Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day Two Vacation Time: Gems of Paris tour day.

We love staying in the Cathedral Tower -- while the kitchen and bathroom are small, the room itself is quite large. Big windows and lots of light -- beautiful!

Allan met us at Place de Concorde where we were meeting our guide for our "Paris secret gems" tour. Our guide, Tim, met us at the Obelisk there. It was cold, but beautiful out!

We started our walk through the area -- as we walked along we learned about the streets of Paris. As we passed by Hermes, Tim pointed out that as it began, Hermes was a company that made horse saddles -- and indeed they still do, which is displayed at their store in Paris. I didn't know that! We saw that through the window, and on the sign. Wow. We then headed straight away to sample a macroon -- delicious!

We were part of a great group -- here we are (I'm taking the picture) -- the couple on the left of the photo are from Scotland -- they had just gotten engaged! The man with the cane is from the US -- Cincinnati -- he is an Episcopalian! Allen is holding a pink bag with his macroons he bought the day before, and the woman is from Florida but is living for a few years in Germany. Tim is on the far right -- a Paris native, he was SO GREAT! This is in front of the macroon store -- nothing but yum, right?

We continued out trip to see more "gems" and indeed we did! We walked through the Jardin de Tuileries -- love that walk -- especially with the trees turning.

We also saw this building -- I can't remember the name of it though. The area with the little bits of art (the stripes) was once a car park -- it is so much more beautiful now!

We loved the old "arcade" -- a beautiful walking gallery. Here are some of the group -- including Allan and Steve -- walking through the Arcade.

I'm not going to show you all the pictures and tell you everything we did, but needless to say, this was a great tour!

But here is a bit more -- 

Loved the church in the Forum des Halles --

One of the highlight moments was going down this little alleyway -- 

And seeing the last of the umbrella repair shops in France -- right here in Paris! Here are two pictures of the store:

After talking and walking and seeing -- we stopped to sample cheeses which is included in the tour -- the blue one is a lavendar cheese. Tim picked up a baguette -- it was delicious! 

Another highlight was seeing the location of the apothecary of Nicholas Flamel -- sound familiar? Think the first Harry Potter book!

We said goodbye to our group as the tour ended and headed back over to La Marais -- the old Jewish quarter. Steve was determined to eat at a place that Karen, our tour guide earlier on the trip recommended. When we got there there was a line out the door. By the time we got to the man at the cash register (the chef owner), I was advised what to order by the woman ahead of me -- "the lamb kebab pita and the cauliflower". The chef/owner recommended the ratatouille. We ordered it all, and the only place we could sit down was at the counter in front of the cooks. Here's a series of pictures, the first of which is the chef/owner:

It was delicious! Just as the chef/owner said it would be. In the middle of our lunch the cooking staff poured a set of drinks for each other -- there was one extra so they handed one to Steve at the counter. They rang a bell and the cook staff drank the drink and Steve and Allan shared the glass.

We continued our day, saying goodbye to Allan. Steve and I walked the streets the rest of the day -- and we had cheese which Steve bought at the cheese shop earlier that day. It was a quiet evening, the end of a perfect day.

Some other pictures of the day -- 

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