Day 4 – The most visited city in the world – Paris, France – Part 1

Dan says…

Today started early we woke around 5am so we could board the 7:22a train in Kiaserslutern (Germany) bound for Paris (France). We took the Inter City Express or ICE train, which you could call a bullet train. Once in France it speed along the tracks at 319 kilometers per hour or 198 mph. Once we made it to Paris we took the subway to the heart of Paris, the Ile de la Cite (City island in English). The island completely surrounded by the Seine river is the home of several famous landmarks including our focus, Notre Dame. We made our way around the inside looking a stain glass and little chapels dedicated to religous martyrs. Then we walked around the outside to take in the gargolyes and flying buttresses.

From there we walked along the Seine and wandered into a cozy cafe called le Mistral. Our tiny table was right against a large window that allowed us to inspect daily life in Paris with the Eifel Tower as a back drop.

We had a profesional waiter who was patient and friendly but spoke about three words of English. It happens to be the exact number of French words I know. He suggested the sauté de canard special for 11.80 euro. The best way to explain what this looked and tasted like is to call it duck pot roast. It was duck cooked until it fell off the bone served in a vegetable sauce with a side of baby peas and carrots. This dish was rustic and full of fresh flavor. I soaked up the sauce with pieces of whole grain baget. This was all washed down with a glass of Beaujolais nouveau. I heard the 2009 year was good and it didn’t disappoint.

We really couldn’t help ourselves. The view was inspiring us so we ordered a creme brûlée to split. I really need to learn how to make this dessert.

We settled up with the waiter after using the pay toilets (they gave us a slug for the door). Remember in France no gratutity is required. We just round to the nearest euro and let the server keep the change.

With this big meal literally under our belts we started the trek toward the French Smithsonian aka the Louvre. We spent several hours admiring the work of the masters. We hit all the biggies – the Monalisa, the Venus de Milo and the Madona on the Rocks. We spent most of out time in the Denon wing. The museum was quite busy. I can’t imagine what the Louvre would be like in the summer tourist season.

We left the Louvre thinking it would be nice to have soome daylight as we searched for our hotel. I’ll tell you about that in part duex.

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