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Schnauzer reporting live from Paris May09

Schnauzer reporting live from Paris May09

Old May 26th, 2009, 04:09 AM
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The first time we traveled alone (pre Fodor's!!) we were picked up at the airport by a friend of my mother's who also takes in people and shows them around his area. He took us from the airport to Vaux le Vicomte. I remember being so tired that as I stood on the dome worrying I was going to fall! An amazing thing to me is that from the dome looking back over the gardens you don't see any other civilization-no power lines or houses or highways.

Great report. Thanks also for using Picasa which teaches me that I can post my photos that way.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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The Petit Sud on Bourdonnais is a great place!! Not exactly healthy eating but great.

I plan on our "group" having a round table there in December, and having many of their items presented for us to dine "family" style to enjoy their offerings!

Working on those of us who will be there. I will be there for 6 weeks beginning Nov. 3rd..many will be there in early Dec. and that will probably be when we will be getting together.

Wnjoy the rest of your stay..

Joan
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Old May 26th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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AGM, I can't imagine climbing the dome with jetlag!! You poor thing.It was "wavy" enough without the lack of sleep and time changes!!

Joan, We thought the duck was not as good in the 9th as it was at the 7th restaurant. (mind you that was 4 years ago) We both had the Veritable Duck with ceps and potatoes. It was lovely, but last time there seemed to be a small amount of sauce which seemed to make a difference. It was cooked to perfection though.

I hope your December gathering goes well!! How are feeling now that you are home? We only have 4 days to go, yikes, it is amazing how quickly the time goes and there are still so many cakes to eat!!

Schnauzer
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Old May 26th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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Hi Everyone,

Here are some more photos. Some of the GTG and some of Chateau Vaux le Vicomte.

http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/ShareL...localeid=en_GB

Tuesday 26th May 09
Today we walked up to rue Constance to book our last night's accommodation at the Le Relais Montmartre. It looks like a really cute little hotel, right off rue Lepic. I will let you know what it is like after we have stayed there. We also looked at the Langlois after recommendations off here but it looked really tired and dated compared with this little place for the same price.
www.relaismontmartre.f

As we were walking back to the metro the heavens opened and of course we were without brollies, so a quick duck back to the apartment to pick them up and change into raincoats.

We were going to Montparnasse for lunch today. DH had bought a little history book about some of the famous bistros and wanted to try one out. We chose four and off we went to check them out. Of course as we arrived the rain was still beating down which made it a bit uncomforable to walk around. We chose La Cupole, mostly because it was the busiest the others looked dead, and after looking at their prices we could figure out why that was so. La Cupole had better prices and lots of buzz about it. DH ordered the Anchovies with aubergine caviar. This was slices of french bread toasted with a fresh anchovy on each piece,the aubergine had been pureed and there was other bits and pieces to go as well. They were really tasty. We both ordered the famous Indian Lamb Curry depuis 1927. The meat was so tender I think some of it had actually been cooking since then! It was quite nice, nothing super dooper, not very spicy and not terribly hot temperature wise. It came with rice and a tomato puree on top and was served with chutney and pickeled vegetables. On a coldish windy day it was perfect, but I wouldn't say it was the greatest thing I have eaten. We resisted desserts and had coffee which was very good. The service was good and attentive.

We then walked to Val de Grace to have a look at the hospital and the gardens inside if possible. We tried a couple of doors leading to the courtyard and finally one opened. Whilst taking my photos a gust of wind slammed the door shut and for one dreadful moment I thought we had been locked inside. There was no one else around and I don't know that we were even meant to be in there anyway!!
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Old May 26th, 2009, 09:46 PM
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oops, the fodors site went funny on me and I couldn't finish!! Will finish soon, off to Rouen today.

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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:25 AM
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Continuing on from being nearly locked inside the Val de Grace Courtyard.....

Panic over we managed to re open the big wooden door and get out.

