We always enjoy being in Paris, and this long weekend we had a great time again. As if we had known that the last weekend of March was going to be sunny and warm? We hadn’t, but enjoyed it even more!
We started on Thursday by taking the Thalys to Gare du Nord. Two and a half hours later, we arrived. Took the RER B train to station Denfert Rocherau. There we were picked up by Javier, a friend of Jerome, our Couchsurfing host. He took us to ‘our’ place, told us a bit abut the house, gave us keys and we hit the road. We couldn’t wait to feel Paris again!
So we went out and walked towards Rue Mouffetard which seemed a nice one to see. And it was, such a typical French streets with cheese shops, fruit shops, bread shops. All of them with beautiful products. And there we found a place to have lunch (La salle á manger), where we enjoyed a salad and pasta, with red wine. Afther this we had enough energy to continue to the Grand Mosque of Paris. With its stunning mosaics, very much worth a visit! After this, we walked through Le Jardin de Plantes. From here, we walked slowly (via two red wines in a bar) to the house of our host, where we finally met Jerome. We had a couple of drinks with him, and the we decided to go out for diner. Jerome I had steak tartare and Oliver enjoyed duck with a very nice red wine from Saumur, in local bistro l’Alouette.
The second day we got up quite early, as we wanted to see a lot. We had a quick breakfast at Paul’s and then lined up in the queue for the entrance of the Catacombes de Paris. You go 130 steps down, and there 20 metres below the ground you will find yourself amongst the remainings of people that were once buried. The ground of the graveyards was needed so between 1787 and 1814 they moved the bones here. Apretty bizarre environment, and we were happy to have climbed the 83 steps up and breathe fresh air again. From here we started walking again, via Hôtel les Invalides, we went to Rue Tiquetonne Thanks for the tip, Michel!) where we found a nice little place for lunch: The Grapps. Good burgers and good wine, what else could we wish for?
We started walking again, as we wanted to see the biggest wine store of Paris: Lavinia. We found it and amazed us. For example, there is a machine where you can ‘buy’ your own wine tasting. You need to buy a chip card with credit on it, and then you can taste wine. There were a couple of wines where the sample of 3 cl. cost €37,50 (a bottle of these costs circa €800)! We got a bit lost in the number of bottles so we quickly picked three bottles and left. On our way walking around, we suddenly ran into l’Eglise de la Madeleine, which we paid a quick visit.
Then we drank a glass of wine on the terrace of L’Imperial, before walking to Colette (merci for the tip, Roland!) which was very very crowded but nice. We went back ‘home’ where Jerome awaited us with confit de canard, chestnuts and pasta.
Next day. Saturday already! We wake up and have a little breakfast with Jerome. Since he has a busy day, we go outside and entertain ourselves. We walk and metro towards one of the largest contemporary art centers in Europe: Palais de Tokyo. On our way there we find ourselves in a street market with the most beautiful stands ever, we wish we had something close to our home. We find Palais de Tokyo and first have some food on their terrace, nice in the sun. Then we go in, and we both fell in love with it. Especially their big video installation is almost worth the trip to Paris. Go see it! (while walking round the Palais du Tokyo I shot this video of three guys during their photo shoot)
Afterwards we take the metro to Le Maris, walk around there, have lunch in Le Progress. Oliver buys himself a new hip wallet from Ecole Francaise and the we return to our host (not without having visited Nicola for pineau, rosé and white wine, luckily our host enjoys wine, too).
Then it’s Sunday. We pack our bags, drink a tea with Jerome, kiss him goodbye, have a breakfast in the sun on the terrace of Le Lakanale, then we take the RER B to Gare du Nord where we find the Thalys that takes us back to Rotterdam in just 2,5 hours.
There are more photo’s, click here if you want to see them.