I slept in a bit after the late night last evening, then did my Prague blog. Today’s weather was just about perfect, the first short pants day, as well as short sleeves. I only have a few parks to go in my pack of Paris CityWalks so I packed a picnic lunch and headed out to the Bois de Vincennes, on the eastern outskirts. While the Bois is owned by Paris, and is on the Métro, Vincennes is a separate city. The first thing you see when you arrive there is the Château de Vincennes. I particularly liked the dungeon.
The dungeon of the Château de Vincennes.
I started my visit to the Bois de Vincennes with the Parc Floral. It had some of the most impressive masses of flowering shrubs that I have seen anywhere.
Parc Floral, Bois de Vincennes.
After the Parc Floral I walked around the Lac des Minimes, where you can rent a rowboat, as many Parisians had done. Overall the daytime visitors to the Bois seemed very domestic but I gather that it can be cruisy and dangerous at night.
I went home, changed, then met Colt and Julien at the Bibliothèque nationale, site François-Mitterrand. We walked across the bridge to Parc de Bercy (where there was a huge line for a Lady GaGa concert), then over to Bercy Village at Métro Cour Saint-Émilion, a posh shopping center in a former warehouse district. There we had a convivial cool drink in the sun and caught up on the past week.
After that I scrambled through three Métro lines and a minor misunderstanding to meet Alexis for a movie at the gorgeous old Pagoda theater on rue de Babylone. The movie, Copie Conform, was beautiful and emotionally powerful although (as usual) I followed it more closely when it was in English or subtitled (in this case the portions that were in Italian). We then had an authentic and delicious Breton meal of gallette (salty) and crêpe (sweet, and using a different batter), washed down with hard cider. We ate at Alexis’ favorite crêperie, La Crêperie de Bretonne on rue de Montparnasse. On an earlier visit I was horrified by how touristy it seemed, with at least twenty crêperies, but Alexis explained that Gare Montparnasse was the station where Bretons first arrived in Paris so his people naturally settled the area. Indeed, most of the diners seemed to be French.
I’m really going to miss my new Parisian friends when I return home!