The Eiffel Tower - Photo Taken September 2010

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 13 - The Louvre and a Quilt Shop

An update on the Laduree macarons that I bought yesterday, but didn't eat until last night.  They were delicious and the flavors very intense.  I think the best I've had.  Note to self: Eat them when you get them, don't carry them around all day so they get all smooshed and crumbly.

This morning I started out for the Louvre.  I rode the bus part of the way and walked part of the way.  I enjoyed walking under the arcade opposite the Louvre on the north side of Rue de Rivoli.  There are some interesting shops and just across from the entrance to the Louvre, there was an exposition called "Bois et Foret" (Wood and Forest).  They had plantings of different kinds of trees, seedlings really, there was a wooden model of the Eiffel Tower, a small log cabin, and an area where people could learn how to make different things out of wood. 

After checking out the mob of people waiting to enter the Louvre through the pyramid, and shooing off a couple of petition girls, I went down to the shopping center under the Louvre where there is a less busy entrance.  The shopping mall is called the Carousel du Louvre and it is full of high end shops.  I found the shops to be very interesting and unique.  There is a nice restroom - I think part of a cosmetic shop - that charges 1.50 euros for the privilege of using their facilities, but it was worth it.  There was a bit of a line waiting to get into the Louvre, but it was for security only.  It was about 11:00 when I got into the area under the pyramid, so I had a cup of coffe and a wonderful tarte citron (lemon tart) to tide me over for a couple of hours at "Paul" the boulangerie since 1889. 

After checking my coat I went to the Richelieu wing.  Almost everyone heads for the Denon wing because that is where all the "biggies" are, eg., the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, etc.  The Richelieu wing has paintings (French, Flemish, German, etc.), statues, objects d'arts, and the apartments of Napoleon III.  There are also about one-tenth as many people as in the Denon wing.  My main objective was the Napoleon's apartment.  I wasn't disappointed - they were pretty impressive.

After finishing in the Richelieu wing, I thought I'd pop into the Denon wing.  Since it was lunch time, I thought there would be fewer people - not!  There were just too many people, and since I'd seen all of the "biggies" before, I left. 

The Richelieu wing is very easy to navigate, especially for someone with mobility issues as there are escalators and elevators, but I didn't see anything but lots of steps in the Denon wing.  I'm sure there must be some elevators, but I didn't see them.

My next objective for the day was a quilt shop Le Rouvray on the Left Bank across from Notre Dame.  I rode the bus to Petit Pont and walked along looking for a place to have lunch.  I finally ended up at Bistro La Grange on rue La Grange.  I ordered a Croque Monsieur, and it was delicious. It was a slice of rustic bread with pesto, ham, and cheese, toasted and served with a lettuce salad.  I ordered a Coca Light (Diet Coke), and it even came with a piece of ice!  I was in heaven!  Lunch was 11.80 euros. 

I found the quilt shop.  It is quite small, but very nice, and the owner was very pleasant.  There was a couple there from Upstate New York, and as we always do when 2 or more quilters are together in a room, we talked quilting.  I bought a piece of toile fabric (french fabric with scenes printed on it; usually red, green, blue or black on a white or off-white background).  Unfortunately, the owner said she was going to have to close the shop at the end of October because her husband is out of work and she needs to get a job.  She said she'd open another shop next year.

I walked along the Seine and crossed over the "Love Lock" bridge to Ile St. Louis.  There were 3 armed soldiers on the bridge - they are non-threatening, but I couldn't help but wonder what was going on.  Were they there to keep people from putting more locks on the bridge? I was thinking I'd go to the famous Berthillon Tea Room, which arguably has the best ice cream in Paris.  When I got over to the island, I was too tired to walk all the way down there, so stopped at the Brasserie de L'lsle Saint-Louis, which I knew to be very touristy, but they advertise that they have Berthillon ice cream.  I ordered a cafe noisette (coffee with milk) and 2 boules of ice cream (chocolat noir and caramel sale).  The scoops of ice cream were very small, which was okay, but they cost 8 euros!  Total bill with the coffee came to 10.90 euros. Did I mention that this is a touristy place?  There was a nice couple from Boston sitting next to me, so I had good company, and there was an unending parade of people to watch:  A woman walking her cat on a leash; a street mime; a fellow playing french music on an accordion, and a couple dancing to the music.  Considering the entertainment, it was good value.  Sitting there, I thought there was no place else I'd rather be.

Dinner tonight at Chou Chou, a bistro down the street from the apartment that gets good reviews on Trip Advisor.  I had confit de canard with pommes sarladaise.  A duck leg & thigh with potatoes a la Sarlat (a town in the Dordogne that is famous for ducks and geese) with a lettuce & tomato salad on the side, and some red wine.  Chocolate molten cake with creme anglais and "un cafe" for dessert.  Less than 25 euros and they had live music - a guitarist and bass fiddle playing nice jazz.  Rue Rambuteau is just as busy at night as during the day.  At least 2 or 3 other bistros have live music as well, and not just tourists.  Heard mostly french being spoken. Loved the vibe.


  1. Thank you. I love reading your blog.
    One question: Is it awkward to eat dinner alone in the evening?

  2. The armed soldiers are not unusual as the regularly patrol the tourist areas for security. At least until the events of 2015 they walked around very casually and often engaged with people. When I was in Paris in May 2015, I noticed a larger military presense and they appeared to be less casual, no nonsense.