6 November 2012 – In search of icecream!

Today’s mission, book trains, walk lots, find great icecream!
After a relatively good night’s sleep (Astrid slept til after 7am and now doesn’t sound quite so much like  steam train sleeping next to us), we thought we had a plan for this weeks trips. We managed to get some bookings done online and needed to head to a train station for the others.  I had realised we had yet to get to Berthillon, the famous ice creamery in Paris.  We figured we might as well kill two birds with one stone and planned a morning outing for icecream and train ticket booking.

None of the main rail stations are particularly close to Berthillon, which is on Ile de St Louis, one the islands in the Seine, which we have yet to explore. We decided to head there first and it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed our walk along the Seine, with the sun shining and the crisp air. Once we got to Berthillon we quickly realised they weren’t open and we had managed to pick one of the 3 days a year they are probably closed. Not to fear, they are open later in the week so we will go back.

Astrid was getting antsy for morning tea we we headed back over the river and found a nice cafe where we indulged in some croissant, pain au chocolat and coffee for the adults. Astrid ate more food than both of us combined and then promptly fell asleep in the stroller.  We were happy to let her have a snooze as she is still catching up on sleep after being sick. We headed to Gare d’Lyon which was the nearest major train station and a couple of kilometres away. It was nice walking through yet another area we haven’t explored on foot.

Croissants are good:

Once at the station we found a ticket office and commenced waiting around.  Just like the previous day we experienced people pushing in line. It seems common here. Today we encountered our first truly rude French person. The ticket officer was obviously grumpy and although she spoke English she seemed unwilling to do so (despite her terminal being listed as English speaking) and she was generally grumpy with us. She managed to print our tickets for Wednesday that we hadn’t been able to print from the auto terminals but she wasn’t willing to help us book tickets on our pass for Mont St Michel. Even though we know we can book tickets without the pass being sighted she wasn’t interested and we gave up and decided to try another day.

Astrid was still snoozing and we figured there was no point waking her to head back to the apartment and put her back to sleep, so we decided on a walk to the Louvre where we had some souvenir shopping to do. It was about a 4km walk back but it was a lovely day out and we got to walk through streets we haven’t walked before. We did manage to walk past the Bastille statue, which is the only monument still standing in Bastille square, commemorating the French revolution.

We also walked past many shops (hmmm baby clothes) that we (OK me) are keen to go back and see. Anto is trying to forget how to get there, but I know they aren’t far from our normal walking route.  We found our way down to the Louvre and headed for the souvenir shops and stocked up on things to bring home. If you avoid the utter junk there are actually really good things to be found.  Somehow through all of this Astrid was STILL asleep and we walked back to our street and got our groceries, fruit and veg and lunch bread.  Pram loaded to the hilt we debated whether to get a coffee or head upstairs and Astrid woke up (after a 2.5 hour pram sleep) so we headed upstairs for a late lunch.

We finalised our car booking for the following day for our Loire valley trip and decided we really needed to get that icecream. Our morning walk was 10 kilometres all up so we figured we could go some icecream and we had promised Astrid. I had previously spied an Italian Gelato place further down our street on Rue Montorgueil. We obtained a selection of gelato and headed to the park to eat it. Astrid declared it ‘yum’ and indeed it was very yum.  We may have to go back as I noted they also do chocolate crepes with grand marnier among other delicious treats.
Icecream is yum!
Astrid’s eyes are finally better so thought given it was a nice day she should get a play at our ‘local’ park, Jardin Des Halles.  She is really starting to blend in with the local French Mademoiselles.  On the way back from the park we stopped in at some of the baby stores that are not too far from our place and found some very cute things.  Some gorgeous toys and clothes…….. We resisted buying any though.

Tomorrow we are up early and off to the Loire valley for Castles, Chateaus and spectacular gardens. It will be a long day so we are hoping it lives up to our expectations. Stay tuned for an update and pictures.

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