Monday, May 14, 2012

14 May, Monday in Paris

Monday, 14 May:  Today’s agenda included procuring tickets and passes and then wandering the Marais, shopping at BHV, taking it easy.  We got up late and all felt fine; no adverse jet lag effects, thankfully.  It was a pretty day so after our fresh, delicious pastries for breakfast, we wandered down rue St. Dominique looking for the store to buy our Navigo Decouverte passes. 

Everything looked delicious

We found the store but they only had two and we needed three.  So off again, still down St. Dom, to the SCNF boutique to get our train tickets to Vernon (for Monet’s gardens at Giverny).  Longish wait for an agent as we made the mistake of getting there at lunch time.  Half hour or so later, tickets in hand, we still need a Navigo for hubby and our Museum Passes.  Decided to go to the nearest Metro station, Invalides, and got it there.  Took the metro one stop and go our Museum Passes on Ave. de la Motte Piquet at a Tabac.  I know there’s probably an easier way to do all of this but I couldn’t figure it out! 

St. Pierre du Gros Cailou; didn't go inside
We had tried to get the Navigo Decouverte cards at the airport on arrival day, Sunday, but they wouldn’t sell them to us—something about the ND week starting on Monday and that being the earliest we could buy the card.  Didn’t sound right, but hard to fight the agents…  We used our Navigo’s a lot; well worth the money paid!

With our Navigo’s in hand, we boarded the Bus 69 to the Bastille stop and started our wander of the Marais from there.  This bus worked out very well and was sincerely the only one we kinda understood.  I told hubby that next time, we need to figure out the bus system since buses are so accessible and riding them is much nicer than walking through the Metro stations.

The Bastille; busy traffic circle with a tremendous past!
It was a beautiful day again and we were all glad to be outside enjoying the lovely weather in such a lovely city.  The Marais was bustling.  I remembered liking the area from our first trip—small streets, interesting shops and galleries, fun restaurants.  As it was Monday, the museums were closed but Place des Vogues was filled with people catching the rays.  The Hotel de Ville was glowing in the sunshine.  We went into BHV and looked around but didn't buy anything.  Niece got to experience that very Parisian toilet on the boulevard.  She said it was weird using the facilities with traffic noise all around!  

Enjoying the sunshine at Place des Vogues

Niece would like this carriage for her wedding

Lots of people wandering around the Marais

Entertaining the crowds at the Pompadou

Hotel du Ville: has to be the prettiest city hall in the world!

BHV, great place to shop if you don't have a budget

Cute baby duckling at the Quai du Branly Museum across from the apartment

Dinner that night was at Le Reminet. I reserved using and had the 40% off special. It was lovely. The food was delicious, the service very good, and was overall an enjoyable experience (and a good deal with the discount). The sun set around 10pm so we walked over to Notre Dame for the night time views. It was a very cold evening, especially to two underdressed southern women! We grabbed the RER at St. Michel Notre Dame and went two stops before it was shut down for the night--we were told to get off by two guards with a muzzled German Sheppard dog in tow! 

We walked back to the apartment and crashed, catching the 11pm ET sparkle show in the process—so pretty…  So wonderful to be in Paris

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