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Report 2047: A Week in Paris - September 2012

By Dick H from NJ, Fall 2012

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Page 3 of 8: Saturday, September 22 - Jardin des Plantes and much Walking

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Susan and Anya in the Jardin des Plantes

As per our routine, I was up early, out to the boulangerie, and back for breakfast in the apartment. After breakfast, Susan and Anya made sandwiches to take with us for lunch.

We first walked over to the Marche Baudoyer which was not too crowded. Anya bought some olives and tapinade. We walked through the market and spent time looking at all the vendors and hopefully stayed out of the way of those intent on buying. We didn't make any other purchases (although it all looked good) as we didn't want to carry it with us all day.

Our plan was to start our day at the Jardin des Plantes so we walked over to the Pont Marie metro station and took it to Jussieu from which we walked over to the garden. We entered on the northwest corner and walked through to the southeast corner. (Due to our plans for the day, we did not take advantage of AiP's suggestion for mint tea in the courtyard of the Mosquee de Paris - perhaps next time.) The park and the plants were beautiful and we took many pictures and vowed to return another time to explore the park further. It was definitely worth the visit and may families seemed to be out and about in the park.

Anya wanted to visit the area of the Docks en Seine so we walked along the Seine on the Quai Austerlitz. Most of the shops were closed as were the boats. It was a nice walk however. We also wanted to visit the shops around Pont de Tolbiac but we couldn't find them (or they weren't what we thought they'd be). Be that as it may, it was nice walking around the neighborhood. We saw a tour group looking at a modern apartment building with mechanized shutters but weren't sure what they were looking at. We found a small park by Biblioteque F. Mitterand where we sat and ate lunch. It was nice to sit and relax and plan what to do next. We decided to take the metro and look for Bar Melac and the P'tit Bar in the 11th.

We caught the metro at Biblioteque F. Mitternad station and after changing trains twice exited at Charonne. Although changing twice, it didn't take long at all. The metro is really amazing. We walked two blocks or so to Melac Bistro a Vins (which was mentioned somewhere on this site and intrigued us). They had just closed the kitchen and were happy to hear we only wanted to sit and have a glass of wine. No English was spoken at Melac but we managed. Susan had a glass of rose while Anya and I each had a large glass of the house special "Moustache" red. It was a robust wine and we enjoyed it. As we were sitting outside, we also enjoyed the ambiance of the neighborhood which was not touristy at all. The grapevine did run along the outside of the building.

After leaving Bar Melac, we went in search of le P'tit Bar on rue Richard Lenoir, which was a couple of blocks on the other side of Blvd. Voltaire. Anya had read about the Bar and it was supposed to be a very old, small and charming place run by a charming old Parisienne who made the place an interesting visit. When we found it, there was a cat in the basket in the window and two older women inside. However, we didn't go in as it appeared to be disheveled and really dirty inside. Oh well.

We decided to continue walking to the area around the Oberkamph metro station near Republiue. We walked up Blvd. Voltaire for the most part. Initially most of the stores were closed but it got better the closer we got to Republique and we did a bit of window shopping. As we got closer to home, we stopped into Cafe des Musees and made reservation for dinner at 21:30. They were very accommodating even on this short notice. We stopped into the boulangerie for a couple of baguettes and the wine store for a couple of bottles of wine.

When we got back to the apartment, we had some red wine with the olives and tapinade that Anya had purchased this morning.

At Cafe des Musees, we were seated just outside the main dining room, which worked out fine as Susan and Anya could observe the chef in the kitchen and watch customer comings and goings in the front of the Cafe. We shared and enjoyed our entrees (smoked salmon, escargot and pate) and the main plates (steak, pot of veggies and a "fish similar to bass") were delicious.

We walked the half block home and, as usual, collapsed into bed.

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