Monday, September 9, 2019

Paris, France – Day 5 (September 9th)

We were up at 7:30am and made our way to Pere Lachaise Cemetery to see Jim Morrison's grave. 

A couple days ago, we signed-up for an Airbnb Experience -  Learn to Bake a French Macaron with a Chef - so we made our way to the workshop in Saint-Germain-des-Près, but first stopped to have some brunch - eggs with ham ('cuz we're obviously not having enough ham these days....), warm bread, coffee/tea. Also in the class was a woman from Denver and a woman from NYC.  The instructor was Emanuelle - absolutely lovely and full of information. 

Some pictures of all our hard work...........

Making the filling.........

Then the shell...........

Piping...........


More piping.............



Baking..........

Assembled!

Newly-minted macaron chefs!

Something to keep in mind - the "perfect" macarons you see in the bakery, well those are machine made.  When they are "not so perfect," well, that means that they're made by hand! 😃

We really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot -  more than just macaron making - general baking knowledge as well that we will definitely use going forward. 

With our freshly baked macarons in hand, we walked about a mile to see Notre Dame.

From the front......


What it looked like before the fire.......(postcard)

What it looks like now.........
 Some of the repair work being done........

We took the subway home and waited for a restaurant to open (they eat late in Paris!) and found ourselves at an Italian restaurant  - a small place - with fabulous food - Brad had a risotto dish and Suzanne had a roasted vegetable with fresh mozzarella dish - both were fabulous.  The owner, a young Italian guy, was super friendly and chatted with us a while. It was definitely a great last dinner in Paris and a great meal with which to end our 3-week adventure!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Paris, France – Day 4 (September 8th)

Today was the day we planned to go to Versailles, so we were up at 6:30am. We tried the second of our three desserts from the bakery - a sesame eclair (very "trendy" according to the person working the counter). It was super sweet, but we couldn't determine what, exactly, it tasted like. The gray filling was strange as well - sort of looked like grout. 

We took the Metro to Versailles and chatted with a couple from Bend, Oregon on our way there. We had no idea where to go once we arrived to the Versailles train station; we simply followed the masses and walked to the palace. It's pretty enormous - can't miss it!
 

The palace opened at 9am; we had purchased tickets online a while ago for a 10am timed-entry, meaning that we didn't not have to wait in the l-o-n-g ticket line and could wait in the much shorter line.

We grabbed our free audio-tours and started the tour.  There was a lot of interesting information, but being that neither one of us are major history buffs, we can barely remember much of what we heard/read. (Oh, but fun fact - the Treaty of Versailles was signed on Suzanne's birthday!)


Some pictures from inside the palace.........






 


We then went to enjoy the extensive gardens and grounds - wow!  Just the size alone was amazing, on top of that, the fountains,  plantings, etc... In fact, a large part of the land seems to have been given as a public park (we assume for some tax break at one time).



We worked our way to the Grand Trianon - a retreat for King Louis XIV for when he needed to take a break from the Palace of Versailles (seriously?!) and to the Petit Trianon (eventually Marie Antoinette's retreat), stopping for a nutella crepe along the way - pretty damn good!



 
  

There was even a hamlet created for Marie Antoinette.



Some of the fountains......







There were tons of statues.......
 

Even  as decoration on the palace.........






We took the train back to Paris and got home about 6pm after spending seven hours at Versailles. We enjoyed our third dessert - a chocolate eclair - after our typical dinner - and agreed that it was the best of the three desserts we purchased. It's was bit sad knowing that our eating multiple sweets per day would soon be coming to an end.






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