Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paris and sun, again!

Dinner ended early and I wasn’t ready to retire so I stopped in the Irish pub next to my hotel for a glass of Bordeaux. I have now, I believe, frequented Irish Pubs in Paris, Rome, and Siena. There’s a good chance I was also at one in London. Ahh, the powers of Guinness.

I got up bright and early to climb the Eiffel Towers today. Since I twisted my ankle last night walking the Champs-Elysees I thought it prudent to metro over to the Left Bank. Arriving 15 minutes early was perfect, I was about 30th on line! Shortly thereafter I found myself overlooking the streets of a city I’ve come to know over the past two days. Morning in Paris, I’ve observed, is typically dark, gray, and gloomy, though that didn't take away from what I saw at the top!

From the Eiffel Tower I walked to Rue Cler; a traditional market-based street where Parisians do their food shopping. I picked up a couple of clementines, some brie, foie gras, dry sausage/salami, a petit baguette and I was set for lunch! I stopped at a bench on the gardens in front of Hotel de Invalides to nosh a bit, then continued to the Musee d’Orsay.

Note to self: do not arrive at a museum at noon. The line was so long!! Surprisingly, though, about 10 minutes after getting on line I saw the only other co-worker attending the LeWeb conference this week!! I chatted with Chris and his wife during our 30-minute queue. We parted ways when we got inside but it was a nice surprise to see a friendly face!

The Orsay was really interesting. It resides in an old train station so the architecture alone lends something to appreciate. The ground floor was impressive in regards to layout but the fifth floor really caught my eye. I enjoyed seeing the neo-Impressionist galleries; pointillism is a technique I’ll always admire! On the top floor you’ll find some of Degas’ ballerinas, Monet’s water lilies, works from Sisley and Toulouse-Latrec.

The few times I sat down during my rounds in the Orsay I nearly fell asleep. So following my visit I headed back to my hotel room to finish my lunch and take a nap. Apparently while I was asleep it actually hailed! So, weather wise I wasn’t missing much. On my way back to the hotel I stopped at Angelina and scored the last chocolate éclair… “you are lucky!” said my cashier… and three mini chocolate croissants because I couldn’t help myself.

Steak and frites for dinner!! Le Relais de l’Enterecote was recommended by a colleague and is conveniently located near the Champs Elysees. En route I strolled Rue de Montaigne, equivalent to Madison Avenue in New York. Great window shopping included Harry Winston, Balenciaga, Dior, and Chanel. Speaking of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld is presenting at my conference tomorrow morning!! Ahh!

I got to the restaurant at 6:40 and had to wait until they opened at 7 pm. While I waited I met an uber friendly American woman with her kids. After talking for a bit she welcomed me to join her group for dinner! It was such a nice treat not to eat a meal alone :)

The waitress asks what temperature you want your meat. Twenty minutes later plates with small stakes and frites (French fries) come out; followed by round two nearly 15 minutes later. It was so delicious, I ate every bite! The sauce is delectable, though no one knows exactly what is in it. People online have guessed garlic and anchovies. It’s quite a salty sauce, but not fishy at all.

Dinner was great, but now I think there’s a chocolate éclair calling my name… And, precious beauty sleep. After all, Karl Lagerfeld is presenting tomorrow, and I’m wearing heels with a strained ankle!

1 comment:

  1. You were lucky not to have to wait too much at the Eiffel Tower. The 56th floor at the Tour Montparnasse (not far away) is another place to go for a great 360 view. A well kept secret since there is almost nobody there...
    Long queues at the Musée d'Orsay... It happened to me too on a Tuesday. I think it's due to the fact that some museums in Paris are closed on Mondays. Others on Tuesdays. So with fewer choices on Tuesdays.... let's all go to the Musée d'Orsay.
    Le Relais de l'Entrecote. A good one. There are 2 in Paris I was told. Sounds like you went to the one on the right bank. I've been to the other one... in St-Germain-des-Prés (Quartier Latin).
    Have a great LeWeb...