Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Paris: Days 5, 6 & 7

Jardin du Luxembourg

Here's the final post from my recent trip to Paris, wrapping up our last three days in the city.

We had a lazy start to Thursday with a quick trip to a local supermarket that Kathryn told us had a good wine cave. We both picked up a few gifts for the office and a couple of bottles of wine each. We couldn't carry much and I don't know how to select wine even if I could!

After the supermarket we walked through the back streets of Bastille towards lunch at Bistro Paul Bert. I enjoyed walking through another new district; flooring, fashion and student dive bars seemed to predominate in the area. The hottest lunch spot in town seemed to be the Vietnamese Paris Hanoi restaurant which had a queue coming out of the door and down the street.

After lunch we caught the metro up to Montparnasse and walked across to the Jardin du Luxembourg for a look around the gardens and to enjoy some of the late October sunshine.

After the park we visited the Musée Maillol to see the Etruscan exhibition, a period in history that I know virtually nothing about. Some of the exhibits were incredibly intricate and well preserved considering they were nearly 3,000 years old.

National Archives
On Friday we decided to do a walking tour with Paris Walks. The only walk they were offering was the sombre sounding Paris during the occupation and Liberation. It was a pleasant way to pass a two / three hours and walk down streets that I hadn't been down before. I picked up some interesting facts, but didn't think it was a cohesive as the walking tour I took in Berlin last year. Facts felt like they were randomly strung together rather than offering an cohesive story.

In the evening we had our best dinner of the week at Au Passage.

On Saturday morning we decided to stay in our local area before heading back to the Gare du Nord for our train home. We started off by checking out a store we'd seen on Friday but was closed for a stock take; Merci. Our landlady is obviously a fan as we spotted a few items from the flat in the shop. Some shocking prices kept my wallet firmly in my pocket.

After Merci we had a drift round the northern back streets in the  district of Marais. The northern part of Marais is filled with lots of interesting independent small shops and is a lot more pleasant than the bustling tourist streets in the southern area of Marais.

We popped into a supermarket chain called Picard. They are the M&S of the frozen food world and it was quite incredible to look round. You could easily cater a diner party from there as well as pick up a posh TV diner. With the right marketing I think the chain could do well in the UK. I want to buy the franchise.

On the way back to our flat we stumbled across the National Archives which had some small but lovely gardens and a more classical courtyard (above).

Back in the flat we had a bit of a shock when we realised that our train was an hour earlier than we thought. Clothes were thrown into bags and we were off to the Gare du Nord!

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