Lundi - Even though I don't really feel rested, I've done very little for the past three days and so I'm hoping we can have a nice trip over to La Défense on the far western side of the city. We have never been there because it's basically a corporate village with a lot of ultra-modern buildings. But I know from viewing on the internet, that it also has a lot of art work and a nice shopping center, and you know how we love shopping. Also adding to ease of the trip, is the fact that we only have to take one métro, the #1 line (though we do have to take two buses to get to the métro).
We left the apartment somewhat later than planned (so what else is new), but we got the métro at Nation and got seats which we will not give up since La Défense is the last stop. By the time we got to La Défense Esplanade (the next to last stop), the métro was packed and we decided to get off. That is a significant difference from the last stop and requires a lot of walking to get to the major attraction, la Grande Arche. That is not a bad thing, because there is a lot of artwork throughout the entire area. Almost every corporate building has something and they are all rather fascinating and mostly large sculptures.
Other than la Grande Arche, the major attraction for me is Les Quatre Temps, a shopping mall. I have been wanting to go for some time, but I had no idea it was so massive. Kiddies, we are talking at least a half mile long and four stories high. The funny thing was that we didn't even get past the first store (strangely called Pull and Bear before Robb was buying clothes. It was after that when we discovered just how big the place is. By the time we got near the end of the first level, we were hungry and stopped at a chain bistro called Paul, for a Baguette Mixte, pretty much the best I've ever had. It was more than we could finish, so we wrapped the remainders in a napkin and brought them home.
You can see all the La Défense pictures here (click on the La Défense group, of course): Flickr
After our lunch break, we walked out to the main court and found ourselves next to la Grande Arche. There is an elevator to the top, but we didn't go up. We were preparing to find the métro, when Robb discovered he had misplaced his bus pass. We thought he might have lost it in Pull and Bear, so we walked all the way back to the beginning of Les Quatre Temps. It was not there. I didn't really think it would be, because it's good for unlimited rides on the bus, the métro and the RER until the end of the month. That, of course, means that everytime we want to go some place, Robb will have to use a regular ticket. We went down to the métro area, which is another level of the mall, found a ticket booth and he bought a carnet of ten tickets. He will use three just to get back to the apartment.
When we got on the métro, we got a seat, but we had to give them up at the next stop. Let me explain that. All the cars on the métro have seats that fold down, where you can sit until the car gets really crowded, then you are supposed to stand up to allow more people into the car. We had to stand all the way across the city to Nation.
We had dinner at a Thai restaurant, the Q Bar, that Robb had thought was a gay bar , because of the Q, I suppose. If you drew a line from the Q Bar to l'Artiste Café to l'Angela and back to the Q Bar, it would form a nearly perfect triangle. Once again, we were the last to leave.
Plus à venir, mes amis.