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Trip Report Paris: in which Ackislander founders in the 6th

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After studiously avoiding major tourist sites, we went to the Jardin du Luxembourg on Saturday. We should have known that there would be trouble when the 38 bus didn't come and didn't come. Finally, we took Metro Line 4 to Vavin.

We could have gotten off at Odeon and walked up hill, but our reason for this trip in our overall garden theme was to see the orchards in the southernmost part of the Jardin, the part closest to Vavin.

Well, there there they were! I gather that the orchards had been much more extensive at one time, but what is left is pretty nifty.

Apples and pears are espaliered within an inch of their lives, and every tiny fruit was carefully wrapped in a small white paper bag to preserve it from bugs. The areas with stone fruits like cherries were netted on all side to protect them from birds. You could have an orchard like this if you were rich enough. No, I'm not either!

I hoped to see small pears in bottles hanging on the branches the way they do for Poire Williams liqueur, but they apparently don't do that here. But what they do is awesome. I love the idea of urban gardens and would love to see Elie Zabar's rooftop garden above his shop on the Upper West Side. Maybe he has an orchard by now, too.

We drifted north on the west side of the Jardin, following bursts of color through the trees and taking pictures of statuary. It wasn't very busy, though there were more picnics as we got closer to noon. We wound up at the Palm House/Orangerie, which has always been a favorite since we watched them moving giant potted palms indoors with forklifts one autumn. My wife was insanely jealous. She needs at least a Bobcat!

We were feeling a bit peckish and made our way to a cafe on Vaugirard facing the Jardin. The menu was fine but this is what I got for eating outdoors in the 6th: when I ordered boeuf tartare, the waiter asked if I knew I was ordering raw meat. Mmmm. OK. When he brought it, he showed me the sauces and condiments and showed me that I would have to mix them. Mmmm. OK. Oh, well, this is what you get at a tourist cafe in a high tourist area. The meat was fine, the frites were excellent, and I could have let it go except that when we went around the corner,there was the Bastide de l'Odeon, where I could have eaten very well indeed for only a little more money! Tant pis pour moi!

We went back into the Jardin to hear a jolly high school jazz band and watch the kids sailing boats. It was a lovely day and a great day out, just not quite what we expected!

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