Monday, November 18, 2013

La Tour Eiffel

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Saturday, February 21, 2009.  

It was chilly and a bit grey as I left the hotel with Craig and Darcy, in search of the Eiffel Tower. We knew it was just a few blocks away, but were uncertain as to which direction. We simply began walking, hoping to spot the top of the tower, which would give us our bearings. By the time we had reached Les Invalides, we knew we had taken the wrong route. As we turned back, we could just see the top of the tower above a nearby Haussmann-style apartment building. It wasn't long before the famous monument came into full view. As we approached the Eiffel Tower, we were ourselves approached by some of the many beggars and con artists which frequent the area. We lingered in the area long enough to snap some photos and gawk at our surroundings, before turning toward the nearest Metro stop. We would return to the Eiffel Tower later. 
My first ride on a subway. 
Hey, I'm from Kansas! Don't judge.

We chose to leave the Metro at Montmartre, and were pleasantly surprised at the bustle of activity at the Place du Tertre, where there are still many artists striving to make a living. The square was alive with painters, mimes, and other artisans. 

Artists and tourists at the Place de la Tertre, Montmartre.

We continued our stroll, and soon found that we were hungry. We halted at a streetside deli, where we purchased sandwiches. Soon, we were outside again, gaping at the beautiful Parisian scenery in true tourist style. I still felt as if I were walking around in a daze. At one point, we went into a little cafe for coffee and hot chocolate. As we headed back toward Rue Cler, we came upon a flea market taking place along the sidewalk. It was fun to browse, but quite soon we were ready for a return to the hotel where we enjoyed a refreshing nap. 

It was a bit early for dinner, unless you're still on Central Standard Time, but we chose a charming brasserie on Rue Cler where we all ordered steak, which was served with a Bearnaise sauce, fried potatoes, a light salad, and a fresh baguette. We also enjoyed a carafe of the house wine. We declined dessert, which isn't easy when you're in France and there is undoubtedly a crème brûlée lurking just around the corner. After leaving the restaurant, we headed back over to the Eiffel Tower, where we were treated to a breathtaking view as the sky darkened and the lights on the tower began to glow. It was truly magical! Everything still had a dream-like quality. I'm not sure if it was the jet-lag or the knowledge that hey, here we are! We are in PARIS! 

Craig and Darcy, approaching
 the Eiffel Tower on a grey, February day.

Recipe: Dijon Mustard Pork Chops. This simple recipe is one of the first I tried. I love recipes using mustard because of the way it mellows during cooking. The sauce in this dish is wonderful over potatoes, pasta, or rice. Bon appétit!

No comments: