Monday morning rather bright and early, we lugged all our stuff onto the Underground in London, having found a close-by tube station that was on the same line as King’s Cross (technically, St. Pancras since we were travelling internationally) – much better than the changing we had to do to get everywhere earlier! The Eurostar ride was nice and quiet, uneventful, and quick! I’m definitely into this train thing.
We rented an apartment in Le Marais, which turned out to be an amazing location – walking distance to tons of stuff, including the Louvre; and in an easy place on the Metro as well. Although, after all the time we spent in the Underground in London, we were eager to spend some time exploring above ground!
The first day after we settled in, we just went for a walk all around and took some photos in the sunshine (also very different from London!). Some sitting and knitting, too. We had falafel from L’As du Falafel for dinner, which was super.
Tuesday we briefly checked out La Droguerie (and Ys was admonished for taking a photo inside) before heading down to the Louvre, which incidentally is closed on Tuesdays. That was okay, since we weren’t planning on going to the main museum anyway! And it meant that the whole area was a bit less busy than it would’ve been had the museum been open.
We sat in the square a bit, taking photos, knitting. Paris has been great for more chill time, more just hanging out and people watching, not really rushing to get anywhere for certain times or anything like that.
After some lunch in the Jardin des Tuileries, we headed into the Musee de la Mode et du Textile – they had on an exhibition of Valentino! The museum is part of Les Arts Decoratifs, so we also checked out the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (included in the admission price). Some pretty awesome stuff – particularly the rather large collections of chairs from lots of different eras! man, the sixties were a crazy design time. We took the Metro back to the apartment rather than walking…we were a little tired by then!
Wednesday we actually set an alarm clock and headed out to meet up with Samia of French-Kit.com at Le Bon Marche – a big, super chic (expensive) department store on the Left Bank. Their yarn department stocks Rowan (didn’t really look at it, though), Phildar, Debbie Bliss, Anny Blatt, Plassard…can’t really remember what else, but it was a pretty decent selection. Yeah, I bought yarn.
Colour theme, anyone? I also got some needles so I could continue my sock! We hopped a bus with Samia (it’s nice to travel with a guide!) and headed for an organic and vegetarian restaurant near where we were staying, called Le Potager du Marais (22 rue Rambuteau, 3rd). The food was really nice and although the place is small, it’s very friendly. Lots of things on the menu are vegan-friendly as well, including the desserts!
Samia gave us some suggestions for getting around, bus routes to take and such, before we said au revoir. We left our yarn back in the apartment, then headed out to do some intensive shopping! We’d been sort of noting cool little shops right around the area of our apartment, so it was time to do a little exploring and purchasing. I bought a bunch of stuff, including a fancy made-in France skirt and some gifts for people back home. Since we ate out at lunch, we stayed in for dinner and made some random stir-fry with rice noodles I’d been carrying in my bag since London. Green veggies to balance out the croissants!
Finally, in my week-in-Paris roundup, today we took a bus up to Pigalle, then did the hike up to Sacre-Coeur in Montmartre. Unfortunately the sun and the steps sort of did me in, and I felt a bit lightheaded and faint up at the top – not so fun. The view was amazing though.
Bit of a rest, some sugar and salt (Coke and crisps), and we made our way slowly down the Butte. We wandered around the cemetery a bit, which was full of interesting things. Didn’t seek out any famous people, just walked and looked. And took photos – I’m working on getting them up on my Flickr, where incidentally, you can all see many, many, many more photos of my trip if you so desire!
On our last night here, baguette, cheese, and tomatoes for dinner, macarons for dessert. Some serious tidying up and packing to do! Tomorrow morning I’m hoping to get out to this chocolate shop we passed the other day to buy a jar of caramel beurre salé. And I need to buy postcards. Things we’ve not done in Paris: gone to the Eiffel Tower or the Champes-Élysées, visited the main Louvre, gone to Ladurée (or any other fancy food places, actually), well, lots of other touristy things. And you know what? It suited us just fine.
(Frozen yogourt from around the corner. Mmmm.)
Tomorrow it’s back to Edinburgh, on two trains…our train tomorrow to London is at 2:15, but…there’s a slight snag. In case you don’t want to click – the Channel Tunnel was closed today (Thursday) due to a fire on a train, and service was canceled for at least the rest of the day. Eurostar is saying that they don’t expect to be running anything in the morning. And then I’d expect that the afternoon ones will be insane (or at least, the stations are going to be insane!). Arghhhhh. We certainly can’t afford to fly back to Edinburgh at 700 pounds a ticket!
Send good travel vibes? Or alternate travel ideas?
ETA: Since Eurostar isn’t guaranteeing travel tomorrow for ticketholders (and we wouldn’t want to be caught at King’s Cross! Yikes!) we’ve just booked a cheap last-minute flight direct from Paris to Edinburgh. I’m glad that’s sorted! And it’ll get us there a LOT faster. And easier. Whew.