Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013: Our First Few Days in Paris

We arrived in Paris on Monday and took the RER and Métro to get to our apartment in Butte aux Cailles.  Butte aux Cailles is a neighborhood in southeast Paris with a history of left-leaning activism.  It was a stronghold of the Communards in the late 19th century and many of the streets are named for working class heroes.  Here's a photo of the Wallace Fountain a few blocks from our apartment.

Butte aux Cailles is not a touristy neighborhood, which is part of its charm.  But, that means that our limited French is more of a handicap than it might be in another neighborhood.

Like apartments in most big cities, ours is small (33 square meters).  Nevertheless, we find it much more comfortable to stay in an apartment than in a hotel, and the price is roughly equivalent.  Here's a photo of our cabine (relatively large - and with a small window!) and the kitchen.

Yesterday (our first full day here) we had lunch at Chez Nathalie, a small restaurant specializing in seafood.  I had a shrimp dish and Bill had sea bass.

Monday and Tuesday evenings we explored the Butte aux Cailles neighborhood.  Today we walked to the nearby Chinatown neighborhood, then made a quick side trip via Métro, to Ile St. Louis to see if the lock we had left in 2011 was still there (it wasn't). We got back on the Métro for a couple of stops and walked down the market street Rue Mouffetard where we bought cheese and bread, and then walked home.  Today's cheeses:  Brie de Meaux, Salers, Roquefort Carles, and buratta.  We had bought mirabelle plums a few days ago, and they served as dessert.


  1. i wonder who/why locks are removed? theres a new bridge at lake merritt that people have started locking

    1. We purposely chose a remote, little used fence at the end of the island thinking the lock would stay there for awhile. We did see a lock there from a couple in Australia that was engraved: "Lionel and Robert - Two men in love for 40 years." We didn't spring for the engraving, just used a Sharpie.