I roused Rafael around noon (after nearly fifteen hours of sleep!) We had lunch at a neighborhood boulangerie, then strolled through the Marais and over to the Institut du monde arabe in the 5me.
After taking in the view from the roof deck (free after a security check) we decided to have a drink at the rooftop restaurant. The “location surcharge” was worth paying for the privilege of sipping a noisette and a vin rosé with the grand panorama of Paris spread out before us.
It was only a short walk to our afternoon destination, the Ménagerie of the Jardin des plantes, which Ryan and Alan had enjoyed a few weeks back. I was initially underwhelmed, since we often seemed to be struggling to see through wire cages or reflecting glass. But I now think my reaction was somewhat unfair; it’s the oldest public zoo in the world and little can be changed because most of its buildings are protected as historic structures. There are some wonderful animals, and I particularly liked an enclosure that combined three South American species, nandou (like an ostrich), vicuña, and mara (a large rodent related to guinea pigs).
Not only were three species living harmoniously together, but the enclosure had a particularly clever feature: a winding line of free-standing wooden posts created a refuge for baby mara, since the other two species were too large to squeeze between the posts.
After the zoo closed we bought food for dinner, then had a couple of drinks at the Open Café. The sun was still up when we headed home to start dinner, but that was deceptive since it doesn’t set here until quarter to ten. Rafael rustled up a wonderful chicken and pasta meal, flavored with fresh shallots and parsley, and I contributed petit pois and a salad.
After cleaning up it was midnight. Bob went to bed while Rafael headed out to explore the mysteries of the Parisian night.
Mot du jour: «likiez». What the French do when they “like” something on Facebook. This was from the free paper 20minutes.fr, in quotes because it’s still something of a joke. But in a couple of years I bet the quotes will fall off and likier will become a full-fledged French verb.