day 9 – Paris

We start our second day in Paris with no hot water in our hotel. Grrrrrr. But no worries mate, don’t sweat the small stuff I say. Back on the Metro and we’re off to Notre Dame Cathedral.

In the forecourt of the Cathedral is a small metal disk embedded in the cobblestones supposedly marking the geographic center of France (it doesn’t actually, but let’s pretend). It’s fun to think that everyone you’ve ever known or met in your life who has come to Paris, and therefore Notre Dame, has probably stood on this very spot.

Inside Sainte Chapelle.

Inside Sainte-Chappelle.

Notre Dame is certainly a can’t miss; however, more impressive to me is the interior of the nearby and more intimate Sainte-Chappelle (loosely, “Holy Chapel”), erected by Louis IX, to house the precious relics purchased from the Turks for an exorbitant sum: the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross. Turns out he was bamboozled, but who knew? At any rate, the walls of Sainte-Chappelle are reported to be 80 percent stained glass and the interior view is ethereal and breathtaking.

After Notre Dame, most of the tour head for the Louvre and then to the Palace of Versailles. Lisa and I part from the tour and walk to  the Musée d’Orsay, which exhibits Impressionist and Post Impressionist art. The d’Orsay is mine, and as it turns out, Lisa’s favorite museum in Paris, with a soaring six story ceiling (it used to be a train station) and airy natural light. Lisa tells me that she’s had a fascination with Van Gogh since childhood and I opine that in a previous life, she might have been an ear.

Lisa and I part ways and I spend the remainder of the afternoon strolling the streets of Paris and people watching. It’s time for dinner and I start looking for a restaurant with local clientele having used the technique with success the evening before. I find a restaurant fitting the bill and order Les Gambas avec Riz et Haricots Verts (prawns with rice and green beans). Wow, dinner come in a sizzling cast iron skillet and the prawns are as big as submarines but tastier. Score!

~ Ken

Les Gambas comme Riz et Haricots Verts.

Les Gambas avec Riz et Haricots Verts.