There will be no soup in this post. If you're looking for a post about comforting soup, this is not it.
Instead, there will be lots of pictures from my brief interlude in Paris.
I had so many plans of what to do this weekend. I had lists, I had maps with scribbles on them, I had Google maps alert me to cool things nearby everywhere I stopped.
However, I'm still battling with the remnants of a bad cold, and having ambitious sightseeing plans while still slightly feverish and battling a persistent cough is no fun.
To start with, Charles de Gaulle airport is horrible. In my head, I planned to be out of the airport by 9:30, maybe 10:00 yesterday, but I forgot that CDG has a special WTF-factor which means that everything takes ages. The queue for passport control was endless. There were signs up that indicated current wait times: 1+ hours. Luckily for me, some airport staff remembered to come to the back of the queue to tell people that the EU passport queue is a different queue...as there were no signs. This cut a bit off the waiting time but I felt very sorry for all the non-EU travellers.
Once I made it into town and to my very conveniently located hotel, I just dropped everything (including any plans and lists and maps) and just went for a wander down along the Seine towards Notre Dame ... hit a cafe or two on the way
(Check the tables being old Singer sewing machines! I loved it.)
... and enjoyed just being there and looking at things and watching people.
The weather was great yesterday and the streets were very busy (they usually are, especially in that part of town):
I did make it to Notre Dame as planned but if you can see the mob of people to the left on the above picture, this will explain why I didn't go in. That mob of people was yesterday's queue. I have been inside before, so really didn't fancy standing in line for what seemed like a long time. Instead, I have had some fun with the gargoyles, which I'll save for another post.
Of course, I also spent a lot of time at the bookstalls along the river. Most of the books are in French (as they should be...) but you can also find the odd title in translation. And of course, the stalls have more than just books: nick-nacks, art, prints, etc.
After more coffee and a quick nap (little sleep + 4 am starts + flu are not a great combination), I went for another wander. This time I strolled around the Les Halles area, which according to TripAdvisor has seen an increase in vegetarian-friendly restaurants.
The Les Halles building itself is pretty ugly, but at night, when you can only see the lights and when people come out to meet and go out and lounge about, the area has brilliant and relaxed sort of atmosphere.
This morning, I woke up to the sounds of rain. I am so glad I made the most of yesterday, but with the rain and still feeling the effect of that blasted cold, I needed to change plans for today - so I hopped on the Metro and went to the Natural History Museum.
It's a little bit off from the area where most of the art galleries and main museums are. All of them I expected to be super busy today as entry is free on the first Sunday of the month, and after yesterday's mob I just didn't feel like I could cope with a lot of crowds today. I'll save the pictures of that little excursion south of the river for a separate post - suffice it to say that I was mightily impressed and walked around the place until the blasted cold and the rain got the better of me.
As a result, I'm bringing you this Sunday update from here, while being snuggled up in my fleece pj bottoms:
Je ne regrette rien... as they say. After all, it is a Sunday.