Friday October 10 2014
Today was a day full of tours, the walking kind! Before we left, after a lot of research, I had booked a tour through an organization called Paris Greeters. These tours are free, guided walks led by Parisians of some of their neighborhoods. They had contacted us before we got to France and asked about our interests and dates that would work for us. I had noted Rhea's interest in woodworking and guitar making, and mine in gardening and vegetable growing. On the appointed day, after getting a little lost, we met up with our guide for the morning, Ms. Daniele Brasi. She was a gem! She took us (only the two of us on this tour!!) into medieval buildings in Bastille that were hidden from public view, to artisan's workshops where restoration for the Louvre was going on, another workshop where guitars and furniture were being repaired, to the Bastille market and to a wonderful church. We ambled and talked about families and politics and went for coffee to a wonderful little place she knew. It is evidence of our mutual regard that she has kept in touch with us long after our return, and that someday we hope to show her our slice of America. This is a wonderful program run by the Paris Visitors Bureau, and if you enjoy the tour, you can make a donation afterward. Needless to say, we did so with no hesitation at all. Very highly recommended!
In the afternoon we did a Paris Walks tour of Montmartre, which had been recommended by Untours staff in Paris. It also was a wonderful tour, although there were maybe 20 people in it and it was hard to keep up with the commentary sometimes. The young lady who led it was very good, and very knowledgeable, though and quite entertaining! We walked for hours on this day! She showed us the windmills, the street art, the churches and there was a huge wine harvest festival going on, that we also walked through after the tour was over. The views from that hill are great! And we were very tempted to stay longer, it was turning into quite a party! The Paris walks tour was not free, but well worth the price that was charged. All in all, we felt like we saw so much today--much more than if we had wandered about on our own. (although we did some of that too!)
We returned to our apartment and decided to go just around the corner to a restaurant called (oddly) Indiana's. We had burgers which were quite good, and the restaurnat decor was western USA--Indian pictures and relics. Pretty cool, and oddly like home...