Low Key Day

Sunday was a low key day for us after an admittedly exhausting day on Saturday (at least in terms of walking).

We breakfasted a bit late and by the time we got out found there had been a bit of drizzle earlier in the morning. It was a gray/grey day, a little cooler than Saturday. Most all the shops are closed except for the really big ones like Galleries and those along the tourist routes (rue de Rivoli near Tuileries) that can capture the tourist trade.

We’ve saved a bit of last minute shopping for tomorrow, our last full day in Paris. We have the luxury of late checkout, so we don’t need to check our bags at the hotel before going out.

We walked over to rue Scribe on one side of the Garnier Opera to see the times for the buses to Charles de Gaulle Airport, where we will overnight. It’s easier staying near the airport for a morning flight than getting up extra early and encountering some problem along the way. The buses run every fifteen minutes and is the cheapest way to get from central Paris to the airport. There are other means of course – taxi, RER, AirFrance bus, shares rides, Uber.., but this is literally a couple of blocks from our hotel.

There was a band with a horn section playing on the steps of the Opera, attracting a good crowd. Around the Opera, the tour buses congregate here as do the hop-on hop-off buses. The around Paris sightseeing buses with open air tops weren’t doing such a good business for obvious reasons.

Across the street at the Opera Metro entrance (which is on an island in the middle of the street), someone was having wedding pictures taken. Not a particularly good day for it in terms of weather, but the backdrop against the Opera I’m sure was the reason for the location.

From the Opera we walked back towards Place Vendôme on the way to Angelina, a favorite tea room. It’s a favorite with lots of people

The cool weather was like a magnet for those of us hoping for a brief respite. Even on a good day, there’s a line at Angelina (across rue de Rivoli from the Tuileries), but this one turned out to be a shorter wait time than we expected at 30 minutes. For us, the attraction of Angelina is their chocolate chaud l’African (hot chocolate) made with a blend of chocolates from Africa. It’s intense and maybe too much caffeine for some, but it’s lovely and rich and expensive (about $10 per person). Along with a shared Napoleon pastry, it was a delicious way to while away some time. Each person gets their own little pot of whipped cream to mix into the hot chocolate.

l’African

Napoleon pastry

the tea room

Bonus was a chance to see “Miss” Universe. That’s quite a hat.

Pastries

Afterwards we walked back through Place Vendôme. The column with Napoleon’s statue on top had flags we don’t usually see there. Someone got to go up all the 176 tiny little steps inside the column to put the flags outside (inner staircase not open to public).

Surprisingly, we had not been in the newly renovated Louis Vuitton store on one corner of Place Vendôme; they spent a couple of years building out this store inside, cleaning the exterior stone facing (a never ending cycle it seems). Contrary to my earlier speculation about this store only selling jewelry (Place Vendôme is full of high end jewelry stores), it carries the full spectrum of their merchandise, with the bonus of no “Louis Line”.

Last day in Paris tomorrow until the next trip, so we’ll hope to make the most of it.

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