14 Jun 2017
|Day 27 - Wed 14 Jun 1
We were in need of a good night sleep in the understanding that we have twelve more days to visit the corners of this city which we have not visited in the last seven visits and will need the energy to do,so.
I arose earlier than Kaye and put to rest the fuel payment problem we had in Perpingnan. I still cannot understand why an oil dispensing company can put a hold on additional funds for a simple fuel purchase until the transaction is validated ; all without notice; defies simple logic.
We left our apartment and 0930 hrs, looking for a coffee and pastry which was satisfied around the corner in Rue Cler. Once again we were brought back to Paris reality with a 5.80€ cup of coffee; admittedly it was good enough to possibly have had fresh milk.
Our objective for the day was just to wander but also to visit and photograph the courtyard at the hotel in the the 17th Arrondissement that our daughter had stayed when she ran the Paris marathon in 2016. It was winter and she wanted to know how lovely it looked in Spring.
Our first stop, Rue Cler which has, probably had, a great reputation as a market street was relatively quite. Having been in the street,several times before, it appeared to have lost its vibrancy; we will revisit before we go to be fair in our assessment.
We continued south towards the Ecole Militaire before turning north along the Avenue Bosquet and across the Pont d'la Alma. Like so many if not all of these streets, the architecture is varied and interesting. The restaurant's, Boulangerie's and every other form of eating or drinking is desirous of a sampling; there is a magic in everything that captures our attention and cravings.
We routed west around the Arc d' T, to get to the Place Tristan Bernard which like so,many areas in Paris is a focal point in itself. We could feel that we were in the same city but in a village of it's own. This was apparent to,us when we felt the market street of Rue Poncelot appeared to have more life than the famed Rue Cler.
We visited Nicole's hotel and found the secret garden that was now in full bloom; we photographed it from all angles. It was very impressive in both its design and utility. We attempted to order a wine from an attentive staff member who produced a menu and then disappeared not to return. When I went to check, I realised we had ordered from the busy concierge ( it's a small boutique four star) and decided it was appropriate to leave. As we did so, we were given a passing "au revoir" by the concierge. On reflection, I thought the non service and response was a polite way of saying " you are in the wrong place, you are not a regular customer and you are wasting my busy time". I took the experience not to be a snub but a lesson for better judgement.
We continued east across the top of Place des Ternes to Parc Montesquieu, near Metro station Monceau. On the way we found a small but well stocked shop of household products. The English speaking, "had to be the owner", was a dynamo that quickly sold us the two, fine glass, wine glasses we needed to replace the ice cream glasses in our apartment. Her marketing skills had us interested in a magnetic hot saucepan stand that was " her best selling little product; so popular". We thought about it for the girls until the 45€ price tag made me realise she was very good at selling. She would have challenged my sports good owner friend as a smooth operator. She really was very nice and it was a pleasant experience.
We reached the park over the lunch period and it was packed with people seeking its refuge from every aspect of daily life; the fact the day was quite warm also a contributing fact. I can't say it was the best maintained garden in Paris but we have seen this before ; people seem to accept the situation but still enjoy. We sat for a while and observed.
We then headed South east to the area of St Augustin. On the way another lesson was served up, and not for the first time to the slow learner, when we stopped for a snack and wine. We entered a shop that was both a Boulangerie and restaurant. We wanted only a sandwich we could "witness" and a glass of wine; one from each area. The staff were polite and friendly and finally we were able to have the sandwich in the Boulangerie and a glass of wine was provided from the restaurant; we obviously wanted the experience the other way around. I can see why the locals with their own understanding of such protocols shake their head at foreign bumbling tourists. I recall Paris in 1979, when we would have been given the short stick; thankfully the level of Paris tolerance has improved.
We had a quick look at the Eglise St Augustin, which is under renovation and definitely in need of a cleanup and touch up. These monuments come from a time long past but have a great future for tourism.
We were starting to feel the "wearies" and completed our walk along the line of Madeline ( just love the columns of this lovely building ), down Rue Royale to Concorde and the fountains, past the US Embassy with it's army of French police protecting it, across our favourite Pont Alexander 3 and up Boulevard de la Tour- Maubourg arriving back at the apartment just after 1500hrs.
At 1730 hrs, we shopped for meats and cheese in Rue Cler for dinner at home. The street was not brimming with people shopping for dinner and we had noted higher quality shops of greater choice on our walk. We will now be more discerning and buy main meal choices wherever we find them; no problem for more general items. It will be very hard to pass up delicacy choices like we experienced at shops like Maison Pou on Avenue Des Ternes.