Saturday, December 19, 2009

I love Paris even in winter

I finished my entry this morning and then headed out onto the streets. I wanted to feel that excitement that I felt during my first visit. It was so cold that at first I only felt the chill and not the excitement. I wandered up the Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Antoine toward Bastille Square really feeling the cold. I stopped in and had a latte at the local Starbucks. I know, I know, Starbucks doesn't have the best coffee but I'm forced to admit that compared to the other coffee I've had over here, it isn't all that bad. We're very lucky in Homer and just happen to have the best coffee you can buy right in our little "Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea".

After that I got out and got moving. And I started to feel warmer. By the time I reached Bastille Square my chill had dissipated. I had dressed warmly before leaving the flat: longjohns and Levis, my wool Ibex pullover, a polypro pullover on top of that, and over it all my Mountain Hardware jacket. People were out shopping and walking. The square wasn't as busy as I'd observed previously but Paris is a big city and there is much to see and do.

I headed toward the Seine. I passed many shops selling Christmas stuff and this one caught my eye, and my nose. The fragrance of pine was very pleasant and quite noticeable when I stopped to take this shot. The beautiful lady I caught in passing seemed dismayed to have been captured in it.

I crossed the Seine on the Pont Marie over to the I'lle Saint Louis and found a little street just full of shops that sell a bit of everything: jewelry and art, croissants and fine wines, cheeses, clothing, leather goods, and souvenirs. My excitement about being back in Paris was returning. Definitely returning.

It was really fun to be Christmas shopping in a  place that is so fundamentally different from the usual mall shopping most Americans do. I found a little perfumery where I bought something for my mother. I bought a tartitte for lunch at one of the boulangeries there and finally crossed over to the the I'île de la Cité for another visit to the Notre Dame cathedral. I don't think I posted any pictures of the cathedral in my earlier blog entries so I include this picture now.

As you can see, there are tourists everywhere. It may be cold and wintry in Paris but people are still visiting and taking photos of the memorable sights this astonishing city offers. I crossed back to the other side of the river for my walk back to Arnaud's flat on Rue Trousseau.

 Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I will not be as uncomfortable as I set out for new adventures and new things to see in Paris.