We awoke to another rainy, grey day. You really do need your umbrella here. The forecast was for heavy rain, so we decided to do some indoor activities. Since it wasn’t raining too much. after breakfast we headed down to Jardin Des Halles to let Astrid have a play.
It was fairly quiet, with only a few other kids. It would have been great except all the equipment was wet. It didn’t particularly bother Astrid. She used her coat to sop up the extra water. After a bit of a play we decided to checkout the shops in the shopping centre next door, Forum Des Halles. It’s quite a big shopping centre, all underground, with several levels and it is built around the metro and RER station. We found a cafe and had our morning tea of coffee and pain au chocolat. It is now at the stage where we are going to have to order two croissants, as Astrid doesn’t like sharing and we barely get any. Upon departing the cafe, Astrid saw a large sign with a picture of a croissant and coffee, so she ran up to it, gave it a kiss and said ‘yum’. Passers by were cracking up at her.
We continued on with some shopping, and located Anto some boots. We think we now have everything we need for Switzerland. We have so far resisted buying too many things for Astrid. Anto keeps ‘forgetting’ where all the baby shops are located! We headed back to our apartment, and were relieved to have missed the downpour which occurred while we were shopping.
We decided to try the Italian restaurant below our apartment for lunch. We ordered a caprese di buffalo, a tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella pizza. It was fantastic, and Astrid enjoyed it too. We will be going back another day as they have so many yummy things on the menu that we had trouble choosing. It’s also particularly convenient being located 2 floors below where we are staying.
For our afternoon activity we decided to check out Centre Pompidou. We had walked past the building a few times but hadn’t been in. Centre Pompidou is a crazy glass building, with it’s escalators, air-conditioning shafts and utilities pipes on the outside.
The glass elevator:
The building houses a big public library as well as the Musee National d’Art Moderne, which has a rotating exhibit of 65.000 pieces. Some of the hundreds of exhibits:
It was a really fun building to walk around. Due to having the stroller with us we couldn’t use the escalators, as they were very steep and no strollers allowed. Instead we had to use the lifts. As all the lifts are external and glass you got a very good view of the city but it was a bit freaky.
The Centre is only 6 stories high, but from the top viewing platform you can see straight across Paris. It shows how flat the city is, with just the Eiffel Tower in the distance and the hill of Sacre Couer, standing above all the other buildings.
The views across Paris:
We had a walk around the exhibits. There were lots of fun things to look at and a heap of exhibits. We could have spent more time there but there is only so long you can contain a baby in a stroller for.
After we had looked at most things we wanted to see, we headed back outside to the square in front of the building to look at the Igor Stravinsky fountain, which is a shallow basin of 580 square meters located in Place Stravinsky, between the Centre Pompidou and the Church of Saint-Merri. Within the basin are sixteen works of sculpture inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, and his other major works. Astrid enjoyed watching all the colourful sculptures, spurting water, but was again annoyed that she couldn’t hop in the pond.
Weary from another day of walking around, and accumulating even more blisters from our new shoes we had dinner back in the apartment. Tonight’s dessert was another special from the Maison Collet boulangerie/patisserie, an apricot and cherry flan. I think there are at least 5 patisseries on our street, and we don’t want to discriminate so we will make sure we frequent all of them and report back.