Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday 3/10/12: Market at Barbes-Rochechouart station and Musee du Louvre

Arrived at the Holiday Inn Express @ Bassin de la Villette in the 19th Arrondissement of Paris.  

No room was available when we arrived at about 8:00 a.m. so we left our luggage at the front desk and headed out for our first day in Paris.  We first took a walk in the neighborhood of the 19th.  Nancy enjoyed her first pastry in France, a chocolate croissant, while I had a sesame baguette (not shown).

We went to the Barbes-Rochechouart market, which I had read about on a blog and knew it occurred on Saturdays.  We bought several items for lunch, including:
  • ·         Cheese – 2 packages for 2 euros since they were going to expire within the week.  I got small wheels of Camembert and some kind of soft muenster.
  • ·         Baguette
  • ·         Liver pate from an unknown animal.  The butcher who sold it to me said it was not duck, and since it ostensibly was a Halal butcher I presume it was not pork, but if he told me what it was I didn’t understand him.
  • ·         Some vegetables
  • ·         Mandarin oranges, samples of which were delicious when he offered them to us.
  • ·         Two types of olives
  • ·         A knife

All of this was around 10 euros.

Then we headed to the Musee du Louvre.  Since we entered through the train station, the security line at the Louvre only took about 8 minutes.  However I did have to surrender my knife.  The guard gave me a card that I could later exchange for my knife.

We were hungry so we sat at a table in the Louvre lobby and had our picnic.  We hadn’t bought anything to drink so we had to buy a 4 euro small bottle of water at the Louvre, which we shared.  We probably could have saved 3.75 euros if we had bought it before we got on the train.

Here is a photo of the picnic:

Everything was good, nothing was sublime, except for the orange which tasted nothing like the one we sampled at the market.  It was terrible.

Toured the Louvre that afternoon.   Focused on the Mona Lisa.  It’s not just us, or even Americans generally, who focus on greatest hits and superstars. Most people apparently come to the Louvre primarily to see the Mona Lisa, as you can see from this picture of people viewing the Mona Lisa:

Present company included. 
If for no other reason than to say we went to the Louvre and saw more than just the Mona Lisa, we also looked at some other things and spent a while in the Etruscan antiquities gallery.  This is a sarcophagus of what must have been a couple that was relaxed.


By then we had about enough art for a while and wanted to walk around.  Exited the Louvre through the pyramid, so we never did recover our knife, and walked around the Louvre’s outside grounds and the Jardin des Tuileries.

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