Sunday, 19 March 2017

Paris weekend trip, day one: Cacao Smuggling (Drug Mule for a Chocolate Baron)

Paris, France (Paris, France)
26 November 2016
Thanks to the Eurostar, Paris is just a short trip from London, and you don't even have to suffer seasickness anymore.
With a very early start to the day, we made our way to King's Cross and from there, mainland Europe!

The journey was painless, and soon enough we had arrived at the hotel and dropped off our bags. Wanting a little pick-me-up, we took a seat at a café that was right around the corner, where I had some tea and dad enjoyed an omelette while people-watching and getting acquainted with the French ambience that surrounded us.
The area in which we were staying was Les Gobelins in the 13th arrondissement (south Paris). We were just down the road from the large Place d'Italie, which was very handy for its metro stop, and were also close to a couple of supermarkets and a strange shopfront which seemed to either sell or simply be a museum devoted to secondhand camera lenses.

Our first day in the capital was devoted solely to visiting the Louvre, as dad was itching to go and I had never been before.

The building was huge, and where was no way we would be able to see everything in an afternoon. We briefly perused the exquisite sculpture garden before carrying on.

Our Louvre expedition mainly revolved around French paintings, and some of them were enormous! Vast scenes of varying dramatic episodes were played out over wall after wall. Dad suggested catching a glimpse of the Mona Lisa, so before leaving the museum we trotted over to the Italian painting section and with some slight crowd shuffling we were able to feast our eyes upon her perfect eyebrow-less visage (sarcasm; I mean, it was a very good painting but all too overhyped in my opinion).

After such a tiring day, dad rested in the hotel room and I went out for a relaxing evening stroll.

For dinner I visited Crêpe de la Joie, which provide many vegan options. Every menu item sounded delicious, but I opted for the spiced apple and almond crêpe with a delightful Kir Breton on the side (cider with crème de cassis - blackcurrant liqueur). 

Knowing that supermarkets would be closed the next day (Sundays are such a pain in Europe!), I made sure to find a large supermarket to stock up on bottles of cheap French cider and Cote d'Or chocolate for Yannick. He had instructed me to buy "as much as I could carry", so I felt rather ridiculous at the checkout. I was hoping that the lady behind the till would make some comment, or smile, or give me any reason to explain myself, but she beeped through every bar of chocolate and bottle of cider without so much as a second glance or flicker of emotion. On my way back to the hotel, I ended up walking down a street that Yannick and I had explored the last time we were in Paris. It brought back great memories, and I loved seeing all the bright Christmas lights and families out for a spot of nighttime window shopping or heading back home after dinner. I nipped into a vegan bakery I had heard about, but was too full to buy anything really exciting, leaving instead with just a cookie. I nibbled away at it, and both dad and I slept very well that night.

Today's post was almost called: Enter the Realm of the Gobelins