Trip down the Seine

We had a few choices for today but decided to wander around like yesterday. After a hotel breakfast we headed for the Luxembourg Gardens so Mirinda could feed the birds. She had sparrows eating out of her hand until the greedy pigeons tried to hop on as well.

From here we wandered along another of the Paris walks until the rain started (at about the same time as we reached the well hung centaur with tools and brushes in it’s butt in Carrafour de la Croix Rouge) when we ducked into a café for a coffee.

Centaur

We ended up at the Musee Maillol. Maillol was primarily a sculptor and a very good sculptor he was! He specialised in female nudes with small heads (like the girl from last night). I took a photo of one of his last year in the Tuileries garden. There are also some Picasso’s, Matisse’s and Kandinsky’s. And no crowds!!!! Fantastic.

We decided to spoil ourselves by having lunch at Cafe de Flores where Satre and Simone de Beauvoir once supped. Once home to down at heel intellectuals, it is now a very fashionable and equally expensive café. BUT! The food and service is excellent and, although crowded, it has a great atmosphere. Our waiter was especially fun, although he didn’t take to the American woman beside us. I had the most delicious salmon I’ve ever eaten. Two lots of three different types. Mirinda had the crab salad which she said was equally delicious.

Mirinda thought a trip on a Seine boat would round off the day nicely so we headed down for the river just as the heavens started to open and the rain poured down. Mirinda bought a £3 Paris umbrella but I just (unsuccessfully) dodged the drops. And then, as we sat on the boat, the clouds broke up and, wonder of wonders, blue skies beamed down on Paris, brightening up our boat ride and drying off everything. It was enough to make us ignore the loud French people on the boat, talking whenever the English commentary started. And I thought it was just the Germans that did that!

Tourist boat

After a lovely trip we slowly made our way back up to a café near the Odeon where we relaxed with a coffee & hot chocolate. A fantastic café with little rooms, low ceilings, striped light shades and shelves of books. From here, it was back to the room for a little rest before dinner.

We had intended to visit a ‘posh’ restaurant quite close to the hotel, but unfortunately it was fully booked! So we wandered up to the street of Japanese restaurants and went into Le Mechoui du prince, a Moroccan restaurant we’d spotted the other night. I have three comments:

  1. The food was delicious. The tagine was divine, the mixed entrees interesting and the dessert very sweet. The mint tea, though lovely, was not as good as our previous Moroccan restaurant experience in Paris.
  2. The group next to us contained a chap who was the spitting image of Luke, Nicole’s husband. If not for the fact that his French was excellent (I’m assuming he WAS French) I would have gone up and said ‘hi’. The girl of the couple at our end of the table was entranced by him and was pretty obvious about it. I felt sorry for her partner who was basically ignored all night! Except for when the Luke-a-like went to the loo.
  3. The service was terrible. Our waiter (there was only two and one looked after our part of the restaurant while his buddy the other) only visited us once an hour and then he forgot to get me a second beer. When it came time to pay he took an age. I wouldn’t recommend this place.

After our ordeal, we wandered back to hotel to pay our bill and retire for our short sleep before tomorrow’s earlier than early start.

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