Around 10:00 I went out to visit the market right outside my door and my gosh! It's huge - all types of vendors, a majority were the fruits and vegetable types, but there were meat, both raw and processed, cheeses, olives and bread and pastries. Then there were a number of vendors with clothes, shoes, jewelry, household items...just a great mix. So, of course, I had to buy some food stuff. Tried not to go overboard though cause it dawned on me I'm not really going to want to do a bunch of cooking up here in my garret. (Chris - you're right - that's exactly what it is. When I'm out on the balcony the sides of it butt up against the slanted, metal roof that all the buildings have. Oh, and I sat on the balcony tonight and it was/is a delicious evening - just hoping it gets in here pretty soon, although it didn't get as bad as it was yesterday. Anyway, I bought some strawberries, a half dozen eggs, some nice olives, one little slice of salmon which stunned me with its price but by then it was too late. It was such a nice little slice I figured I'd use it in an omelet which I will but it sure better be good! :) Oh, and I bought two ready-made salads - one a Greek salad and the other an I don't know what but really tasty. It has those very thin green beans in it (raw or close to it), cheese, tomatoes, red onion, and whatever else and I kept trying to decide if the seasoning in it was dill. Anyway, I had some of that for lunch before I went jaunting off and then had some of the Greek when I got back for dinner and before I went jaunting off again.
So that was all very successful, I think. Not so sure about the jauntings, though. :) I did several metro trips, even two that involved transferring and except for the last one where the signage was really poor, I got to feeling real competent. It's a shame the last one was the bad one cause I really was too tired to deal with it well. But I finally beat it and got home. My plan was to go the Marais district of Paris today just cause it sounded like a neat place to visit, and then go further down or out or whatever and find a needlework store that I had looked up on line and also walk along the Viaduct des Arts which sounds real neat It's a 2-mile stretch of flower gardens and trees basically built on an old elevated train track. But having wandered around Marais for a while (part of the wandering being lost - I seem to have no ability to figure out which direction I should go when I look at my map) and walking to and from the metro stops (I know - I could take a cab, but I'd have to walk around trying to find them too - they have taxi stands in Paris or you call and request one) I was already tired when I got to the place and it dawned on me I hadn't brought the address of the shop with me but I knew it was 17 something and that the something was either Viaduct des Arts or a street named Daumnesil, so I texted Chris to see if he was available and could look it up for me. Turned out it was on the Daum street so I gave up walking the Viaduct and walked back up to that street which is where the metro station was. When I got to the street I saw that the number on the first building was 255 so I texted him again and asked how far it would be between 255 and 17 and when I got the answer to that I decided I was going home. But 3 nice things from such a strange and sort of failing jaunt - I got good Metro practice, I had my first two maccarons (WOW!!) and I visited the apartment Victor Hugo lived in for 14 or 16 years and found it quite interesting. Oh, and before I post the pictures, I've come across an interesting phenomenon twice now, the second time being this morning when I asked two guys on the street where I had gone wrong trying to find my metro station. They didn't understand me, of course, and I didn't understand them, but I showed them he note I had put into my phone that told me how to get to the station except it wasn't getting me there. And when I showed it to him, he read it - out loud. Same thing the other time - I showed them something in English and they read it. I wonder if like me, they're afraid to speak what English they might know. I know I am cause every time I do, it turns out I'm saying the word totally wrong.
Anyway, took some pics at the Hugo house. It's in yet another massive building project of one of the King Henrys. He built an entire square of "houses" with 9 on two sides (like townhouses) and then 6 with a bigger center "house" on the other two sides. The two big ones were for the King and Queen - apparently separate bedrooms weren't enough - but they never did live in them. So Victor had an apartment in one of them and lived there with his wife and two children.
So that was that, and then as I reported, I was unsuccessful with the needlework store. I got home, had my nice little dinner and decided I would go ahead and do what I had sort of halfway planned which was to try going to the Louvre in the evening cause they're open late on Fridays and Wednesdays. And I would use an entrance that isn't the main entrance and can be somewhat quicker. It's in an underground shopping mall and I found it with no problem (that was one of my transfer trips). The shopping mall is incredible, just the little bit I saw of it. But the place that sells the tickets was closed, who knows why. But, truthfully, I had already begun to think I wasn't leaving myself enough time even to just hit the high spots and I wasn't too keen about staying until 10 which is when they close which meant I had even less time. Plus which, I was really kind of dead dog tired. Finally found out how to get out of the place and discovered that I could go into the grounds of the palace/museum and there was the glass pyramid. So a few more pictures before I started home.
And as of tomorrow I only have 7 days left here and I'm feeling kind of guilty cause I really haven't done much. But I've been enjoying myself. My plan right now (if the weather stays nice) is to try and get to the Eiffel Tower early Sunday morning and after standing and sitting for a while with my jaw on the ground, wander around that area and see what all I can see. And if I DO try the Louvre again, that will probably be Wednesday evening but getting about an hour earlier start. But I should be planning a day trip and doing important things and stuff! There's another house-type museum I'm going to search out - I think the smaller museums are much more my speed and I do love house museums. And I want to go in search of a few "Passages" that I've read about and are scattered around the city. These were shopping arcades during the Belle Epoque era and still have lots of shops and eateries in them. One of them has a mini shop, so I'll search for that one and I noticed on the map that there are two others near it. And, of course, aside from the heat in this place, I'm enjoying my little home and getting familiar with the neighborhood. Tonight when I went into the local boulangerie (think BREAD!) for the third day in a row, it was the same man as always so this time in addition to "bonjour" I added "comment allez vous?" and he replied "tres bien" and we were both quite pleased with ourselves. He went on to comment on the heat which I was able to understand and respond to by fanning myself. All of which gave me the nerve to ask about 1/2 loaf baguettes (as did the fact that there were some laying on the shelf already cut) and sure enough, I was allowed to buy a 1/2 loaf. And then the delicious evening on the balcony was nice too. So I may not be the world's most practical or accomplished tourist, but I may be one of the happier ones ::)
Bon soir! (and I made it on Friday - it's 2 minutes to midnight!)