I wanted to go back to rue Moufftard as the last time was on a Sunday and it was a bit dead. Today it was bopping so we walked the length again. We bought another couple of slices of tart for dinner at the Maison de tarte. We then caught the metro back to Bon Marche to buy DH another piece (and me of course) of custard flan that he liked so much. Final stop was the SNCF boutique to buy tickets to go to Rouen tomorrow. Lots of wandering again today so it was back to the apartment.

Wednesday 27th May 09

Today we got up early (well earlier than normal) and got organized for our trip to Rouen, which is in Normandy. The weather in Paris looked promising and the forecast for Rouen had looked good as well.

The train was a breeze and so was Rouen when we got out of the train. It must have been about 10 degrees colder with an icy wind blowing. We were frozen, this was not on the plan at all. The first stop was for a hot cup of coffee and a pit stop. We then walked to the famous Cathedral and had a good look around the inside and outside. The inside was preferable to the outside temperature wise and you know how cold Cathedrals can be!

Rouen is very old and also famous for Joan of Arc. We saw the tower where she was held and tortured and the place now marked by a ghastly concrete cross where she was burned alive. There are lots of lovely old buildings, many timbered. We followed a group of English school kids and their teacher who was giving a great talk – we could learn something here! They went into the Aitre Saint Maclou which is one of the last mediaeval necropolises in Europe to be found in a city centre. Bones were the theme dating back to the Great Plague of 1348. Not to forget the skeleton of a cat to be found in a wall, the poor thing had been originally buried alive.

A French fellow started talking to us as he had also been trying to follow along with the school kids – we asked him for a restaurant recommendation. We thought he was a local, he wasn’t but his daughter was so on the phone he got to ask her the best place for these Australians to eat. Following her instructions as we walked along with him we came to Pascaline Restaurant at 5, rue de la Poterne. We wouldn’t have chosen it ourselves, it just didn’t look that exciting from the outside, but inside it was lovely. A real bistro style, full of all French no other accents to be heard. I had the chicken pot special which was cooked with a sort of liquidy risotto and mushrooms. It was very tasty and warming, DH had the 3 types of pig, sausage, ham and bits of pork served on Puy lentils. Also very good, DH had the cheese plate and I had the Pain d’apice (spice bread) Clafoutis with pain d’apice ice cream as well. It was really yummy. I had had a Clafoutis last time I was in Paris and it was the worst dessert ever, so I was rather hesitant to order it again, however my faith has been restored.

After lunch we went to this amazing wrought iron museum called Musee le Secq des Tournelles, I just loved it. I really like wrought iron work anyway and this was an old church converted into a museum of everything made with iron. Grills, keys, locks, jewellery, medical equipment and shop signs, all going back for years and years. I took some photos so I hope they give the right impression. I had to see every single thing there was, not many museums hold my interest like this one did. Next was the Ceramique museum, can you see the inside theme here, it was now starting to spit outside so we were searching for the warmth. Again very interesting stuff from Sevres, Moustiers and other places. Some huge pots that were over 2 ft tall.

By this stage DH had had enough so we caught the next train home to Paris which took about 1.5hrs at it had some stops along the way.

If you go to Rouen remember it can be a lot colder than Paris.

Till next time,
Schnauzer
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Old May 27th, 2009, 09:46 AM
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But it was really cold in Paris today, too!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:13 AM
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That makes me feel just a tiny bit better!!! It looked really promising this morning, what happened?

Downloading/uploading photos as I type.

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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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It was because of those terrific storms the other night. Major cold front behind them. And still 30°C in Strasbourg and Grenoble! I don't think it got above 17° today in Paris after 29° on Monday.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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Here are my photos from Rouen and other bits and pieces. Quite a lot from the museum of wrought iron I have to say, I was absolutely fascinated - as you can tell.

http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/ShareL...localeid=en_GB

Kerouac, Today, I should have worn the inappropriate outfit I had on Monday instead of todays inappropriate outfit then I would have been happy both days!!!

