Paris Cinq!

As stated in the previous entry, Soph was able to get us cheap train tickets to Paris this autumn, and we used this opportunity to book a couple of trips to Paris, a city we’d neglected since last New Year’s. Armed with our recently purchased netbook, which allows us to spend the 4-hour train ride catching up on various sci-fi shows and movies, it’s like we get to have a nice relaxing Friday night together, and we end up in Paris! And there our story begins…

The main things we wanted to accomplish this weekend were walking and eating, in no particular order. We had decided that it would be fun to revisit the Montmartre area, as we had stayed near there our first time in Paris two years ago, but hadn’t returned since. Doing some quick internet research, I found a nice wine bar and an even nicer bakery, meaning we had everything we needed to enjoy an afternoon.

Speaking of bakeries, we’ve developed a habit in Paris where we get up in the morning, find a bakery, buy a bunch of stuff, eat it on the street, and then find another bakery and eat the spoils yet again, before heading out into our day. Speaking as someone who lives in a French-speaking city (because that makes me an expert on pastries), there is just no comparison with the Parisian bakeries versus what you get virtually anywhere else. This time we were trying to save ourselves for the spot that had won the 2007 baguette of the year award, but within four minutes of leaving our hotel we spotted a croissant that looked too good to pass up. Upon purchasing it, we clearly were eating one of the best pastries we’d ever had, and this was just a random bakery. When we finally did arrive at the award-winning place, we obviously had more croissants, and of course a baguette (the baguette of the year award means that the winner supplies the French president with their baguettes every day that year. Hey – some people try to spot celebrities, we try to spot famous baguettes…it’s all about priorities). Over our two mornings this weekend, we ended up eating four breakfasts, and I could have easily had another two or three.

Throughout the course of our walking, we were at one point led us up a random side street, where we saw what looked to be a really cute restaurant not too far from our hotel. We decided to try it out (after looking up some reviews online, of course), and were rewarded with yet another fantastic dinner. Escargot, filet mignon, a crème brulee made with camembert and sausage…I don’t know where these places come from, or why they aren’t everywhere, but they absolutely rule! Once again the owner came out and talked to us about the meal, while his family sat in the corner eating alongside us.

On Sunday morning, we thought it would be a good idea to walk around the Marais district, and then to hit the Bastille market. We’d been to the Bastille market before, and as it’s a fairly large market we figured we’d buy some assorted goodies and annoy our fellow passengers on the train ride home by breaking out the sweet smell of moldy cheese. I tried to convince Soph to buy some salmon, but she wasn’t having any of it. This market was unfortunately out of control crowded, and being as we’re Americans who don’t like people bumping into us, this wasn’t exactly the place for us, so we left fairly quickly. On the bright side, the Ferney-Voltaire market we usually go to has most of the same stuff, for the same price, so it’s kind of nice knowing that we don’t have to go too far out of town to get the freshest produce available in France.
All in all, another great weekend. Found some really great streets to walk around, Soph found some cute clothes to buy, had a great dinner, and just enjoyed the two days we spent there. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Next weekend: Swiss Wine Connection!