Montmartre Food Tour, St Germain des Prés (Paris, 2015)

a streetWe started our day walking through St. Germain des Pres. It was raining, of course. The slick streets added a mystery, a glamour. (An effect much overused in film. Notice sometime how many streets are rain wet.)

I wanted to see the church. It’s in the Latin Quarter which used to vaguely produce images of flamenco dancers in my mind. But the name, unlike what I thought, is because the University of Paris is nearby and students who came from all over the world only had Latin, the language, in common. The church was quiet and dark.pillars Saint-Germain-des-Prés

I was very interested in the painting on the pillars. Much like what one sees at Saint Chapelle. They are of an age: Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés was built in 1014.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés

We continued on to Montmartre to meet up with a group “Food Tour.” At the metro station plaza, there was a carousel. It’s a strange thing in Paris – they are everywhere. We saw one when we went to the Cinema Museumcurved street, one at the Eiffel Tower, the Jardin des Plantes, the Tuilleries. Charming, if a little weird.

moulingThe tour was terrific. The guides knew a lot about the area and French food in general. We learned about the yearly contest to name the best baguette (I knew Parisians were serious about their bread but wow!) The winner supplies bread to the French president.

We went past shops with cheese, shops with sausages, shops with fruits (strawberries were in season), and past flashy grafitti, houses where famous writers lived, and of course, the Moulin Rouge (the red mill.)

And we ate. Three courses, three restaurants. First appetizers, then main meal, then crepes. Wine or cider with each course. By the end, I was staggering from the alcohol and food 🙂 I didn’t take any pictures of the food – too busy eating. If you go to Paris, look up Culinary Tours of France and tell Jean Paul hi.demon

Speaking of food. For a vegetarian, French food, while not as meaty as in Spain, isn’t the best.  All those sauces. So, don’t laugh, but we ate several nights at the Chinese restaurant down the street from our apartment. Convenient, nice staff, open on May 1st.

After our tour we took the funicular up to Sacre Coeur. This was the moment sun would have been nice. But still, I like the shots I got: bits of red, the green vegetation against all that grey.

plazaeiffel

Musée de Cinema – Paris, 2015

cinema marionette

Cinema museum. Way, way out there in the “real” Paris. Didn’t see many tourists but a lot of “arty” young people. It’s a musée de cinéma, not film. We have to give up my passport for the audio-guide, a slightly unnerving proposition because it’s filed in a casual box by the ticket taker. A very nice museum, with lots of artifacts collected by a single man who was fascinated by the history of moving picture.

Funny the things that entertained people before movies/TV. If they moved at all, it was miraculous. This automaton, for instance.

This little circle was spun. You looked through an aperture to see the blacksmith pound on iron.cinema circle

In a bow to the East, there was a nice shadow puppet. Hubby and I once saw a traditional performance in L.A. at a festival. It seemed endless and boring but then we are spoiled by real movies…

cinema shadow

There were many posters. Loved this one: Who, What, When, Where…

cinema poster

When we got to the modern film, there were lots of clips. Charlie Chaplin waltzing through the assembly line! Also many kinds of cameras. Hubby saw a particular projector he looks for on eBay. Hope he never finds it. It’s huge! So that was the film museum. I checked my passport several times when we left.

A great thing about Paris is no matter where you go, there’s something interesting to see. Take a look at these shots taken as we walked (and walked and walked…ok, we went by metro to the cinema museum, but then walked 6 more long blocks…) A random tower, a peek at the Louvre pyramid, and a rent-a-bike location (for brave souls – the traffic, while not as crazy as in Italy, was intense). Note the wet streets. Another rainy day.cinema tower

archbikes

Next up: A food tour of Montmartre.