All photos are the property of Ken Runquist and have been reduced in size for faster
downloading. The originals are 1280 x 960. Contact me by
you would like a larger size copy of any photo.
Hotel Moderne St. Germain
Mostly rainy with a high of 15°C
Day 55: Sunday, October 29
Day in Paris
awoke to a rainy, dreary day. Dating from 1808, the
colourful Marché aux Fleurs (flower market) on the Ile
de la Cité is the oldest and one of the largest flower
markets in Paris. Its blooms brighten up the area between the
stark walls of the Conciergerie and Hôtel Dieu from Monday to
Saturday - everything from orchids to orange trees. On Sundays
it is joined by the Marché aux Oiseaux (bird market) with
parakeets, canaries, and masses of
other brilliantly coloured species.
a great complementary breakfast in the hotel, we headed for the
Bird Market which is just a little north of Notre Dame. It
was here that we had our first disagreement after 54 days of
being together basically 24-7. Kathryn wanted to stop and
check Parisian real estate prices and Ken grumpily shouted at
her to keep moving and not waste his valuable time. This
put Kathryn in a huge pout and we did not speak to each other
except for a few grunts for over an hour. But we both have
too happy dispositions to stay mad long and we got over it.
little to the west of the Bird Market lies the Palais de
Justice. It is built on the site of the former royal
palace of Saint Louis. It houses various courts: the Paris
court of large claims (tribunal de grande instance) and the
associated Paris correctional court; and the Paris Court of
Appeal; the French Cour de cassation (highest jurisdiction in
the French judicial order). It also houses the Conciergerie,
a former prison, now a museum, notable because Marie Antoinette
was imprisoned there before being executed on the guillotine.
Security is maintained by gendarmes.
Justice. Ken is under the umbrella in black on the left.
little to the south, the
Sainte-Chapelle ("Holy Chapel"), located within the
Palais de Justice complex on the Ile de la Cité. This
Gothic masterpiece, built by Louis IX as a shrine for his holy
relics and completed in 12 48, is considered the most beautiful
church in Paris, not the leas for is fifteen stained-glass
window soaring 15 m to a star-covered vaulted roof. Louis
IX's relics include the alleged Crown of Thorns, pieces of the
True Cross, nails from the crucifixion and a few drops of
Christ's blood. Even in the rain, there was a very long
line-up, so we decided not to go inside. I obtained these
beautiful photos from the Internet.
From Saint-Chapelle, we crossed to the south side of the Seine
at Place Saint-Michel. At the heart of the Latin
Quarter and close to Paris Universities, the Place St-Michel is
a famous Paris landmark. The fountain in the center of the
square was created by French sculptor Davioud in 1860 and
represents Saint Michel, protector of France, slaying a dragon.
The cafés and shops around Place St-Michel are jammed with
people, mainly young and, in summer, largely foreign, while the
fountain on the place is a favourite meeting spot.
Ken was still not feeling well and
decided to find a drug store to buy some cold medicine.
Kathryn had read about a pastry shop that supposedly sold the
best lemon tarts in Paris. She decided to walk the 1.5 km
to find out while Ken went
Click on arrow
back to the hotel for a nap.
As Ken was coming out of the drug store a block north of the
Saint-Michel Fountain, he heard loud music down by the Fountain
and wandered back. He found a group of crazily-dressed
young students playing drums, trumpets, trombones and other horns. They even sang
(?) along on some songs. I could only take a short video
because I did not have a lot of memory left on my camera but it
gives you some idea of what they sounded like. Quite a
crowd gathered to listen to them and it brightened my day.
They reminded me of The Intensely Vigorous College Nine,
which was founded in 1954 as a spoof on college marching bands
and who showed up at all kinds of events while I was going to
the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
Ken made his way the short
distance back to the hotel along narrow streets whose shops were
now open because church was out. He noticed the gyro
sandwiches displayed in the window at Maison de Gyros.
He went back to the hotel and when Kathryn returned from her
lemon tart search - the ones we had been buying from Place
Maubert Market turned out to be better, we walked back and had
gyros for lunch. The place was absolutely packed and
humid, so we had to eat in the basement. The food was
excellent but we did get to see some rather tame mice running
Maison de Gyros
at the hotel, Ken had a good nap. As the sun set, the rain
let up and we decided to go see the Eiffel Tower at
night. We caught the Metro and got off at the Trocadéro station. The Trocadéro, site of the
Palais de Chaillot, is an area of Paris, in the 16th
arrondissement, across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. The
Palais de Chaillot features two wings shaped to form a wide arc:
the wings are independent buildings and there is no central
element to connect them: instead, a wide esplanade leaves an
open view from the place du Trocadéro to the Eiffel Tower and
beyond. The buildings now house a number of museums. There
were lots of people taking photos from the esplanade. I
took another one from the top of the Eiffel Tower looking back
at the Trocadéro the next day.
Ken and the
Eiffel Tower at night
back on the Metro and rode north to Charles de Gaulle Étoile
and checked out the Arc de Triomphe at night.We caught the Metro back to our
hotel and got off near Notre Dame. As we were walking back
to the hotel, we came across a restaurant that served East
Indian food at reasonable prices. We had an excellent meal
before retiring for the evening.