the pictures for Colleen because we have one more stop for the night - dessert across from the Moulin Rouge

Chocolate mousse for Bill and crepes for me and wine... And talked to people from Canada.

Whew, end of day two and did we ever sleep well that night...

Coming up next - St Germain-en-laye and sleeping where kings slept - and other famous people...

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Paris, the Seine and Montmartre

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