Day 3: Macarons and Some Art
Gourmet breakfasts were a thing on the second day as well. Every Thursday and Sunday Marché Bastille (farmers market) takes place a few blocks away from our apartment. Fresh produce, bread, and cheese at our doorstep!
Funny enough, Ira still had a plastic bag from Strand NYC that she had decided to bring to Paris.
That breakfast was definitely nutritious and delicious!
First stop on our tour de Paris Day 3 was Arc de Triomphe (12 euros). And that meant more stairs!
The views from the top were totally worth it. 12 boulevards merge under the Arc into one giant traffic circle with archaic rules (cars in the center have right of way). This is the best spot to observe and visually explore Paris city design. And again, our guide book by Rick Steves was invaluable at providing brief but engaging stories about the sight (I wish I was getting some commission on promoting it).
To find a good view of the Arc from the ground was actually challenging (and we didn’t succeed). If you stand right next to it (inside the traffic circle), it’s hard to absorb the whole thing because of its size. To take a photo from further away, you need to go way outside that giant circle into one of the sidewalks flooded with tourists and trees. Of course, there is an option of taking a photo from the middle of the boulevard, but I wouldn’t call it a viable option.
Then we started our march down Champs-Elysées. What can I say about it? It’s wide. There were a lot of stores and people. That’s about it.
The highlight for me was visit to Ladurée street side cafe where we finally tried their famous (and extravagantly expensive) macarons (apparently they have locations in NYC). I picked the weirdest flavors on the menu (at least from my perspective). I think it was gardenia and black currant with something else (that something else was weird, not black currant). I do remember them being very delicious (and small).
Our other stop on the boulevard was Peugeot store with very bright cars on display. Tourists definitely enjoyed taking selfies inside those cars. We stayed outside.
On the other side of Champs-Elysées (on Place de la Concorde), we found two rather elaborate fountains, an obelisk stolen from Egypt and a giant ferris wheel.
Right behind the square, there is Tuileries Garden. We didn’t get a chance to properly enjoy it unfortunately. It looked rather quaint and welcoming, but we had time only for a short break on green chairs generously sprinkled around the pond in the park.
Nest stop: Rodin Museum (11 euros). That was probably my favorite museum on this trip, mostly because of its garden. We started by having lunch in the cafe inside that garden. It was reasonably priced and tasty. Then we just walked around, and I tried to take some artsy photos (I have not processed them yet, so no one can judge my artistry yet). Some sculptures were rather creepy (father eating his children), others were extraordinarily life-like. Rodin was cool.
Finally, it was time for Musee d’Orsay (12 euros). We made a big mistake to leave the museum for the end of the day. Both of us were exhausted by that time. I’ve heard from many people that this was their favorite museum in Paris… I can’t say the same just because I was too tired to enjoy it. Hence, I definitely must come back.
For dinner we met with friends at a restaurant called Le Cappiello. It’s located in district 15, which is a lot more residential compared to where we had been. I was brave enough to try medium rare pork and Ira went for more traditional and very French beef bourguignon. We were definitely ready to pass out after this delicious dinner.
And here’s the timeline of the day (Google messed up as we didn’t travel that far north that day. I guess the network connection points in subways were smart enough to confuse Google).