Tuesday, September 8, 2015

First Few Days in 2015 - Catalonians and Couscous

We arrived in Paris on Sunday, September 6 and, as usual, it has taken a couple of days to recover from the (almost) sleepless night of the flight and the new time zone.  Sunday evening we ended up at Place de la République where we saw a demonstration for Catalonian independence.  It's very common to see demonstrations and marches at République, which is one of the largest squares in the city.

Like many demonstrations there was chanting and singing and speeches.   There was also a group of people dressed in white with black cummerbund-type sashes around their waists.  One of the men was hoisted up above the crowd and a young woman climbed up onto his shoulders and turned to greet the crowd.  She had prudently worn a helmet, but as it turned out, she executed this move and her descent without incident.  I have no idea what this had to do with Catalonian independence, but it was impressive.

We're staying near Canal St-Martin in the same apartment we stayed at in 2011 and 2013.  The first few days we re-visited some places and restaurants we had enjoyed in the past, such as the pizza place on the corner of our street.  Today we had lunch at Marché des Enfants Rouges (market of the red children).  There used to be an orphanage in this neighborhood and the children at this orphanage wore red uniforms, which is how the market got its name.  You can buy produce and flowers at the market, but it is primarily a food court type area with Italian, Japanese, Moroccan, and organic restaurant stalls.  We chose the Moroccan restaurant, one of the most popular.  Bill got a lamb tagine and I got eggplant couscous.

It's getting a little more difficult to find new areas to explore because we've spent several extended vacations here.  This morning we went to a picturesque area in Montmartre that we hadn't yet seen.  Whenever you go to Montmartre you should expect to climb and this morning's outing was no exception.

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