France

Rue St. Honore, Rue de Rivoli, Place Vendom: Exclusive Paris Shopping


The weather is so incredibly changeable these days.

It is hard to decide whether to make it a museum day or a day to be outside enjoying everything Parisian. We take our chances and our umbrellas today as we plan with Bill and Bob to walk some of Paris’ chicest shopping streets, and eventually conclude our wander at Place Vendome.

Window Shopping in Paris

The metro takes us to Republique (thank goodness for the 7-day Carte Orange, the very cheap weekly pass that allows unlimited use of the amazing Paris Metro and RER system, where the trains run every 2 minutes, all day long). We warm up over a very quick coffee with Bob and Bill before returning to Chatelet station and our stroll along the rue de Rivoli, through the grounds of the Palais Royale, along Rue St. Honore and into Place Vendome. We frequently stop to window shop at the most exclusive clothing, jewellery and antique stores along the avenue. We turn right into the Place Vendome and walk its perimeter, lingering again to window shop at Bulgari, Cartier, Mikimoto, and Van Cleef & Arpels. I emphasize “window shop”. We stop near the Madeleine for lunch in a busy creperie where we leave our guide book. I don’t realize this until we are several blocks away, and so Bob and I scoot back to the restaurant and it is guarded by some already well-fed Brits who took over our table after we finished lunch.

Now onto Sacre Coeur

Our next plan of attack is Sacre Coeur, and we take the metro to Abesse Station and walk the short walk to the funicular up the hill and the magnificent views of Paris. The interior of the church is nothing really, and it is extremely young compared to many other churches, mosques and temples we have been in this year. The views today are somewhat overcast, but it is part of any pilgrimage in Paris and the many tourists visiting today attests to its popularity. Bob and Bill head home for naps; we will meet later for dinner. We meet Francois for a very quick coffee, and an even faster stroll around Le Marais ensue as we are both tired from a full day of walking. We do take the time to stop at a beautiful “hotel particulier” that is now part of the National Archives, although we find it hard to believe that there is such a beautiful palace right in the heart of Paris. The sun comes out just in time for these shots. For once the camera is on and ready.

We head for home, put our feet up for half and hour, and then Bill and Bob meet us in our neighbourhood. We wander St. Germain and find a warm and inviting Italian restaurant with a very friendly host named Sam, who seems to be a big fan of John’s. Three bottles of wine later and probably one of the most expensive meals we’ve paid for on this trip, we wander back to our beds and some red wine dreams.

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