Paris: the good, not so good, and the wet

Our fast train from Bordeaux arrived on time at Gare Montparnasse. We passed the four hours chatting with an interesting American couple.  Bill is an exec at a tech company.  He and his partner had just spent several days tasting Burgundy wine and hobnobbing with some pretty exotic people including the sports maven on the Antique Road Show.  Their first stop in Paris: Le Musee de Vin!

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Our first stop was our apartment in the 5th arrondissement.  We stayed here 7 years ago and loved the place.  It’s near the Sorbonne, the Pantheon and the Luxembourg Gardens and next door to Croco Jazz.  In the other direction it’s a short walk down hill to the Seine and two metro stops one of them at the Cluny Museum.  We’re not far from Notre Dame, Ile St. Louis and the Marais.  The Metro is a wonderful thing riding it saves energy for the hard work of visiting monuments and museums.  It is costly, however, just as the London tube is.  A carnet (10 rides, one way) is E20 and that’s a bargain.  ($1.30 = E1)

metro Cluny stop

Ken got up early the next day to do some antiquing at Porte Vanvres a bit of a schlep involving 3 transfers on the Metro. He’s directionally-challenged and had a tough time getting there but once among all the dealers and stuff he was a happy camper. The size of this brocante has grown a lot since we were last here. Ken found some interesting things and plans to return (with Sacagawea–that’s me) next week.

I went out on my own and said hello to our lady who has grown huge stadium sized bleachers absolutely packed with tourists waiting to get inside. I slipped around the lines and headed to the Ile St. Louis. Many wonderful small shops and an antique store I remembered from a previous visit–lovely and eccentric items.

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That evening we wandered around the Jardin de Luxembourg before dinner. Very impressive and very beautiful. We watched the boys sailing their boats in the fountain and I thought of Stuart Little. I didn’t see him but someone said he and Margo had gone to Provence for a getaway.

Stuart Little's boat

Medicis Grotte at Jardin L
This is the Medici’s Grotte built during the time Marie de Medici was married to King Henry IV in 1575.

beautiful beds at JardinJardin de Luxembourgh statue with bird How did that bird know I was taking a picture of the statue and decided to pose for me.

Now for the ugly. We got up this morning to visit the Marche aux Puces–the huge flea in Clignancourt only two Metro lines away. We knew rain was on the way but due late afternoon (we thought). The skies opened and dumped hours of rain on our heads, the vendors’ stalls and all their goods, and flooded the streets. We were soaked; all the brocantes were either closed or closing and we made our way home like drowned rats.

wet Pucepouring

travaux signs Today’s watch word indeed!