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Paris: Troisième/Quatrième Jour

We're having a real heatwave here in London this week. I'm currently slumped indoors with a glass of water, too hot to move or even go outside, and the thermometer's going to be pushing 32º C tomorrow - very hot for Blighty! This was very much not the case last week in Paris. It felt almost like autumn was digging its talons into France, soaking the city with an omnipresent blanket of drizzle and blowing cold winds over the arrondissements, leaving the mercury shivering at about 15º. In July.

Despite the miserable weather, I was happy. I was with A, and as they say - Paris is always a good idea. Even if it's chucking it down.

We spent our penultimate morning wandering through the city, pausing in Saint-Eustache church (so much prettier than Saint-Sulpice, where we were forced to hole up during a rainstorm later that day)!

Saint-Eustache has the largest organ in the land. It's a very well-endowed instrument, as you can see.

I discovered a Keith Haring altarpiece, Life of Christ, in one of the side chapels. I say 'discovered' - I had had no idea of its existence so it was a pleasant surprise to happen across it! I think the piece makes a great contrast to the soaring Gothic vaults in the main body of the church.

We left the church and walked into the square that would have once played host to the ancient food market, Les Halles (now unfortunately an underground shopping mall). If you look closely you'll see there's a little person hiding in the palm of this giant sculpture's hand, but she was too shy to have her picture taken.

A and I strolled down to the first arrondissement shopping area, pausing in Colette to wonder at the various gewgaws on sale, like a Lego version of the Simpsons, a Solowheel and the crazy water bar in the basement.

We were quite enamoured with these monogrammed cases outside E. Goyard.

Though not so much with these dog accoutrements in the window...

Next we made a stop in the quite rightly lauded Pierre Hermé - my macaron shop of choice when in Paris! Again, they have Pierre Hermé in Selfridges here in London, but it feels nice to wander around Paris holding a little bag of macarons...

We chose Mogador (chocolate and passionfruit), Infiniment Pistache, Infiniment Caramel (the best!) and Montebello (half pistachio, half raspberry). 

Up next was lunchtime. On Miho's recommendation we went south of the river to Yves Camdeborde's wildly popular restaurant L'Avant Comptoir in St. Germain-des-Près, stopping off just inside the entrance to pick up crêpes. I chose a heartstoppingly (literally) good filling of saucisses and emmental cheese, while Alex chose the special of the day, filled with artichoke, cheese, pastrami, rocket and mushrooms. The rocket was just a little too bitter for Alex's taste, but the artichoke was delicious. We ate the hot crêpes in the rain, under the shelter of a tree in the Jardins du Luxembourg. 

After demolishing our crêpes we had a little promenade around the beautifully manicured gardens, stopping at an installation of a floor map marking out the military movements in France during the First World War. 

On my agenda next was the Musée d'Orsay. The queues were much more manageable this time, and the time passed quickly while we nibbled our macarons! Even sweeter was the lack of admission fee - if you're an EU resident and aged 18-25 you can get in for free.

The museum, housed in a former train station, is a beaut.

There's even old ballrooms attached to the main body of the museum overflowing with sparkling chandeliers and Rococo ornamentation. 

I'd like a giant clock for my house like this please. Reminds me of the film Hugo. There was an incredible view of Montmartre with Sacré-Cœur perched atop its crest in the rain from here.

The main hall that houses the art and sculptures in all its glory. There's some great pieces to see here, including a giant body of Impressionist works, Manet paintings, and collections of Art Nouveau furniture.

Later in the evening we did the prerequisite tourist promenade down the Champs-Elysées.

Alex even got to see the Eiffel Tower glimmering on the hour - Parisians may hate it, but there's something magical about it!

We woke up early on our last morning to have a giant brunch at Café Madam, a little place down the road from us. I had eggs benedict and chocolat chaud, and Alex had...just about everything.

The face of a man who's pretty smug about his breakfast choice.

We rounded off our trip with a walk to the Opéra. Alex and I met over opera (Die Fledermaus), so it was a pretty fitting end to our holiday!

We managed to pack lots into this lovely, if fleeting trip - and I already can't wait for the next time I step off the train in Paris! 

I hope that you've enjoyed my photos from the trip! I'm already itching to go away again (perhaps somewhere with snow - it's so hot here.) Next stop, Turkey!

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