Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The wandering

As the final weeks of our sejour commenced, what I really wanted most to do was just to really be here, to see, to hear, to smell, touch and taste "here." So I set off wandering around in the afternoons, after my class, a nice lunch and a little homework.

Dennis' daily hikes filled his head with ideas for places for us to go together -- not the monuments, museums and architecture one usually "must see," but things like someone's private Japanese garden,
Japanese garden

a rose that actually smells like a rose,
My favorite
a row of birches shimmering in the breeze coming off the Seine,
Birches along the Seine

and the taste of an apple crepe ordered at a window and carried off down the street.

There's a bridge that attracts musicians. We wandered across it, enjoying a piano tune. The player was perhaps performing something that might well have been his own composition. We don't know. Notice the bride and groom who stroll across the bridge behind him. Anything can happen. It was Saturday.

One of the oh-so-many King's palaces had a rose garden. Think about this. Roses, dozens and dozens of them, some of them bound to be the poster plants for "antique roses" being perhaps centuries old ... Varieties created way before looks and carefree cultivation were all that mattered. Smell these roses. Go ahead. They don't mind. Every one of them has a unique scent. Ahhhh. All my time in this garden I spent bent over, my nose in some rose or another.
Like a bee, drawn to the flower

One doesn't hear horns honking much in Paris, with two exceptions: marriages being celebrated by everyone who was invited to participate, as they drive apparently all over town hanging out of their windows and yelling and honking; and police convoys (and they always seem to travel in packs). So traffic has a bit of a different ring to it. It's more of a hum.

And there are all these little unique shops with their windows full of different kinds of things. If you see something that interests you, you'd better just stop right there and go inside and check it out. You won't remember where you saw it, and you won't see it anywhere else. No going back!

There was a hunt for the best yogurt. Yes, yum. My favorite was actually a fromage blanc with granola, served up at Telescope, near my school. Makes me want to start making yogurt again when I get home. Bread, granola, yogurt, fresh berries. Best breakfast in the world.
Telescope's fromage blanc
 et granole; Credit: Farfalue

A lizard, fish, crawfish-looking fountain? Well, why not?

Sea-themed fountain

Off to the side somewhere hidden, a courtyard with an old massive port that once opened to let in coaches, once blue, now with the paint very nearly completely peeled off. Oh, and a pot of yellow pansies beside it. Someone must have thought that one through.
The blue door

Things in the market that I've never seen before:

The roots of a celery plant.
Celery root

Apples that are sort of shriveled up, each box labeled with the variety. I wonder what one does with them? One of the stories in the Premiere Gorgee de Biere was about going down to the cellar and smelling these apples, and what a treat that was. Indeed.

Pommes ratatinees

And outside a shoe store, for no good reason, an antique pitcher filled with a colorful mix of tulips in full bloom -- it's being what I'd call late winter here and all...
Tulips on the sidewalk

So, this will go on for the next several days until the sun sets for the last time on our trip, we put away our things, fold everything up, compact it all into the couple of cubic feet we're allowed for luggage, and head for home!

Sunset from 7 Quai Voltaire

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