Saturday, 16 November 2013

2 days of walking our orteilles off!

Ok, I'm on a roll, so here's the next 2 days of our 2013 2 week Parisian odyssey.

After spending a wonderful Sunday afternoon with our new Parisian friends, it was time to resume the walking and eating marathon. And walk we did on Monday ~ from the Marais to Republique, along the beautiful Canal St Martin to Place Stalingrad, and up through the 19th to Parc des Buttes Chaumont!

We left the apartment after a late breakfast and made our way through the little streets of the upper Marais.  I will never get tired of the Marais.  I know it has gotten very touristy in spots over the last few years, but I still love the many twisty little streets full of new discoveries and surprises, full of great places to stop to eat, drink, shop and just be in Paris.  We spent a little time in the cute little Square du Temple park watching little kids play in the sun.  Monday was just an absolutely beautiful sunny fall day, with warm temperatures of about 20 degrees celsius.  From there, we walked to the newly redone Place de la Rebuplique, all shiny and new and teeming with people on this perfect day.

not a cloud over the Paris rooftops!

kids playing at pard Square du Temple

the newly redone Place de la Republique

lots of place for everyone to stroll around

beautiful old bakery near la Rebuplique

We then made our way to the Canal St Martin.  It was such a gorgeous day for a walk and there were many people enjoying lunch along the Canal.  We love this area and have taken the Canal cruise twice, enjoying going through the locks and the raising and lowering of the water at each lock.  Today, we were content to stroll along the water, making our way over many of the little bridges over each lock and taking lots of pictures.

love the Paris doors!

space invader for Seb

love these curved buildings!

lunch along the canal

in case you forget!
Once we got to the Place Stalingrad, we realized how close we were to one of our favourite parks in Paris, Buttes Chaumont.  We decided to keep walking since it was such a warm sunny day.  We picked up some great baguette sandwiches and a pistachio tart and had a picnic lunch watching the many joggers work off the calories we were consuming, lol.  We then walked around the park, going to the top where the Temple de la Sibylle, inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy, offers breath taking views of Sacre Coeur and Montmartre.  Walking through 5 arrondissments (3rd, 4th, 11th, 10th and 19th) finally caught up with us and we decided that as nice as the day still was, we would take the bus home.  We caught the 75 in front of la mairie du 19ieme back to Republique and made our way back through the Marais, stopping at the little bar across the street from our apartment for a well deserved happy hour drink!

Sacre Coeur from the top of Buttes Chaumont

suspension bridge in the middle of Paris!

the arches at Place des Voges

our apartment from the bar across the street

We had reservations at another hot spot in Paris, le 6 Paul Bert, owned by the same chef who runs Bistro Paul Bert.  We rested our little tootsies and made the smart decision to take the metro to the restaurant.  Although owned by the same chef, the cooking is done by a Canadian chef and it's a different concept where you choose 3 mains and a dessert from a daily menu for a fixed price of 44 euros.  We had a fantastic meal, everything was so fresh and well prepared.  The table are very close together but that just encourages you to chat with your neighbours, which we love doing.

The portions are small, but we found the 4 courses left us with just the right feeling of being satisfied but not gut bustingly full.  This is a place we will return to again as we really enjoyed the casual atmosphere, the friendly yet professional service and the fresh menu that changes according to what is freshest that day.  We walked home hand in hand through the 11th and thanked our lucky stars we were in Paris together, on a starry fall evening.

Morning came very early on Tuesday as we were up at 5:30 and out the door at 6:30.  Today we are getting out of Paris for only the 2nd time in 9 trips and 95 days!  We booked Eurostar tickets for London when they came out 120 days before for 88 euros each.  Our train was leaving at 7:30 and our G7 Taxi was right on time to get us to Gare du Nord. I had booked online the night before to ensure an available early morning cab.  The train ride was very smooth and I slept most of the way.  We got into London right on time and were on the tube within 30 minutes of disembarking at St Pancras.  Our first stop was the London Eye, where we had purchased skip the line tickets.  This was the one thing that Den really wanted to do, mostly for the picture taking opportunities.  Picking up the tickets was very easy and we were on the Eye within 15 minutes of getting there.  We had an unusually sunny day (for London) and our views were clear for miles around.

Big Ben 

After the London Eye, we began our walking trek that would take us by Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccidilly Circus, Regent Street and the huge and wonderful temple to excess that is Harrod's.  We had fish and chips in a pub for lunch (no time for reservations and culinary finds when you're only in town for 11 hours,  lol).

We made it back to the train station about an hour before our train left, enough time to have a quick dinner and drink and spend our last pounds at Mark and Spencer's.  We got back to Paris about 11:30pm, exhausted and happy to be back in our city.  London was fun, but I don't feel a need to go back.  I know I probably didn't give it the proper time to really get a feel for it, but it just didn't do it for me.  I'm happy we went but it's kind of a been there, done that feeling for me.

Anyways, here's all the typical tourist shots:

didnt' go in ~ too much $$$

our pub for lunch

fish & chips and mushy peas!

Buckingham Palace

don't mess with this chick!

probably put that up after Queen Elizabeth found a visitor in her bedroom a few years ago

Yeah, Canada!

the beautiful Egyptian escalator

1 comment:

  1. Yes you are right, nowhere does it for me either but Paris. I go to lots of other cities, which are lovely, fascinating and interesting, but nowhere feels like home in the same way. Even looking at your wonderful pictures and reading about the oh so familiar places, I have walked in your footsteps and they have been home for me at some time.

    Thanks for the virtual tour. Nice to brighten up a Monday morning!

    Love Denise.