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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:50 AM
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The wrought iron museum is magnificent. I have never been there (nor even heard of it!).
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Old May 27th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Lordy, another place on my (evergrowing) list!! Wonderful pix!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for posting from Paris - really makes me want to return! I've added many places from your report to my list for future reference. I love all your pics. We were at Giverny in May of 2007 - wish we were going again this year!
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Old May 28th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Here are todays photos with the text following.

http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/ShareL...localeid=en_GB


Thursday May 28th 09

The days are just racing to an end, only two more days left for our month. Who would have thought we could have seen so much, eaten so much and walked so much? I have really enjoyed my time here in Paris, I think I am now ready to move on, the month is long enough unless you have something more constructive to do. I would need a focus from now on, or to wait another year and then do it all again!!

We have felt so at home here, zooming around on the metro, swiping our Navigo like the locals (still in the handbag) and pushing in the carriage when really no one else could possible fit in!

One thing I have noticed is that there are a lot more homeless people just sitting on the streets begging for money. Many have dogs which just sit with them all day, causing my heart strings to tug a bit. Early on, I bought a packet of dog treats and instead of giving money I have been dishing out dog treats. I have to say they have been met with mixed reactions, most of the dogs just sniff and look at it, but I have hung around a bit and eventually they have given them a chop and got going. One cute spaniel just tossed his up in the air and had a great game with it! I was about to give one to a dog the other evening when just in front of me was a local lady giving the dog a bowl of cooked chicken, the dog preferred the chicken to my treat but hopefully he kept it for dessert. I still have a few left so I will have to start being really generous over the next two days.

Today we discovered yet another gorgeous place, the Albert Kahn Museum and garden. We took the metro all the way to Boulogne Pont de St-Cloud, the end of 10 line. The museum and garden are just pretty much there as you exit the metro. I did a bit of research on Albert after seeing a documentary on tv a while ago, I even toyed with doing a talk on him for my French class but in the end it was too difficult! Anyway he was a banker and a very wealthy man who decided he wanted to capture the world on film and photographic images during a certain time frame for prosperity. He sponsored many photographers to go around the world taking pictures. He lived in this area of Paris and built a magnificent garden around his house. There is an enormous Japanese Garden, a wild garden and other bits and pieces. On a hot day it would be a most fantastic place to take a simple sandwich and drink and enjoy the shade and peace and quiet. (except at lunch time when the kids at the next door school having their break time!!) actually it was kind of nice to hear their laughter and games. We wandered all around the garden looking at a special Indian exposition that was on regarding different tribes in India. Only photographic boards but amazing shots, such fab colours and what piercing and tattoos, we think the young have gone overboard in this area, yikes they have noting on these Indian tribes.

Also inside the main museum there was also an Indian theme of the photos taken in 1913/4 and 1927.

It was now lunchtime and I wanted to try Le Florimond. We caught the metro up to Ecole Militaire and found the restaurant. Four years ago I had wanted to try this restaurant but when we went searching we could only find some very ordinary place, I don’t know what I was looking at but certainly nothing like what we did find. I must have had the wrong address or was just in another zone at the time. It was a really cute traditional little French restaurant. They were very friendly and welcoming. We ordered the set lunch menu and both had the Terrine de campagne with salad which was really tasty, we also both had the slow cooked rabbit with zucchini which were cooked to perfection, this is probably our first time to actually receive green veges – yay, no other veges though. We finished with a fruit mousse, coulis and tuile. We were very happy and enjoyed our meal very much. Certainly the lunchtime menu is far more economical than the dinner menu. We have found that if we eat a big lunch then we really don’t eat at dinner time.

DH wanted to go back to the apartment but with only two and a half days to go I was still keen to head out for more excitement. I chose the Cluny – Middle Ages Museum. The tapestries were the highlight for me, also there was a little concert of middle age singing down in the thermal baths area, a group of young singers just giving a rendition without any music, such beautiful acoustics with the stone walls. I had spent most of the time running away from a group of pre school children on a tour, each time I thought I was rid of them, bang, they would turn up again in the room I was in. Mind you I did sit and listen to the talk their teacher gave about the lady and unicorn tapestry. I could understand their level of French which was at least something!!

