Today’s great adventure was to please Elizabeth and so off we went in pursuit
of Clarins lady products that she could not find anywhere in Toronto. We found a Clarins store on the Rue de Babylon. I dutifully
sat down and drank mango juice provided by the establishment while Elizabeth excited found the products she was looking for.
That accomplished we decided to go for boat ride on the Seine. Elizabeth wanted to take a taxi but I said it was only four
blocks and so I convinced her to soldier on. We arrived at the river but no dockings for cruise boats. It was lunch and across
the bridge was the Place Concorde. The reviewing stand and bunting were already in place and distracted from the obelisk,
light standards and statues that gave the whole area symmetry.
To cross this open area it amounts to four blocks more. On the other side we came
upon the American Embassy and a small side street. We went down it and found a restaurant right next door and it was Italian
called La Farnesina. At last some real soul food. The ambiance was great, the food was great and the service was great. It
was a joy to be amongst God’s chosen gourmets and food again. They even had Averna.
After lunch we grabbed a taxi to the boat loading area by the Eiffel Tower for
our boat cruise. We boarded this large launch that really was a pontoon boat with three pontoons. It held 300 people and at
12 Euros each a pricey ride. I figured we would see nothing since the trip was a hour long and we were at the river level
so most of the sites we would only see the upper half. What was interesting however were the bridges. I can only imagine the
Bloor Viaduct with half the adorement of one of these bridges. The most interesting bridge was a small non-descript bridge
called the lover’s bridge It has a chain link fence about three feet high along the sides. What has happened is lovers
come and make their vows of love and then place a lock on the chain link fence as a memory of their vow and throw away the
key into the river. It creates an interesting pattern on the chain link. Also along the river were men bathing in one area
in their speedos. I had never seen a gayer group of sun worshipers then this group.
We landed and walked home through the Champs de Mars past the Hospital de Invalides
to our hotel. We slept for two hours and then got up for supper. This time it was again around the corner at a place recommended
by a lady who Elizabeth works with. In fact the same lady recommended the hotel we are staying at. Elizabeth had been told
that they had cabbage rolls to die for. We both had an entrée that was a square glass cup the size of an eggcup filled with
a meat and grain with crème fresh on top. Quite tasty. I had a pate of pork and duck liver on top of a salad and a main course
of a stuffed rabbit sliced with vegetables. It was delicious and I liked it. Elizabeth had her cabbage rolls that came out
in a deep dish and the cabbage roll was the size of a grapefruit and it sat in a broth. She gave it a qualified okay. The
ambiance of the restaurant was quaint with white sculpted fish and lobsters on the ceiling. We chose not to have dessert and
coffee there since we wanted to go to the Latin Quarter to have them there.
We went home refreshed ourselves and hired a taxi and off we went to the exiting
life of the vibrant Latin Quarter. Well the Latin Quarter is not Latin and had not even a quarter of the excitement we anticipated.
With few exceptions of late night restaurants with patrons the area was deserted. If you read the tourist info they talk of
a vibrant student life with cellar nightclubs, coffee bars and cheap eateries for the students attending the Sorbonne in the
area. This evening “rien” nothing. We decided to at least have a drink in a corner bar outside. This we did and