Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10km walk in the latin quarter and beyond !

30 Dec 2014 

Pantheon - famous people in their resting place
The 2nd last day of the year was a day of walking for the 3 of us. 10 km to be exact. After a modest breakfast at Macs, we found ourselves very quicky at the beginning of a long queue for Pantheon. It was a church dedicated to the patron saint of Paris, St Genevieve, and later turned to a crypt for national heroes. For 2 hours, from 10am, we scratched our heads at the paintings of St Genevive, Joan of Arc and the writeup at the Crypt, half wondering what we were looking at. Pantheon was massive and stately but the guys who collected our monies were not able to return the favor by putting English explanations. All was not lost because we had a rather competent interpreter with us. My biggest discovery was the crypt belong to the Curies and Brialle.  

We had a good meal of crepes at La Creperie just off the Pantheon, about €40.

Over to the river at Notre Dame, we abandoned plans to get up the Tower because of the massive queue. Unknown to us, the entrance to the Tower was actually at the side road of the Cathedral. Plans to get up were abandoned but we decided to try again the next day.
Rest in the Carousel park
We walked towards Louvre and the Carousel and even got to sit on the free chairs around the fountain. It was bitterly cold and we had to continue walking to keep warm. Towards La Concorde, the giant ferris wheels was a focal point  of merry making post Christmas. Beyond, the Christmas market was in full swing on both sides of Champs Elysee. We joined in the party as far as the Petite Palace and made an about turn.

At Rue de Rivioli, we had our tea break at a bistro. €24 for 3 beverages and a soggy apple pie was the worst ripoff in the whole of Paris for us. Had it not been for the public conveniences, I would have given the place a miss.

Now totally exhausted, we decided to take the train down from Rivioli to Chatelet to look for my elusive Carousel du Louvre underground mall.  It was a terrible mistake because the mall was near where we had tea ! We walked 2 stops back to find ourselves in a very unhappening underground mall because the Museum was closed that day, a Tuesday ! Another wasted trip.

We made our way to Rue de Huichette on the left bank for dinner ( St Michel station ). Tens of eateries, restaurants and bistros clustered at that tiny real estate . Greek, Turk, Indian, Chinese, French and Italian – it was a mish mesh. Raclette cheese pots were featured prominently until I realized why.  We were in the Latin quarter.

We were attracted to an eating place because of the chicken and suckling pig roasted over the rottiserie at the entrance. Interestingly enough,  we did not order any of the items roasting outside. The service was so slow we became bored of waiting. We had 3 3-course sets ( lamb, duck, beef stew ) . Apart from the starter which was pathetic, the food was pretty good. Garnishing was not their forte but the taste is decent enough. It was also the place that I had the most delicious ice cream in Paris.

We did some last minute ‘marketing’ at Monoprix before calling it a day.  The hotel chamber staff has taken away all our cups and we had nothing to drink from or brush our teeth with. I cannot wait to give a poor review of Hotel de Senlis.

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