When does an American crew in Paris decide –7° C is unbearable ?
Oh, there’s no
question we were cold. We had three
heaters going around the clock for the first two weeks of February.
It snowed twice; the pontoons were like skating rinks.
The water supply at the marina was turned off because of frozen pipes.
We wore a minimum of six layers when venturing out. But we never once
complained. We’re in Paris!
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So while battling the
cold we did what every other Parisian would do. We ignored it.
But we did something
else, too. We became Parisian!
Mais, oui! We went to the markets, we hit every brocante (flea market)
we could find, we saw Cirque de Soleil, we celebrated a birthday, anniversary
and Valentine’s at the finest Paris has to offer, we’ve even decided on our
favorite pieces at the Louvre. Well,
almost. There are many favorites.
architecture from one end of the city to the other. We have a favorite there, too.
Styled after Michaelangelo’s “Dying Slave”.
We hit a few of the
famous food streets, Rue Montorgueil and Rue Moufftard,
where the foods are dazzling. From Maine lobsters to Iranian caviar.
Here lives one of the oldest and most prestigious Parisian pastry shops
that has been there since 1730. They
are famous for their réligieuse à l'ancienne: a
mountainous series of cream puffs fashioned to look like a nun!
We have enjoyed many strolls down Rue Mouffetard where the cheese
selection is drop dead. This is a
stone’s throw from the marina so we like to meander over there in the
afternoon after lunch. Best to go
when not hungry!
Taken no less than a
hundred photos of Bastille.
And more of the
We’ve been to all
the major museums and can’t decide which is our favorite.
But on one thing we can agree. There
doesn’t seem to be a bad one in Paris. The
Rodin is way up there.
Sharon has fallen in
love with stairwells.
Gardens are good.
And bicycles are
always worth a shot or two.
Oh, and about those
brocantes. They come in huge variety!
They run from the neighborhood garage sale to the very sophisticated
Antiquities Brocherie. So you must choose carefully.
You can be utterly consumed by this pastime. There are endless ways to research your next brocante but
filtering the information is key. What
one really wants is a sophisticated garage sale. The higher end programs are no fun because there is nothing
to buy, it is simply unaffordable. The
neighborhood events are close to dumpster diving. There’s an art to smelling the right ones.
Last weekend Sharon and a friend went to one at a stadium outside the
city proper. It was perfect, so she
says. She had been wanting to buy a
horn to commemorate our music atelier evenings.
And it has been found. French
women, however, say "Warning: Men are very impatient with these events.
Leave them home."! We
The flower shops are
divine. Place des Vosges is our
absolute favorite place to hang out. A
certain music atelier is top on our list. The
American Church in Paris is where we hang out on Sunday mornings and have
learned to love the place. The
afternoon light, the exquisitely dressed children scampering around the
Tuilleries, the fashion, the gargoyles, the mere elegance of everything Parisian
thrills us. Even the graffiti in
Paris is good! So, you get the
picture. We are madly in love with
Paris and we are not even thinking about the day we have to leave.
But that day does
require some planning because we have a big adventure in front of us.
We head east for Strasbourg, along the River Marne.
There we will get on the River Rhine and travel north to the River Main
where we turn east. We will stop in Frankfurt and then continue on to the Danube
River. On the Danube we will stop
in Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, through the rest of Hungry to Serbia.
Then to Bulgaria and Romania, collecting our sails there.
This will be in mid-August. We
will travel through Istanbul through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, stopping
in ancient Troy. We will spill out
into the Aegean Sea and head south for the west coast of Turkey! Here's where we will spend next winter. That's the plan. We
leave here the first of April and hope to arrive in Turkey by end October.
With all the excitement of this trip, it
should make saying goodbye to Paris a little less painful.