Eurotrip 2011: Paris.3

It's our third day in Paris, but we've been traveling for over a week now! See all Europe posts here.

So, if you kept up with our first two days in Paris, you may have noticed that we maintained a pretty packed schedule. Up and at 'em at or before dawn, and not going to bed until the clock struck midnight. It came as no surprise, then, that on Saturday (day #3), we didn't see the light of day until 10:45 a.m. This isn't so extraordinary for N, but for me, this happens maybe once a year. Obviously much needed!

P&R, our couchsurfing hosts, decided to help us find a nice lunch in the Montmartre area. After passing through a less-than-reputable section (think Moulin Rouge - literally), we began climbing up to the top of Montmartre along quaint, cobbled streets full of fresh produce, French delicacies, and plenty of croissants.  I was getting hungry and would have stopped about a dozen different times, but the top of Montmartre pulled us onward.

The sights and views just improved as we climbed.

Me just snooping around a clock maker's shop.
As you can see, we were approaching the lunch hour.

Near the peak, we found a bustling square full of traditional French restaurants, artists displaying their works, and plenty of tourists. Musicians and street performers kept the mood entertaining.

P&R wanted us to experience one of Paris' older restaurants called Maison Catherine, which, per the menu, has been in operation since 1793.

Maison Catherine offers many typical French dishes, and soon enough our outdoor table was arrayed in plates of Quiche Lorraine, Beef Bourguignon, and French onion soup. (Actually, the wait was rather long, but I guess that's typical.)

We continued up to the peak of Montmartre to the Church of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre. This is where we found the best views of the city (outside of a building.)

We parted ways with our hosts, and since entrance into the church was free on this one particular day, we decided to take a look.

See the open-mouthed gargoyles jutting out from the sides? European churches have them everywhere.
My energy was still seriously lagging, probably due to a week of non-stop touring. Somehow, sleeping in until almost lunch time hadn't entirely cured me. As we entered the dimly-lit church and took a seat on one of the pews, it seemed like the perfect place to shut my eyes. For just a second...

Yes, I am admitting to sleeping in church. Call it the rest of the Lord. Saturday is the Sabbath - the day of rest, and N's shoulder was all too inviting. I can't say the church staff agreed with me, because after about 40 minutes, they must have spotted me and motioned that we should assume a prayerful position. Despite getting reprimanded, I'm convinced that my mid-afternoon dozing spell did help. Besides, most people in the sanctuary were getting reprimanded for something. They had very strict guidelines.

As we descended Montmartre (now late afternoon), we couldn't resist the classic French baguette. We ate it in a most American manner.

Sometimes you just gotta be a tourist.
We were so pleased with the sites we saw on the previous night's bike tour that we had to revisit a few. We started by approaching Notre Dame from the front. It was like parting the Red Sea to get inside though; there were a ton of protesters making their way through the main streets. Their signs were in French, so I haven't the faintest idea what was going on, but apparently striking is super common in France. Carry on.

Unbelievable detail.
Honestly, is there anything in modern-day architecture that can compare?
We finally got inside, but don't worry, I didn't sleep there too. Photos were allowed, so I tried to capture the magnitude of the vaulted ceilings and enormous stained-glass windows.

Majestic is the best descriptive word.

After leaving Notre Dame and splitting a chicken & cheese crepe near the Louvre, we waited for the sun to set so we could once again experience of the magic of the Louvre's evening ambiance.

Rain began to fall, causing us to take shelter in an outdoor hallway. We chose one that was occupied by a violinist. I wish I could tell you what piece he played, but all I know is that between his amazing skill set and the acoustics of the hallway, it sounded like an orchestra's entire string section had showed up just to serenade us. I was blown away. Apparently N was too, because he tossed some coinage into the open case.

We headed back to Malakoff, where P&R had made themselves crepes for their dinner. They offered us the remaining batter (and instruction), and soon a crepe party was on!

The first time I ever saw someone make a crepe was in our first apartment in New Jersey, where my best friend showed me how easy it was to whip up batter, pour a super thin pancake, and voila! a crepe is born. I've also seen the master chefs of Simply Mediterranean make proper French crepes on a real crepe machine with the wooden spatula and everything. But I never tried it myself. Our chef de jour showed us how to use a flat, low-rimmed non-stick crepe pan to spread the batter around, let it bubble and brown a bit, and then gingerly, rapidly flip.

It's the flipping part that intimidates me. R had to step in and rescue my crepe. I think I'll continue to let the experts be experts on this one.

Nutella inside and out, for N.

Starting and ending the day with traditional French food seems like the right way to approach vacation.

We went to bed hoping for good weather the next day, as we had a photo tour booked for first thing in the morning. With that, we set our alarm clock for our last day in Paris.


  1. Aww! Good crepe(s?) memories!

    I love that picture of the guy and the clocks!


  2. Love crepes, and love that you made them in France!!! That was my welcome home present yesterday :)

  3. Ooooo! The fresh blackberries and sesame seed baguettes look amazing! Glad you got to catch-up on your sleep! I was worried about you, even though I'm reading this weeks after it actually happened - haha.

  4. Erin, any tips on a crepe pan? We're in the market.

    Alli, you crack me up! So sweet. :)