We are constantly asked by friends who think Paris is a one visit only destination ‘what do you do there’. The first day this visit we were off and running. First to buy a phone sim card so we can have a French mobile and then it was a quick a beeline across the way for the Go Sports store in Les Halles, the largest sports store I have seen. John had to buy some new togs. He swims every day at Piscine Pontoise.
Arriving Thursday night we were unpacked and Friday we headed out first to the post office to buy a stamp, using the auto machine is the way to go if you don’t want to stand in the interminable queues. A late lunch of Salad Nicoise at the Pompidou art gallery since it was close by.
A big grocery shopping trip to Monoprix was next to fill the fridge in the apartment. We also called into the specialist honey shop in the Le Marais (one of its branches) that is still family owned established in 1921 Famille Mary and discovered that surprisingly they also go to Australia – to buy a honey from Tasmania no less. We bought a lavender honey from Provence and a bottle of Romarin honey from south west France. Next it was time to rest our feet again so we stopped for a coffee for John and since it was late and hot after walking I had a Stella Artois beer on tap (the cheapest way to buy beer) in John’s favourite ‘Mousquetiers bar and cafe’ close to the apartment we had in Paris last year.
We made a quick trip enroute to John’s bakery favourite to buy baguette and brioche. I am outside and John is right up front inside ahead of the queue. I hate queuing but put up with it in Paris.
Saturday evening we went to a free concert in the Ile St Louis church nearby. A special guest organist played its massive organ and finished his concert down at the alter on a grand piano. The programme was both contemporary and classic and really stretched our former opinion of organ music only being solemn and funereal.
Rang my foodie friend Paule to make a lunch date for Monday at Merci, the little department store that sells an amazing array of designer and avante garde homewares and fashion.
Outside the Pantheon we saw a wedding party that was upstaged by a large rally of Vespa scooter club members. They rode straight into the ‘Place’ manoeuving through the bollards. Never a dull day. Too late with my camera but saw a tall black man dressed in around five shades of green including hat and shoes. Another shorter stocky black man strutting around in a white tux with red hankerchief in pocket, looking smart too in a formal kind of way. I always say you don’t even need to spend money in Paris to be entertained.
Heading for hot pink party. All this in 2 days and we have much more to go.
By the way this weekend is a free one for Paris Museums which means no lining up at most as the queues are usually long as it takes time to process the public.