A Brief Return to Paris - Four Days is More than Enough!

V. hot weather greeted us we attempted to enjoy a brief sojourn in Paris. As with all cities relaxation is rarely an option. As with all European cities relaxation is never an option, and in Paris this is multiplied to the max, and I need to ensure I am not parted with my wallet. All that said there is lots of fun to be had here, and there are boulangeries with baguettes.

While in Paris we are staying the 'burbs, that's where I like to be to get more of a local feel. Offically "Paris" begins and ends at Bd Périphérique, the ring road around the city. We are just outside in the commune of Le Kremlin-Bicêtre. According to Wikipedia it's one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe, locals not tourists, and us! It's hectic and oh so interesting. The advertising said we are in the "Paris Condo", a little licence has been used there in more ways than one. It's also called the Yellow House and we have to walk up two flights of steep and curly stairs. It's perfect for our needs and will do the job.

Just up the road and around the bend is the local Mairie, aka Town Hall, just like the one we'll attend on Thursday in Mont-près-Chambord for the civil part of the wedding. It was open when we wandered by so we snuck in for a peek, plenty of locals going about their business inside and even a wedding party gathering outside.

Each morning one of us has made the short walk to the local "Artisan Boulangerie" for our morning allocation of baguettes and croissants. Mmmmm, so good and fresh. There's even been a follow-up journey for sweet goodies and quiches from the same esteemed establishment. Each time I hoped for a long queue so that I could watch the boulanger working his magic. At another boulangerie closer to the mall downtown I saw many large bags of french flour just waiting for me to take them home so that I can practise my baguette and croissant making skills.

A small local walled park, Parc Phillippe Pinel, is locked each day and has security guards on duty to keep out the riff-raff, we were allowed in. On a busy Samedi morning there was plenty going on with boot camp doof-doof, sunbaking locals and kids shooting baskets. At the back of the park we could see a large hospital, Hôpital Bicêtre, where the infamous Marquis de Sade spent three years of his incarceration.

A rendezvous with Dylan and Emma at my favourite French restaurant, La Coopérative, lived up to my high standards with an exquisitive French meal, even though Confit de Canard wasn't on the menu. The restaurant is very close to Le Louvre and La Seine so there were shenanigans along the river bank with the Saturday night crowd. This may have involved a few latin-style moves.

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