|Subject: Day 5 in Paris tourist spots and paper/pen shops in the Marias|
Hello fellow Travelziners:
Paris Day 5
After a petit déjeuner of OJ, coffee, apple, banana, raspberries and croissants with preserves we set out to see some sights.
We headed for the Eiffel Tower and were duly impressed, walked around it for about twelve minutes in a extremely over cast day so therefore didn't do the trip up. We were accosted from all directions by "street merchants" hawking various size replicas of the tower, post cards and all varity of tourist trash.
We caught the "Rouge" tour bus that lets you use your pass for two days to get on and off at designated stops. Although somewhat expensive at 21#/person, it was a decent route and went to the areas we needed to visit. (We really didn't take advantage of the two day feature and I felt at the time, and still do, that we could have used the local transportation system or do a lot of walking, but the distances were quite long in some cases, so the walking, particularly on a lousy fall day, wasn't in the cards.)
We took the full tour and got off at the Trocodero and walked to an "overlook" photo op point in front of the Palais Chaillot in the Trocadero Gardens that is directly in line with the Eiffel Tower and is the standard tourist shot down the park.
We heard a group of handsome young men singing while one of the group took a photo of them. My wife, who can speak Spanish discovered that they were a group of seminarians from Spain.
We avoided the restaurants around the Arch de Triumph and walked the surrounding side streets and discovered a creperie, Au Saint Didier, 23 rue St. Didier. Susan had ham and guirie and I had salmon with salads. For deserts, we had chocolate and caramel apple crepes.
We got back on the tour bus and got off at Norte Dame on Ile de la Cite so we could easily walk back to our apartment across the river. We toured the interior and tower, but did not take "the" tour. The cathedral was filled with tourists and very noisy. I took some very nice wide angle photos looking up at the figurines surrounding the archways over the three entrances to the church.
As dusk appeared, we strolled back to our apartment over the Phillip Bridge from the west point of Ile St-Louis. As soon as we started up Louis Philipe street (sometimes referred to as the paper street) in the Marais, we discovered a number of paper, pen and calligraphy shops. We stopped into Molodies Graphiques at #10 and found it to be wonderful. [01-42-74-57-68] (4th arr.) While we were there, a scribe wandered in to test the pens. One display was some calligraphic artworks. I couldn't resist purchasing an Eiffel Tower ball point pen (a hoot). It is totally useless since it is extremely uncomfortable to actually use.
Across the street was another elegant paper store, Calligrane at 4 rue du Pont Louis-Philippe. [01-48-04-31-89; noon to 7p métro St-Paul] Calligrane has three adjacent stores One sells an Italian paper called Fabriano, another designer office equipment (notebooks covered in ostrich skin, pens and staplers), and the third features different types of paper from India, Japan, and Mexico. They also have a location at 68 rue de Grenelle. (7, 01-45-49-96-02, métro Sèvres-Babylone) If you are into these materials and objects this a must stop.
I also explored l' Ecriptiore at 61 rue St. Martin, just north of rue des Lombards in the 4th arrondissement, just north of rue Rivoli. If fine paper, journals, etc. are interest to you, these shops are well worth an hour or two of serious investigation. And are great places for gifts if you have friends who would appreciate and treasure these items.
While we were at the above mentioned Melodies Graphiques, the owner, Eric de Tugny, recommended Marie Papier, a "top quality" stationery shop situated in the district of Montparnasse, 26 rue Vavin, founded in May 1977. It, like M/G features an extraordinary variety of colored, marbled, and Japanese writing paper and their own line of leather journals, notebooks, etc, plus a variety of stylish writing accessories and instruments. We never made it to Montparnasse this trip.
During our travels today, we purchased some punch out drawings of the Eiffel Tower and one of a carousel next to the tower. I spent the evening assembling them.
Steve in sunny Chicago, waiting for approaching rain.