I then had to extend my time just wandering around the St. Germain area and up to the metro at Pont Neuf, I just didn’t want the day to end.

I am starting to have kittens looking at all the stuff I have bought and wondering where on earth am I going to put it? I might take some books to the P.O. tomorrow and get a quote for sending some back home by mail.

I suppose I will have to dedicate some time tomorrow starting to pack etc. I hope it is warmer in Italy so I don’t have to take heavy gear.

Till Later,
Schnauzer
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:29 AM
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Second last day today. We spent it doing a Marais walk, discovering some new museums etc. We tried to have lunch at L'as Falafel but it was closed at lunchtime.

I walked around the Madeline area afterwards which was just touristy and expensive.

I will post more details later.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Hi,

Well your trip is about to come to and end! That does happen.

I have been busy since my return working on things for my return arrival on Nov. 3d for the 6 weeks. You should make another trip!

Enjoy the end.... have a safe trip home..

Joan
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Thanks Joan for your wishes. I would love to make another trip, but it won't be for a while. Coming from Australia takes a lot of time and a lot of money!!!! But my head is already back here at sometime.

Well we had the best meal of the trip I think tonight at Cafe qui Parle at 24 rue Caulaincourt in the 18th. It had been recommended by a few people, in particular the Laidbacks. I had walked passed it once and dismissed it as a bit "bar" looking. Anyway we decided tonight was the night. We caught the metro to Lamark and walked down, it quite close to the cemetery end of rue Caulaincourt.

We hadn't booked but the restaurant was not busy. The staff were very friendly and welcoming and the chef Damien was in the kitchen.

We had the home made foie gras for starters, as my lamb was going to take a while to cook the waiter suggested that we had a starter to share. It came with 2 pieces of foie gras and baguette toast and extra bread also, there was a lovely fig jam to accompany it. Absolutely gorgeous!

I ordered the Roasted Rack of lamb with greeen anis and saffron polenta and a basil juice with whole pinenuts. The lamb racks were very generous in size, 2 chops each and the polenta just gorgeous. The anis - whatever that was gave the lamb an amazing flavour. I ordered the lamb rose and it was cooked to perfection. DH ordered the Beef Tenderloin roasted with bone marrow with spicy and sour potatoes. These were potato cakes cooked with a mustard and then panfried to make the outsides crunchy. The beef was a beautiful cut and cooked rare and again to perfection.

We were fit to bursting but I had to try the desserts to see if they matched the other courses. I ordered a coffee plate which came with a coffee and three mini desserts. I was a little disappointed as they were all creamy in consistency with no variation. I had the cottage cheese with raspberries, pictachio and meringue (which I didn't like), Creme Brulee with cassis and white chocolate and a light chocolate and tonka fava mousse on a crispy almond butter bar. These two were quite nice but not exceptional.

The meal totalled 71 euro and that included two glasses of wine. It was absolutely fantastic and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Really innovative cooking with style and taste. As I said the best meal yet - in a month. The cafe is not particularly classy to look at but the food far outweighs the ambience.

I am just waiting for the photos. I will post them in a minute.

also today we found the Cognacq-Jay Museum in the Marais rue Elzevir, a lovely private looking museum but gratuit! Some rare works of art and the most exquiste small pieces of furniture. Well worth a visit.

Photos next post,
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Here are a couple of todays photos and our dinner tonight.

http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/ShareL...localeid=en_GB

schnauzer
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Schnauzer, did I read that you are you off to Italy (really? lucky dog) now?

I haven´t been able to view your photos since arriving in Paris because I don´t think the apartment computer has...? Could you provide a gallery link <i>and</i> a slideshow link? I think the slideshow is what´s mucking me up.

I went to the Cognacq-Jay my first day this time. Nice, isn´t it? Saw Maison Victor Hugo this morning.

Bon voyage!
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Old May 29th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Leely2,

I forgot to ask, how was your visit to St. Germain en Laye? I hope you enjoyed it and found your way there easily.

Let me know what you saw and did.

Schnau
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