Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mon Anniversaire Parte Deux

The following day we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast in the hotel before setting off bright and early to catch le metro and head off to Notre-Dame. This was one of the few places in Paris I had never been and so we decided it was as good a place to start as any. While not as big as most of the Euopean cathedrals I have frequented it was very impressive. The architechture is beautiful and the church has a reverence that I feel is missing from places like St. Peter's (sacrilege I know, I know, especially considering Rome is my favourite city in the world but it is rather museum-like.). We then walked from Notre-Dame along the Seine to the Louvre, through the Tuillieries to Place de la Concord and the Obelisk and then up the Champs-Elysee where we had lunch and people-watched, my very favourite past-time. After lunch we did a spot of shopping on the Champs-Elysee and then ogled the Arc de Triomphe before heading over to La Tour Eiffel. Personally having already done the Eiffel Tour which is enough in my view I would have given it a miss but Keith was dying to see it and so we took the lift up to the very top, marvelled in the view before then walking to the Ecole Militaire, getting crepes au Nutella for tea and then catching the metro back to Montparnasse where we submerged ourselves in a French bookshop for an hour finding Jay some livres while I giggled over Tin-Tin and got excited over second-hand Voltaire and Sartre. More shopping for Jay followed as we stumbled upon a little toyshop that sold beautiful wooden racecars. As one looked suspiciously like a Renault we bought "Fisi" for Jay. We then trekked through the cemetary back to the hotel where we had a refreshing citron pressé and a little downtime before we got ready to go out for the evening. My birthday supper saw us at La Closerie des Lilas. This is a wonderful very French brasserie in Montparnasse, a mere ten minutes walk from the hotel. Greg's father reccomended it and when we asked the extremely helpful receptionist for directions he aslo praised it highly. The brasserie was a hang-out for many of the literary figures in the early part of the century, such as Oscar Wilde and Hemingway, so I felt it most fitting to be there. The place itself harks back to a time of Humphrey Bogart and the like and serves wonderful champagne cocktails as well as ten different types of osyter. A lovely grand piano and the rich, sultry decor adds to the 1930s American bar atmosphere. The food was excellent although both Keith and I admitted we enjoyed the menu the previous night much better. None the less it was a wonderful evening and a fabulous finish to our twenty-four hours in gay Paris.

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