And because I am so far behind, and because we didn't do real "touristy" things Friday, there won't be a whole lot to tell you except how wonderful it is being here and especially with one of my children! Before I forget though, I had my first-ever paella for lunch on Friday. We saw this tiny little place with people sitting in the windows eating paella and it looked delicious. I mentioned to Heather that I had always wanted to try it so in we went. The menu was in French (or maybe Spanish? - can't remember) and there were four different paellas, each one going up in price. The paellas we had seen in the window were maybe pizza pan size and we assumed that the different kinds listed would all be like that only maybe the more expensive ones had crabmeat or lobster or something. So, finally here it came with the man bringing it laughing at (or with) us, on a platter that was just shy of being as wide as our table! And strangely enough there was no rice which in a way was a bit of a disappointment but, of course, there was a basket of the wonderful bread you get everywhere, so we managed to survive.
Now, on to mostly pictures. And just a note about their quality - to me, on my monitor, a lot of them looked quite dark so I lightened them somewhat. If they appear too light on your monitor and the screen is moveable, you might try tilting it back or forward to get a darker picture. That's part of my problem when I edit them, because before I do anything to them, I can make them lighter or darker just by adjusting the screen on my netbook so I never know for sure how they'll appear to other viewers.
The bridge behind these boats that we're walking toward is the Pont Neuf bridge which means "new bridge" but it is now the oldest of the many bridges, being built by Henry IV around 1600. And speaking of Henry, here he is below. I don't know that I ever knew there were King Henrys in France - always associate them with England, but my guidebook says this King Henry helped make Paris the elegant city it is today, Also says he was a notorious ladies man. :)These faces - I imagine there's a proper word for them - are on each side of the bridge and as far as Heather and I could see, no two are alike.
And you can skip this paragraph if you want - but I feel compelled to copy it out of my guidebook because like the book "Brunelleschi's Dome" that I read before going to Florence, this one paragraph gave such a vivid sense of what it took to create this now world-revered structure:
"Imagine the faith of the people who built this cathedral. They broke ground in 1163 with the hope that someday their great-great-great-great-great-great grandchildren might attend the dedication Mass, which finally took place two centuries later, in 1345. Look up the 200-foot-tall bell towers and imagine a tiny medieval community mustering the money and energy for construction. Master masons supervised, but the people did much of the grunt work themselves for free--hauling the huge stones from distant quarries, digging a 30-foot deep trench to lay the foundation, and treading like rats on a wheel designed to lift the stones up, one by one. This kind of backbreaking, arduous manual labor created the real hunchbacks of Notre Dame." (from Rick Steve's "Pocket Paris") The cathedral in Florence wasn't started until 1296 and work on the dome didn't start until 1420. Notre Dame is certainly a much plainer church than later cathedrals because it is so much older. They became more ornate as the years passed. But the amount of carving on Notre Dame leaves an incredible impact - statues and ornamentation everywhere. And how it must have amazed "tourists" of the 14 century!
So, in spite of the crowds, some more pictures. :)
On our way back, took some more pictures but didn't linger too long anywhere because we needed to get back to the hotel, clean up a bit, and then go to our cooking class which I had booked before the trip.
Hard at work on strawberry custard cream tarts.
Not too appetizing in the picture but quite tasty. Ratatouille and lamb chops with a mustard and rosemary topping that also included shallots and a couple of other ingredients. The class was fun but I have to say it didn't quite measure up to my cooking adventures in Italy. Probably because in Italy, the wine flowed more abundantly!
And now it's 4:15 p.m. Monday, I think Heather is probably about two hours from home, it's still raining some (see picture below) but not the bouncing-off-the-pavement downpour that it's been for a good part of the day. Am eager to see what tomorrow brings and have truly enjoyed my very quiet day today.