France and England: Part 4

The next day, we flew to Paris for Christmas Eve. We got there early enough so it was still fairly busy but all the shops would close early. Our first stop was the little Christmas market at St. Germain de Pres. It’s a staple of our Christmas visits. Several little booths sell various goods including Russian boxes and pins, cheeses, and jewelry. There, I got my Nutella crepe from a little stand. It was everything I could have hoped for. I’ve mentioned this time and time again, nothing tastes as good as a Nutella crepe from a hole in the wall in the streets of Paris.

I also stopped by my favorite tea shop in Paris, called Lupicia. I believe it is a Japanese company but they have very few locations. THere’s one in San Francisco. So this Paris location is one of the few I can make it too outside of the Japan itself. The tea is really good – especially some of their holiday tea. But you can also buy a teapot for 800 euros. So yeah.

We spent a few hours just wandering the streets of Paris, my favorite activity. We walked on level with the Seine, something I don’t do very often when we visit. It was neat to see the house boats up close but also to see the bridges from below. We could see all the different faces on the Pont Neuf. What wonderful grotesque faces! We also saw marks indicating how high the river got at various points in Parisian history.

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Next to the Seine
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A Face on Pont Neuf
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Marking River Heights

We found ourselves at Notre Dame. However, due to the elevated security, we actually had to be searched twice before we could get into the Cathedral. But once in, it was magnificent as always. It’s one of my favorite places in the city (I really love medieval architecture). Beautiful stained glass, amazing wood carvings. The creche this year was a giant Kraków szopka, which was really cool. They also had a place where you could write notes for peace and slip them into a giant glass/plastic cube.

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Notre Dame at Night
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Kraków szopka

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by the Shakespeare & Company bookstore nearby Notre Dame. Now that I know more of the history, I’ve really grown to love the place. It reminds me of the old Seminary Co-op, windy rooms with nooks and crannies overflowing with books. Upstairs, there is a reading room where you can use the books on the shelves. There’s a piano and a typewriter. Very picturesque.

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Staircase at Shakespeare & Co.

That’s all for now!

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