A D V E N T U R E | travel guide to Paris, part quatre
Vendredi - jolie choses
There was very little left on my list of things to see, which made knowing where to go pretty simple. I took the metro to Opéra and circled the Palais Garnier (The Opera House). This is where the ballet performs, which makes it an especially magical place for me. On my next visit I must see the Paris Opera Ballet and of course see the inside of the building. I did pop into the gift shop to see what pretty things they had.
Then I walked just a few blocks to the Musée du Parfum, perfumeur Fragonard's collection of perfume bottles and trivia from centuries past. This was one of the coolest things I did all week! They paired me with my own guide who spoke English (my French isn't good enough to discuss history and chemistry) and to tour the museum is free. Win-win! I learned about the long, slender bottles women would put down the front of their corsets in the days before handbags, about how the placement of a beauty mark could signal to a man your intentions ("one here" my guide pointed to her face "meant a kiss on the lips is ok, or one here" she pointed again "would say 'I'm busy tonight but not tomorrow.'"), and about how perfume is made.
Next I stopped by Chanel to drool over the watches, and imagine my surprise when on my way out they handed me a shopping bag. I knew there wouldn't be a watch in it, but I walked a few blocks before hungrily peeking to see what I'd been gifted: perfume and a catalog. Wondering if my stroke of luck would last, I stopped into Hermes and asked if I could visit the fabled rooftop garden, but was denied as it's private for the family. I did at least, in asking, confirm its existence! I have yet to do that for the lake under the Opera House. My shopping continued in the prettiest gourmet mustard shop, a second Ladurée location for more macarons, and Monoprix to pick up some treats for a picnic - cheese, crackers, and wine - which I took on the metro to the Luxembourg Gardens where I ate in the grass and watched the kids sail boats in the water.
It was my last evening in Paris, and my friend whose flat I was staying in invited me out for Spritz and frites (translation: an Italian cocktail that's all the rage in Paris this summer, and fries) with some friends of hers from work. I watched the sun set from the café chairs outside while I sipped my Spritz and dipped my frites in mayonnaise (when in Paris?). Then my friend and I walked to the canal and sat along the water.
Samedi - le fin
Luckily my flight didn't leave till 9pm, so I still had part of a day ahead of me. My friend and I went north to Les Puces, the flea market. Here I dug for buried treasure, considering bringing home coffee spoons or a copper pot, wishing I could safely transport a blue tea set, fawning over incredible furniture that one day I'll be able to ship home, and finally settling on a very sparkly bauble for my right hand.
We grabbed lunch in the market at Le Paul Bert, where I tried escargot for the very first time and was surprised to discover that I loved it! One final café au lait, and I was off to gather my things and journey home.