Our hyacinths are still alive and so is the B family!
We hit two big spots today: MusÃ©e du Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. We woke up a little earlier so we were able to eat a fresh baguette and drink hot mint tea before we stepped out. We crossed rue des Deux Ponts to the #7 and took it all the way to the museum where the line wasn’t terribly long before noon. For some reason, we couldn’t enter the Denon section straight to La Joconde, Mona Lisa, so we had to go around to find it. Could there be any more Japanese tourists in the Louvre? They came in droves, each following a leader holding up a stick with a flag.
When we finally made it to the Italian paintings, the famous and familiar painting was just right there encased in bulletproof glass. She hogged the limelight and it was unfortunate that other people just walked by the other famous da Vincis outside the room. We took slow strolls by Jacques-Louis David’s Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon and VÃ©ronÃ¨se’s Wedding Feast at Cana. Then the museum’s alarm went off and we listened to the evacuation announcement in several different languages until we couldn’t take it anymore. An oncoming headache made me skip the two Vermeers, but we just wanted to find the exit and get the hell out. My camera’s battery ran out so we decided to go home, recharge it and eat lunch before continuing on with our sunny day.
Back on St-Louis-en-l’Ile, we ordered duck confit, steak with fries and penne with gorgonzola at Cafe Med. The duck meat fell off its bones and was perfect with a warm baguette. And how can I say no to stinky gorgonzola cheese melted on al dente pasta? I finished with a cappuccino but controlled myself from buying a crepe to go.
Fortified and armed with a newly-charged camera, we walked towards the Palais de Justice and took the RER C to Champs de Mars. The tower was right there as soon as we stepped out of the Metro station.
We spent a total of three hours standing in line to take the elevator to the top floor (â‚¬11 each), taking photos and again standing in line to exit. Within that time frame, the temperature dropped drastically and I could barely feel my toes when my mom finally took a photo of me. It was a different feeling finally seeing the Tour Eiffel; much more exhilarating than being on the top of the Empire State Building (sorry) or the Statue of Liberty (so sorry!). Mona Lisa had no say. When you’re standing right below it and you look up, nothing beats that realization of how massive it really is. All the waiting was worth it. My mom thanked me–I don’t know exactly if it was because she was feeling the same way or if she was thanking me for the entire trip–but all I could do was smile back.
Before going back up the apartment, I bought an apricot crepe and a Hoegaarden to snack on before dinner. A few hours later, I woke my parents from their nap to eat. I saw a Moroccan restaurant down the street earlier and I was hoping it would be open even though most Parisian restaurants are closed on Mondays. Le Tarbouche was open.
I’ve made tagine at home before but my parents don’t know the difference between Moroccan and all the curries that I cook. I ordered two tagines: lamb with raisins and onions and chicken with preserved lemon and olives. I also ordered several dips of eggplant, red bell peppers with tomatoes and cucumber with onions to accompany ksra, the Moroccan nan. Everything came with vegetarian couscous and a 2000 bottle of Algerian wine from Chateau Tellagh.
I think the three of us had to adjust our waistbands after eating. All that giggling, waiting and walking made us super hungry and tired. The waiter and I communicated just by nodding our heads and doing hand signals. It’s always easier when food is involved, no?