I’ve been a bit hesitant to go back and write these older entries about our last days in France and Scotland because I have been afraid that I will be hit with some pretty intense homesickness. So far the transition to the States has been pretty smooth but it’s also been pretty hectic and now that the dust is settling, both Scotty and I are feeling the loss. So, here goes nothin’.
On our last Sunday in Paris, Scotty and I checked off a few of the last things we had been wanting to do. We also decided to celebrate our anniversary a bit early knowing we really wouldn’t have a chance to mark those special seven years while we were in Edinburgh. So, first we were off to the beautiful Paroisse Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, a church we’d walked past dozens of times but never took the time to stop in. I was so glad we did, it is amazing! There is this gorgeous altar/balcony carved from solid stone but somehow appears airy and ethereal.
Isn’t it lovely? Well, by then we had to quickly make our way to our lunch spot. We’d been wanting to check out Le Comptoir du Relais St. Germaine after hearing and reading about it for a while. It’s the first sort of gastropub run by a Michelin starred chef and has gained quite a reputation. Getting a table at night requires a several month wait, but you can get in line for lunch. So we biked down to Saint Germain and took our places in line.
And at noon the velvet cord was lifted and we were seated. It was delicious! After about ten months of access to all sorts of rich Gallic classics, I have to admit to some French food fatigue. I tended toward classics because I wanted to see what little flairs were added and I wasn’t disappointed.
It was a really fun way to spend a few hours, sitting on the sidewalk, eating delicious food, watching all the interesting people passing by. And then it was off to our next stop, the Parc des Buttes Chaumont.
This strange place was built in the 19th century as a sort of urban getaway for the working classes. It was a massive public works project that included the construction of concrete mountains (buttes), streams, wading pools, and pathways. As we happened to be visiting on the sunniest Sunday for weeks, it was packed. There was quite the array of people and we really enjoyed walking through the funny hills and valleys. Over time errosion has caused the concrete structures to weather and they’re looking a bit more natural.