|Subject: Paris 03 Travelogue, part 3|
more of my Paris travelogue............
Breakfast in the room, off to the Metro on another sunny and very warm day. Walked just a bit through the Champs de Mars, then over to the Eiffel Tower. We went up to the 1st floor by the stairs, getting in our daily hike. Charlotte had a chocolate donut (the French are apparently big fans of Dunkin Donuts!) at the snack bar, we finished up some postcards, then mailed them at the Poste located on that floor, where the postmark reads "Tour Eiffel" instead of "Paris". Took the elevators to the top, after some apprehension on my part about the height, but I toughed it out and I'm glad I did, as the views from the 2nd level and the top are really worth the ride. The worst part of visiting the tower are all the souvenir hawkers waiting for you at the exit, one followed me all the way across the square as I was trying to take photos. On the other hand, the t-shirt stand had a nice selection of good quality stuff, so I completed some necessary shopping there.
Headed back toward Avenue Rapp to find lunch, stopped at Le Royal Tour (23, ave de la Bourdonnais) where steak tartare is a specialty. Jerry hadn't had it in a awhile, as its not served much in the U.S. anymore, he was quite happy with their version, which included blue cheese. I had veal milanese, Charlotte had grilled chopped sirloin. I drank a lovely Cotes de Rhone wine, Jerry enjoyed a Belgian beer. Finally, a nice relaxing meal of good quality! I would definitely eat here again.
Strolled along the quai to return to the Louvre, with a quick rest stop at the Musee Orsay (thanks, Carte Musee!). On this our second visit of the week, we visited the Napoleon III apartments and the Egyptian section. We let Charlotte choose what she wanted to see, she was fascinated by Napoleon after seeing the museum at Invalides, so the apartment was neat to see. The idea of a family room with red wallpaper, gilt furniture, and crystal chandeliers was an eye opener for her. In order to get to the Egyptian antiquities, we passed through the Medieval Louvre exhibit, which is down at the lower level, where walls have the original castle have been preserved. If it is a hot day in Paris, this is a most refreshing tour.
We were only able to see about half of the Egypt section, the other half was closed, apparently for repairs. We got quite lost, but at last Charlotte saw some cool sarcophagi and other temple artifacts she'd looked forward to...we took some goofy photos of Cocoa Hot (her traveling bear) with permission from a guard, and took the metro back to the hotel for a nap.
After such a long day and a substantial lunch, when stuck closer to home for dinner. Around the corner from our hotel, we found a wonderful Italian deli/charcuterie called Gusti & Sapori (119, rue de Grenelle). Half the case was meats and cheeses, and half prepared foods. No tables, but nice counters laid with proper placemats, glassware, etc. Charlotte thought she could get a pizza, but alas, they only serve them at lunch, so she settled for a ham foccacia. For Jerry they made a platter of assorted meats and cheeses, and I had some delicious cannelloni. We had a very amiable chat with the proprietors in French, Italian, and English, and drank some good Cote de Provence red. Before dessert, I had a simple arugula salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and topped with shaved parmesan. How do Italians make simple food taste so good? For dessert, Jerry had panna cotta, I had a ricotta torte (both heavenly), and after some digging around in the freezer, they presented Charlotte with a chocolate torrone, which was obviously not homemade but she loved it.
Strolled home to bed, slept well.