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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 6
Europe 2005
London, Paris, Normandy, Prague


Carol and David  
Day 13

We slept soundly. Very little Paris street noise found its way through our open window on the 5th floor, and the air was wonderfully cool and breezy.


Our room, though small, has the best shower that we have come across in any of the hotels we have stayed in ever. Plenty of hot water, strong pressure, and I did not have to get on my knees.


Carol enjoying breakfast in the cellar at Hotel Delavigne

Nice breakfast in the stone arched cave (“cellar”) with M&M, then out to explore Paris on a cool, gray day.


Carol, Muriel and Marc near the Pantheon


Carol and David near the Pantheon


The four of us walked from the hotel, past Les Jardins Luxembourg, to the Pantheon. It took four trips to Paris to finally find the Pantheon open, but it was worth the wait. An incredible, large, cavernous structure with many colorful murals on the walls and ceilings portraying events critical to French history, with an interesting pendulum in the center, designed by Foucault. The most interesting section for me was the crypt, where we found the tombs of Victor Hugo, Pierre and Marie Curie, Jean Moulin (important French resistance fighter tortured to death by the Nazis), many revolutionary figures and too many more to mention here.


Ceiling of the Pantheon


Interior of the Pantheon


Stairway to the crypt at the Pantheon


Plaque on Victor Hugo's tomb


Down in the spooky crypt at the Pantheon


After spending a couple of hours at the Pantheon, we walked to one of our favorite Parisian hotels, le Hotel des Grandes Ecoles on Rue Cardinal Lemoine, where we said hello to Madame Le Floch and Marie. The hotel and the gardens looked gorgeous, as always. We continued along the familiar Place du Contrascarpe and down ancient Rue Mouffetard, until Carol found a marche (market).


Paris cobbles
Paris cobbles

Lovely entry to a home in Paris


Carol and Muriel at a marche (market)


Fleur du marche
Fleur du marche


After perusing the wares at le marche, we then strolled down towards the river. Along the way, we stumbled onto Lutece de Arene, the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre.

Marc, Muriel and David at Lutece de Arene

The four of us were hungry, so Muriel selected Restaurant Pacmad for delicious Turkish food. Excellent chicken schwarma, wonderful ambience and friendly, courteous staff.


Delicious lunch at Pacmad


Muriel and the proprietor of the Pacmad


We started walking towards the river and it began to POUR. All we could do to try to stay dry was to find awnings to duck under. What fun. We were soaking wet but loving it. We continued in the rain ducking puddles, until we found Le Montebello restaurant across from Notre Dame, where we stayed warm and dried out sipping glasses of wine. When the rain died down to a drizzle we walked under our umbrellas across the Seine, past Notre Dame, across Isle St. Louis and up into the Marais district. We located the Jewish Museum and spent about an hour and a half viewing the thousands of artifacts, documents, photos, paintings and sculptures. It was very informative and interesting but very tiring, so we left and found L'as du Falafel, which we had visited before. The four of us relaxed, sharing a falafel sandwich, juice, coke and a Kronenbourg beer.


Caught in the rain


Fallafel in the Marais

At 6:30pm we left the restaurant, walked about 2 blocks and the skies opened up into a veritable deluge. Carol and I ducked into one café and Marc and Muriel found shelter in another across the street. I noticed that the St. Paul metro stop was less than a block away, so we made a run for it.


In ten minutes we were back at the hotel, where we dried off and rested, planning to meet at 8:30pm in the lobby to enjoy the evening. Hopefully the pleuie (rain) will stop.


Which it did. We walked out of the hotel, around the corner and immediately stumbled onto La Cremerie Polidor, a restaurant recommended to us by our friends Mike and Annette Sechrest. The smoky eatery was obviously a favorite meeting place for friends and was packed. We were able to seat ourselves in a cozy corner and enjoyed a delicious dinner of escargot, veal, beef bourgignon and some delicious desserts. I tricked Marc into looking the other way while I stole a bite of his chocolate desert. Oh yes - and two bottles of wonderful Pinot Noir. Great food, great vibe, great wine, great place. Highly recommended, but very smoky...


At 10:30 we walked back around the corner to the hotel and made plans to meet for breakfast at 9:00am. The goal tomorrow is to visit the Cathedral of St. Sulpice and Pere Lachaise cemetery (or as Marc calls it Chez la Pear...)


After another incredibly adventurous day, we fell into bed at 11pm.


Pedometer reading for today - 6.5 miles

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