Thursday, April 29, 2010

April in Paris (and Iceland?)

We arrived in Paris on a less than glorious April morning. The skies were gray, and the wind was chilly.

Still, it was Paris................

My friend, Dianne, and I headed out
immediately for Rue Daguerre, and
lunch at the Cafe Daguerre

Diane ordered a boeuf bourguingnon,
which was served in a cast iron pot,
and was absolutely delicious. Don't
you just love friends who share with you!

I ordered my usual pate de foie gras

Often there is something sweet served 
with this dish, such as carmelized onions, 
or an apple compote.  I enjoy the 
contrasting tastes when this is done.  
Here it is simply served with a side
of sea salt, but was delicious none the less.

None of the kiosks were out today on Rue Daguerre.  Of course, it wasn't market day.
If you want to know more about this market, see my post of January 13, 2010.
I was still hoping to get some honey at Famille Mary but the shop is closed on Monday.

We headed back to the Metro and over to the Eiffel Tower.  We wanted to see the what was blooming in
the Trocadero and the champ de mars.éro,_Paris

Along the way we posed for typical tourist photos.
I think this one is of the Leaning Tower of Paris.
I didn't think that we had that much wine with our
lunch. Must have been the lack of sleep.

I was a bit surprised that the flowers were not nearly as open as the blossoms in London had been.  It is still a bit early here, and the weather has been a been a bit colder.  By the end of April they will be in their glorious full bloom.  We did see a magnificent tulip magnolia that was already celebrating spring.

And we saw a tulip bed that was only beginning to show it's potential,
providing a backdrop for young lovers enjoying the Champ de Mars, 
despite the chill in the wind.

We walked by 10 Avenue Charles Floquet, where my friends Carolina and Hernan used to live, with the Eiffel Tower in their front yard.  I have so many good memories there.

We stopped for a pastry and coffee at my favorite patisserie on Avenue de Suffren.  They have the very best raisin pastry I have ever had..........and I can't tell you the name of the place.  I will have to note it and take a photo on my next trip.

Okay, I found the name of my favorite bakery/pastry shop at 34 Avenue de Suffren.  It is called Legros (pere et fils) and I linked it to Google Earth.  There is probably a better way to do this so that the link isn't so long, but it is kind of interesting, so you can take a look.  It isn't the fanciest shop, but I do love their pain aux raisins.,+Paris,+France&sll=35.113682,-80.842347&sspn=0.010356,0.018818&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=34+Avenue+de+Suffren,+75015+Paris,+Ile-de-France,+France&ll=48.854963,2.295064&spn=0.002082,0.004705&t=f&z=18&layer=c&cbll=48.855031,2.294953&panoid=ffes15inraklzunUw-ZHDQ&cbp=12,204.96,,1,12.81&err=1

We left on schedule the next day and all was going well until we had a little problem with fumes in the plane.  This information is probably classified or something, so I will only say that we don't take this kind of thing lightly, so we made an unexpected stop in Keflavik, Iceland.

Do you think those reflective strips on the ground crew's jackets work?

The company brought in another plane from the UK to take the passengers home that night. The crew was not legal to fly (we would have been on duty for too many hours), so we spent the night.

I had never been to Iceland before, and I was interested in seeing the landscape.  It is as barren as you would imagine, yet the town could be any small coastal town in early spring.

I would like to go back there and see more of the country.  
We were only about 20 minutes away from their famous 
Blue Lagoon, but it was getting dark and we were leaving 
early the next morning, so there just wasn't time. 

The now infamous volcano with a name no one outside of Iceland can pronounce, erupted a couple of hours after we left on 14 April.  I still swear that I had nothing to do with it. The Blue Lagoon spa is offering a volcano special for people lucky enough to be stuck in Iceland. 

Update:  Now that the volcano has settled down, the above mentioned special is not being offered.  An episode of the show "The Bachelorett" was filmed here and aired on June 21.

The most wonderful thing about Iceland was the people.  They are bilingual, moving between English and their own Icelandic language with ease.  They work diligently to preserve their language and keep it alive.
The following link is only interesting if you are into languages and their origins.

We left early the next
morning for Dallas. I will
keep a warm memory of
the people of Keflavik,
and I will remember the
hospitality and the kindness
they showed to us.

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