Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday 29 December - Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville and much more

Sea urchins, razor clams and lobster - rue de Levis
We went all over the place today starting off at Notre Dame.  I was horrified to see the ghastly structure they have built in front of the church to celebrate its 850th anniversary.  It is impossible to get a good view of the exterior.

We went early but the place was still quite busy.  There was then a walk to Hotel de Ville where Pat rented skates for a spin on the ice.

Click above to see Pat skating
Place des Vosges and then via the National Archives to the Pompidou Centre with the enormous line ups.
National Archives
The Pompidou Centre is similar to North American steam locomotives - they hung all the guts on the ourside.
A quick trip across town to admire St. Sulpice which has been well restored outside.

St. Sulpice has large windows which let in a lot of light.  Much better than most churches of this era.
The organist was practicing.  It was an unfamiliar piece, probably J.S. Bach.  Click below to see three videos and hear the organ.

We then walked along to Le Bon Marche on Sevres which is a large departmental store with lots of staff and few customers.  The staff was very pleasant making eye contact and smiling "Bonjour."  There is a large epicerie right next door which was filled with interesting things.

We had a snack at a brasserie right outside.
I was treated to the pleasure of an old style toilet at the Brasserie.  Don't stand on the porcelain while flushing as the water overflows.  The lights were on a timer and went out at a critical juncture - remember where the light switch is before you start.
We then went across town to the Madeleine to visit the Apple store.  Mary bailed out here and left Pat and me to try to see the window displays on the Boulevard Hausseman.  It was very very crowded and very very unpleasant and we got out to the metro as soon as possible.

We set out to go to Le Relais de Venise but it was full so we went round the corner to a low end place.  The waiter was very pleasant and the food was good but not exceptional. A man at a table not far off was robbed.  He had taken off his jacket and put it over the back of his chair, leaving his wallet in the inside pocket.  Someone at the next table took his wallet.  That is a good lesson and is why I keep my wallet, cell phone and camera in front zip pockets in my pants.

I finished the day with chocolate tart and Calvados

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