France - Saying Goodbye is Never Easy
The final stop of the fortieth tour was an evening in Paris with my brother. I didn't think we would do too much as we weren't arriving until late afternoon, but we ended up having a whirlwind tour of Paris. My brother and I have never been to Paris together and it was fun to explore with him. I purchased a book that has several walking tours of Paris and I was eager to try one, while I didn't care for the book as a whole, we did see several sights we would not have looked into otherwise.
We began the tour at the Jardin du Luxembourg. For the first time I saw the Medici Fountain in real life, being my third time there it seemed fitting and it was lovely. Next we watched the kids push around the vintage toy boats that you can rent at the Grand Bassin, which has been a tradition for over ninety years. The Jardin's are always nice to visit and very pleasant to be in, I always want to spend more time than I have in them. Following, we walked to Eglise Saint-Sulpice which is the second largest church in Paris and has an amazing fountain in front of it, Fountaine Saint-Sulpice. It is one of the best fountains I have ever seen. Then we went to Pierre Herme, a fancy patisserie and got a strawberry tart. We walked over to bench by the fountain and enjoyed our treat immensely. When we were finished, we realized the bench we were sitting on was covered by Pierre Herme stickers.
After our treat we decide to head to L'Avant Comptoir du Marché which was next in the book. Since this is considered la maison du cochon (the house of pig) I had my reservations, being a vegetarian and all. The book insisted however if you just asked, they could accommodate vegetarians. For all of those out there that are vegetarian or vegan, this is not the case and they had no options, not one. My brother had a snack and a glass of wine, they didn't have espresso either, then we went off to Square Félix Desruelles which was very hard to find. We were looking for the Sèvres portico, made of ceramic in the nineteen hundreds. We walked past it twice as it is tucked behind Saint-Germain-des-Pres Church and Boulevard St-Germain. It isn't a big square, but it was cute and had a statue of Bernard Palissy, a French potter and writer.
As we were walking to the next destination, we ran into Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore. I have seen numerous photos of both of these adorable cafes but have never run into them. It was nice to check those two off the list. We ran into a Laduree on the way to the next stop and I wanted to go in for tea and a pastry. They didn't have tea at the time so we settled on a macaron instead. We went to the Seine, sat and had our macaron. It was fantastic. It is near impossible to get a macaron anywhere else as good as you can in France, near impossible. We perused some of the bouquinistes along the Seine and meandered towards the Jardin du Tulieries. While we were the we decided to ride the Roue de Paris! It would be my second time and I was so excited! The views from the wheel are magnificent.
We decided it was time for a proper meal and I found our way to a cafe I had been to on my last visit to Paris in the fall that I really enjoyed, Le Petit Caillou. It's in the seventh close to the Eiffel Tower. We had a lot of cheese and enjoyed every bit. I love this cafe, the food is fantastic, the staff is amazing and the atmosphere is lovely, I look forward to visiting again one day. Then we decided to go to the Eiffel Tower, it was dark by this time and my brother had never seen her lit up. I've heard that Parisians don't like the light show, but I find it to be magical, like fireworks. We watched the magic happen and then decided we had seen all we could see in one evening and went back to our hotel before heading to the airport in the morning.
I cannot express how sad I was to leave Paris and France. I have been three years in a row and I won't be coming back next year, that I know of anyway. When I'm away from France I actually miss it. I've never felt that way about a place. It was hard to say goodbye, but I do know for sure, one day I will return to see her again.