After a crazy few days we wanted need to chill out for a bit. It was Sunday and that is the day when all of the markets are happening. Not far from our apartment in Montparnasse there is a stretch of road that is where artists display and sell their work. We saw some art ranging from classical to avant garde. This one guy made creatures out of reclaimed materials, they were pretty neato and steampunkish. We also looked for something nice that we can put on display in our house, but was also able to travel back with us and not be too expensive. We found this little French lady who made these ink drawings of Parisian landmarks. She didn't speak any English but we were able to negotiate a sale with her. After walking around a bit more, we headed off to another market.
St. Paul is a Bohemian little neighborhood. There are little courtyards in between buildings and in those courtyards vendors set up antiques and wares. We had fun browsing the area and saw some interesting things. There was a lot of weird 80s clothes, dishes and books. What we loved most was this one little tent that had vintage posters. I bought one for my little brother Billy (so he can decorate his new Dorm room with it). Tim found old wind up toys (Tim has a weakness for toys) so he got a cool robot. I was on the search for gifts for my lady friends and came across antique postcards, some of them even had stuff written on them! The vendor came up and talked to us a bit in French and we just did the ol' smile and nod. I ended up some for my friends and an extra for me! When I got home I framed them and handed them out. Its quite the cute momento.
After our market adventure we wandered around a bit more. We saw where the bastille was. In its place is this monument and a mega opera house across from it. Then we got lost some more and ended up in a park. We sat and hung out for a bit and enjoyed the scenery. In the distance we heard a band complete with accordion playing. We also noticed the trees in the park were square.. lots of square trees in France! We also noticed that their park budget must be crazy because every park is immaculate!
We did some more wandering and got sorbet on the way. I got mango and it was scrumptious! Along the way we saw some more street performers including another accordion player and a puppeteer. Then we unbeknownst to us we ran into the Notre Dame again... geeze its like that things is the center of the city or something (please note the sarcasm)
The rest of the day was kind of a bust because of rain :( Unfortunately for us it rained a lot on this trip. I guess I shouldn't be too mad because I did want to see Paris in the rain. Before our trip we watched Midnight in Paris and Owen Wilson's character would always say Paris is beautiful in the rain. Don't get me wrong, it certainly was but soggy shoes are not beautiful.
After the rain let up a bit we headed to Jardin du Luxembourg. It one of the biggest public parks in Paris, and yes it is immaculate and beautiful just like every other park in Paris. It even has the same square trees! The grounds also contained yet another royal palace. There are royal palaces all over the city its ridiculous! I guess everyone who had come into power wanted their own digs. Those bastards deserved to get their heads chopped off! My guide book also told me some interesting tidbits about the garden. When times were tough for Ernest Hemingway he used to stroll through the garden with a stroller. He would then proceed to break the necks of squirrels and pigeons then stuff them in the stroller and that would be his dinner. Further proof that Hemingway was awesome.
Afterwards we went to dinner at a hip little joint just outside of our apartment. That was where we had probably the best meal of the entire trip. Here are our delicious dishes.
The next day we decided to make the trip back to the Eiffel tower and climb that bad boy! Went on the metro and we got some great views of the tour from the train! Then we walked on over to the tower. When we got there like last time, the line was crazy! Turns out it was so nuts because only one elevator was working. We opted to walk up the stairs (the line was shorter and a bit cheaper) So we walked up about a gabillion steps. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it and I had to stop a few times. Once we reached the first level and I saw the view the trek up the stairs was well worth it. We saw some amazing views of the city. We opted not to go to the tippy top because you can only get there via elevator (and the line was ridiculous so we skipped it) Plus you have to pay a few more bucks to go to the top!
While admiring the view we noticed the boat tours launched off near by. We walked up and down the Sienne looking for a good tour boat.
For that evening's entertainment we went to a jazz club. We went to the Latin Quarter for the club. We entered and were led down a few steps into the basement which was like a forgotten ruin with a stage in the middle of it. I had never actually seen a jazz band before so it was pretty interesting. The band consisted of a drummer, double bass, guitar and trumpet. The drummer was by far the most talented. He hit his drums with such precision and skill all making it look effortless.
The crowd was a very interesting mix of young college students and older folk. I noticed that the two groups sat together and even mingled together. Then a few of them started dancing together. I had told Tim earlier "I am going to make you dance" but then I saw them dance and I immediately changed my mind because I am a horrible dancer and those French, damn they know how to dance. At one point one dancer, dripping sweat was twirling around two ladies. Yeah I couldn't dance anything like that so I opted to enjoy the show from my seat.
It was a very exciting night and one of my favorites of the entire trip!