Paris is huge and bustling and beautiful and has great food and it’s really fun to ride a bike here. I’ve ridden more than 100km in the city these past few days. I get lost constantly because no streets are at a right angle and street names change a lot. An awesome way to get to know the city. Get lost.
I’m always hesitant to do the tourist thing and see the big attractions in a city, prefering to visit the neighborhoods and check out the “real life” thing. But hey. I’m in Paris. My first day here I rode to see the Eiffel Tower and was so impressed. What a beautiful work of art. I rode all around it and from every angle had a new appreciation for it. Humans sure can create some magnificent things.
On the flipside, we make a lot of trash too. But I think that’s also pretty. Maybe the person who decided on these clear bags sans container feels the same way about trash that I do.
Tuula’s toilet at her flat in Paris. Literally a water closet!
À le marché
This is a horrible picture of an amazing traditional dish. Tartiflette – basic ingredients: potatoes, cheese, onion, lardons. All cooked on this huge skillet and scooped to order. Simple, rich, delish. Breakfast for me today at the market.
An American version if Croque Madame, I suppose. Pictured here.
Tuula and I enjoyed some delicious fondue and a salade nicoise.
The next day I enjoyed a leisurely, traditional French lunch. I ordered the menù – set menu that changes daily. Pouilly-fumè to drink and to start a salade de chevre chaud (warm chevre salad – this is called the entreè here). Bavette grilleè, sauce poivre, frites maison (grilled beef, pepper sauce, pommes frites – the plat, or main cource). Créme bruleè for dessert. The first two were simple and perfect – like the tartiflette! Dessert was not the best example I’ve had, but I had to try this dish in its homeland!
I visited one museum in Paris. Le Grand Palais. Tuula and I went to a Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibition. Why not check out an American photographer when I’m in possibly the greatest art capital of the world?! Yeah, I took a photograph of photographs. Everybody’s doing it…
And speaking of the must-do in Paris. Sit outside a traditional cafe where almost all the chairs are facing the street. Watch people. Drink coffee. Smoke cigarettes. I don’t have any desire to inhale cigarette smoke, or I would get myself a “city pack” so I could really partake in these scenes…
I leave Paris tomorrow and head south towards Spain! I love this city. And just when I can finally ride “home” without looking at a map, it’s time to go. Tuula has final exams to concentrate on and I am ready for the country roads again. I have most of France to go through which is perfect. France is so great. I’m studying French along the way, learning more by the hour, and yearning to have a better grasp of this language that I have always wanted to learn but have never had a real reason to. I should be riding along the Loire river valley in a day or two. Wine country awaits!!!