Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Notre appartement et Notre-Dame

Would you like to see where we are living for the month?

This is the building. Look up... waaaaay up. We're on the very top floor.

This is our door. There is no number on the door; we just know we live between the Taj Mahal restaurant and the pizza place. One of many pizza places on the street, actually. We are in the Latin Quarter.

Those stairs! Sandi counted 106 of them. I don't know - I take them two at a time as if I were 20 years younger. My butt will be so toned by the end of August... provided I can continue to resist the lure of the crêpe.

The place is a typical Parisien apartment, meaning it is very small. This is the living room/dining room/my bedroom. I sleep on that sofa bed. It's quite comfortable. There's a sleeping "alcove" to the left of this picture with a double bed, where Sandi sleeps and where we store our clothes.

The view looking the other way (with me standing at the window). You can see our tiny little kitchen with the pink cupboards. Off to the right is the entry hall. There is a lot of furniture in this small space, some of it not very useful but charming nonetheless. I love this apartment.

On to the day's adventures...

We started out this morning with a trip to Notre-Dame de Paris. It is across the road from where we live. Everything (except Montmartre, which we will be visiting on Friday) seems to be within walking distance of the apartment. I chose our location well!

That's Sandi in her new green dress (bought on Boulevard Saint-Michel yesterday).

My camera does not take very good pictures in dark spaces.

After Notre-Dame, we went to the post office to mail postcards. Then we had to go back to the apartment to meet with the manager and pay her the rent. She was quite pleased to hear we hadn't used the other place at all and is going to see if she can get a bit of money back for us for the inconvenience of no hot water for 2 days.

After lunch, we headed on another exploration. I had a destination in mind to start: Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which I've read so much about on Kristin Espinasse's blog French Word-a-Day.

Very cool spot! Lots of reasonably-priced second-hand books (and some new), reading rooms upstairs, a piano to play (if one was able to play), a children's area. I would highly recommend a visit to this shop if you ever go to Paris. But, of course, another very narrow staircase to climb to get up to the second level.

After Shakespeare and Company we did what we enjoy most - we went strolling.

I succumbed to the temptation of a macaron:

Actually, one of my missions on this trip was to taste-test macarons. I bought these two at a nice little pâtisserie. I was a bit disappointed with the first bite of the chocolate (brown) one because it seemed so dry and crumbly. But once I got into the middle, Mamma Mia (oops, sorry - that's Italian). It was good. I've saved the pistachio macaron for tomorrow... but it might dry out. Hmmmm... maybe I'll eat it as a bedtime snack.

We wandered for quite a while, discovered new neighbourhoods, a new garden (useful to keep in mind for those days when we need to relax with a good book) and the Pantheon:

Wow - amazing! I'm learning that you miss a lot if you don't look up.

I'm too lazy to research the historical background of the Pantheon right now. If you're interested, you'll have to Google it. But I will tell you that, despite popular belief, it was not an ancient Roman Temple (like the Pantheon in Rome was).

And... the the quest for the perfect crêpe continues. Tonight's choice was Sugar, Butter & Hazelnuts. It was rated superior to the Caramel from last night and the Sugar & Cinnamon from a couple of days ago, but still didn't reach the level of the Nutella, which stands as the favourite so far.

Tomorrow we're going to the Champs-Élysées to see what there is to see.

Bon nuit, mes amies.


andsewon said...

Love your Paris garret apartment!!!
Now I would be happy at that bookstore just looking around!
With all this strolling about you will be skinny as a rail when you get back home!!
Notre-Dame de Paris is awesome!!!

Pat said... are doing a FABULOUS job of sharing this with us.....GREAT photos (taken from great angles, too). I'm really enjoying this. I was surprised to see the signs inside the bookstore written in English. Are many signs in English there? Do most shopkeepers and restaurant employees speak English or are you having to converse in French? I hope the apartment manager spoke your language or maybe she didn't say she'll try to get you a discount for no hot water...maybe she said you'll be charged EXTRA. LOL Sandi looks so pretty in that green dress and I admire her for researching those crepes.....because I do want to know which ones are best!

Barb said...

oh how fun....thanks for including us in on your adventures...just wonderful pictures and will need those wonder the French are is the stairs.

goldenbird said...

What a cute apartment. Reading your blog is making me want to go to Paris. I love that bookstore. Not sure how you are resisting the call of the crepe.

cozy quilter said...

You get a real feel for a place when you stay in one spot for a while rather than just a day here and a day there. You will soon be part of the neighbourhood!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow. This has to be the perfect vacation! When you get back I'm probably going to want to know how you did all the prep work -- planning for the future, you know. Thanks for all the sharing -- I'm loving your trip!!!

PunkiePie said...

WOW! I've sad it before and I'll say it again... what an AWESOME vacation!