Hello everybody and happy belated Easter (joyeuses pâques) ! I hope it was a wonderful long weekend for everyone, it certainly was for us!
Here in France, Easter Monday was the bank holiday, not Good Friday as in Canada and loads of other places. I found this a little strange, but a long weekend is a long weekend and we filled ours with loads of adventures in Paris. Marc’s younger brother Jeremy came from Switzerland to stay with us, making him our VERY FIRST visitor. We don’t have a spare room, so we had set up an air mattress for him in our living room. Unfortunately, it deflated in the middle of the night, leaving him to seek refuge on the sofa, which he subsequently fell off of….the poor guy!
So perhaps he was also our last visitor?!? Maybe I shouldn’t be telling you all this…
Saturday was a great day….we had a relaxed start as the ‘Murphy Alarm’ didn’t go off until about 7am, which is relatively late for him! Usually it’s around 6am that I find myself jumping awake with a racing heart and an eager doggie face half a centimetre from my nose…(he then starts to get all excited and waggy ‘OH HI Mom, I’m so happy you happen to be awake–quelle chance!’). We took Murphy for a nice long walk in the Bois, had a cup of coffee by the lake, and then it was off to the city!
We decided to go to Le Marais, which is a district in the 3rd & 4th arrondissements of Paris. It’s one of my very favourite places in the city….small streets with a variety of amazing shops, Notre Dame just across the river, and some absolutely fantastic food.
We visited La Caféothèque, a super cool coffee roasters and cafe, and then headed across the River Seine to Notre Dame. Being Easter weekend, it was even more packed than usual, but the weather was epic and the cathedral and Île de la Cité are absolutely stunning. I enjoyed it so much.
Paris Fact: I’ve been nerding-out on Paris facts ever since our internet finally started working….did you know that Notre Dame has 10 bells, the largest and oldest of which is called Emmanuel (cast in 1681 and weighing nearly 13 tonnes). It has a rich history and is still currently rung, but one of my favourite stories is that on the night of 24 August 1944, the Île de la Cité was taken by an advance column of French and Allied troops and they tolled the Emmanuel bell to announce to the rest of the city that the liberation was underway.
Then it was time to go home and take Murphy out again and give him his dinner. Marc, Jeremy and I then went to a very classic French restaurant Chez George and ordered the quintessential Parisian classic….steak frites. I’m very spoiled when it comes to red meat (having grown up in Alberta), but this was one of the best steaks I’ve ever tasted.
Markets are very important in France and I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t yet checked out our nearest one, which is about a 20 minute walk away in Les Sablons. It runs Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings, so Easter weekend was a perfect opportunity to explore it! It was really wonderful, and Marc and I are planning on going every Sunday and picking up ingredients for a special Sunday night dinner. There are some really different and interesting products there, I think it will be a fun challenge to cook with some of them (some aren’t too tempting….pig ears? No thanks!).
Wandering around the market and having lunch took up most of our morning, and we decided to spend the afternoon in Montmartre. Montmartre is the high point of the city, on top of which rests the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. It was once again VERY busy with tourists, but the neighbourhood is amazing and as soon as you got away from the church the crowds diminished significantly. This is where Van Gough, Picasso, and many other painters, writers and other artists lived….and you can certainly see why! It is a very inspiring place.
After all our adventures in the city, we were feeling pretty burnt out and just did an apero at home for dinner….baguette, cheese, and charcuterie. It was rather excellent!
Jeremy left mid-morning, and Marc, Murphy and I had a relaxing start to the day- sleeping in and drinking lots of coffee. Marc and I decided to head back to the Marais and try one of the falafel huts for lunch, it was absolutely AMAZING. We each finished our wrap and very nearly got back in line for a second.
The rest of the day comprised of wandering the streets and going to shops (I got some pretty new shoes!). And coffee. Lots of coffee. Afterwards, it was time to go home to Murphy, who missed us as you can tell…
I don’t want to drag this post on much longer, but I just want to finish with a quick excerpt from the Gospel of Marc- it’s important to remember what Easter is really all about, and that is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Happy Tuesday everyone, I hope your Easter break was wonderful!