6eme Arr., Formally Known as Luxembourg, Popularly Known as St. Germain.
Sunday, October 10th, 2004: Paris, France
What else do you do in Paris on Sunday but sleep? But the pealing church bells gently rouse us from our bed and we join the locals for omelettes at Le Danton, our local, corner bistro, leisurely enjoying our cafés au lait and the English Sunday papers for a good hour and a half. The drizzle continues to drizzle, turning to downright rain on occasion. Everyone is wrapped in their fall finest and we feel a little underdressed with what little we have in our followsummer suitcases. But we are warm and dry and that is really all that matters. If you ever want to feel insecure about what you are wearing, rent a flat in St. Germain! The scarf and fleece I bought in Montpellier have come in very handy but we can’t compete with the furs and leathers and pashminas being displayed in the 6eme Arr., formally known as Luxembourg, popularly known as St. Germain.
Dans Le Jardin de Luxembourg
We wander our neighbourhood today, getting a sense of where things are and where to pick up our milk and baguettes. We find an internet café by chance and they are happy to let us connect our “portable” to their network. We run into Bob and Bill just outside one of the 4 recently-opened Starbucks in Paris in our arrondissement and we take them on a tour to St. Sulpice and Le Jardin de Luxembourg, which are just behind our flat. The Parisians are enjoying their Sunday in the park, the drizzle has finally stopped, and despite the yellow, falling leaves, the gardens are still beautiful and full of colour. Children are launching their sailboats in the big circular fountain in the middle of the park; older Parisians are sitting in the grey metal chairs provided, watching the world go by. It is just as we remember this place the last time that we were in Paris, when we spent a glorious All Saints’ Day reading in the gardens at the Luxembourg.
Le Quai de la Seine for Dinner
We have dinner plans this evening with John and Francois and we walk Bill and Bob to Odeon station and pick up flowers to take with us. The early evening turns dark and rainy again; the shimmering red, green and white lights of a Paris twilight reflected in the wet, watery streets. We make our way to John and Francois’ apartment on the Quai de la Seine for a lovely home-cooked meal and great conversation. A friend of John’s, Tom, rounds out the group and we spend a merry evening speaking English, much to Francois’ chagrin.