Mesdames et messieurs,
small exceptions to our standards.
Last month we sacrificed some weekend to fly a bit ‘further, and more specifically to return to visit the French capital, that already captivated us a year ago.
Having known it in a clear but cold and bare February, this time we wanted to see the city in bloom, full of colors, lit by a sun that never sets, and luxuriant as a few others. Backpacking, with minimum clothing, Routard.guide which alone is worth 3 pounds of luggage, and camera always around the neck, we faced four days of tourism to 360° (thanks to the Paris Museum Pass, good resource gettable directly online, which gives free access to more than 60 museums and monuments in Paris and its territory).
Our days were so ranged from art to history, to technology, with various “natural” interludes and long, long walks.
We liked Paris again, even more we love it, one of the few cities where it could be worth escape.
If you are interested in learning about our itinerary, here you can find it day by day.
For those who want to go straight to the “crux of the matter”, here you can find our suggestion for a good dinner in the French capital:
Page 35: restaurant located in Marais and more specifically at 4 Rue du Parc Royal (cross Rue de Turenne), very close to Place des Vosges. It was recommended last year by Alex, the apartment’s owner we had rented. And being Alex a Parisian DOC, we decided to trust.
The restaurant is a bit ‘on the sidelines respect the chaotic nightlife. It ‘s small but very colorful, and also serves as an art gallery, with its walls covered with paintings (for sale). Offers both “à la carte” and a variety of tourist menus, both with affordable prices, the portions abound and the staff is friendly.
As already mentioned, we have known this restaurant on our first trip in Paris, and this spring we went back there with great pleasure. Both times was chosen “Menu Breton,” which includes “galette au sarrasin + dessert + boisson” or “salade + dessert + boisson” (for those unaware, galettes are savory crepes made with buckwheat ed), all for € 12.90. Consider both dinners, we tasted a total of 3 different types of galette, seafood salad, various flavors of ice cream, a crepe with Nutella and a rose wines. All very good, true to the original recipes, served with a smile, and immersed in an atmosphere that smells of real Paris. Moreover we were always surrounded by indigenous people, that argues strongly in favor of the restaurant.
Only two warnings:
1- being the galette gigantic, be careful to order a too full one, because you risk exploding
2- attention to pronunciation, because we recived a mango ice cream instead of mint.
As there are a few tables, reservations are recommended, even though we have always relied on luck 😉
However, for any further information:
4 rue du Parc Royal (dans Paris 3ème)
Tel: (+33) 01 44 54 35 35
Recommended dish: galette, rosè wine
And now, for people who need some inspiration, here you can find our travel itinerary:
– Day 1: After landing at Orly in the early morning, we we stopped to leave luggage in the rented house in the Marais, and we headed to Parc de la Villette, where we explored the City of Science and Industry: multidisciplinary, interactive, full of cues for both grown ups and children. Returning to the house we then enjoyed the spring air doing a nice walk along the Canal Sant-Martin, large and colorful people, dogs, and clubs of all types. Dinner, to finish in style, at Page 35.
– Day 2: The morning we visited the little known Musée des Arts et Métiers (a few steps from home, location where takes place “Foucault’s Pendulum“, the novel by Umberto Eco,). Museum full of inventions that have marked the history (from the astrolabe, to the meter, the first cameras, up to a computer and space robots that travel the soil of Mars), and located in the Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, whose basilica hosts small planes suspended, and vintage cars, as well as the pendulum aforementioned.
ame out very satisfied from there, we did a small edible intermission, and then straight to the Louvre, for a “dive” that began at 14 and ended at 19.50. It ‘was hard and we came out tired and sore but.. what a treat!
Really beautiful, really amazing, really unique. And certainly not only tanks to Gioconda, distant dot hidden by a wall of people. The real beauty are the most unsuspected, from the microscopic Etruscan statue to the giant Assyrian Babylonian sculpture.
Immense. Stately. Impressive.
Came back outdoors, helped by a sunset delayed to end, we camped in a green corner along the Jardins de Tuileries, amid picnic for families with children, groups of guys with guitar , and joggers. Then the house, with its own kitchen and a quick dinner.
– Day 3: modern art for us in the morning, at the Centre Pompidou, which, unfortunately, was closed on the 4th floor (works since 1960). But the brush strokes of Miro, Matisse, Modigliani and company, as well as the wonderful view of the city and the colorful Stravinsky Fountain outside, have involved us as much as the Louvre.
Unlike the Orsay Museum, the last that we touched. His collection of Impressionists is a gem, and alone is worth the visit, but the rest of the exposures seemed sometimes heavy, sometimes incomprehensible (perhaps because of our lack of artistic culture).
At this point, after so many “interiors”, we needed to review a little green, and an “old friend” who had not still met again. So we took the subway, and in a few steps, we reached the TOWER, and his Champ de Mars where we rested for an hour, surrounded as usual by more different population.
So a new, long walk, along the Seine, during which we passed through the floating gardens Niki de Saint Phalle, the meadows of Les Invalides, the small forest that surrounds the Quai Branly museum, and again the Jardin de Tuileries, with their pools full of fish, small chairs of iron available for everyone, and the more purple flowers in the world.
Dinner in a cheap but wretched restaurant and digestion with a bottle of rosé bought to celebrate the last night.
– Day 4: We spent the last hours in Paris in the name of the open air, around Notre Dame, appearing into the small courtyard of the Musee de Cluny, and admiring the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg, where we met Michel, a magical character who spends his afternoons to collect people’s dreams .. dreams which then binds to a small sailing ship that sails the waters of the lake inside the park.
Then luggage, airport, and our wonderful Florence.
There could be a more romantic end to our little trip? Maybe not.
We have just written a letter to Michel, sending him also the references of this blog.
We hope answer soon ..