PARIS—This morning we woke up early because of jet lag and had an adventure trying to find a place for breakfast.
The French apparently don’t break their fast until closer to noon. Ergo, finding a place to eat a hearty, hot breakfast was difficult.
We, however, got lucky as we were fortunate enough to come across a café a few blocks from our hotel, in the Latin Quarter that serves a traditional English breakfast.
As we enjoyed an assortment of eggs, ham, croissant with jam, yogurt, cappuccinos, and orange juice, we noticed that we ate more than all of the Parisians in the café combined (their breakfasts consisted of a croissant and black coffee.)
After we were satisfied, we headed off for an exploratory walk through Paris. We crossed the Pont Neuf bridge and walked west past the world’s longest building, the Louvre. To our left, the river Seine, Paris’ beautiful and historic river with various tourist boat shuttles passing by.
We entered the Jardin de Tuileries, the Louvre’s garden park, which was filled with tourists. Huge Greek and Renaissance sculptures are carefully placed around manicured trees, gardens, and bushes.
We sat around a large fountain basking in the sun and resting our feet, watching the ducks and admiring the symmetrical layout of the Louvre pointing in a directly to the Arc de Triomphe.
I’ve always been very impressed with this city’s layout and architecture. It’s very warm and welcoming, unlike the straight edge tall building layout of Manhattan. Here, there’s a sense of relaxation, grace, and sophistication.
We headed west to the end of the park with huge golden and black gates to the famous Hotel De Crillon located in Place de La Concorde.
Right outside the hotel rests the most beautiful fountain I’ve ever seen—Hittorf’s fountain—a structure with a sculpture of Poseidon, nymphs, cherubs, and goddesses. The fountain is resplendent in gold, black, and green.
Next to it is a strangely placed Egyptian Obelisk and a view of the famous Eiffel tower.
Parting ways with the fountain, we traversed onto Rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris’ chic, avant garde, high-class shopping street.
We stopped into Chanel to check out some bags as well as Christian Louboutin, where highly desired heels (10-14cm) are costlier than TVs. This is, after all, where haute couture was born!
Onward we marched, onto the Champs-Elysees, which is reminiscent of New York’s Times Square in its touristy appeal. The majestic Arc de Triomphe was awe-inspiring, sitting in the largest traffic circle in Paris.
We boarded the Metro, the efficient and clean subway system of Paris, and headed towards Pyramides, to check out a recommended Italian restaurant, Fuxia.
Unfortunately, the kitchen was closed, so we resorted to one of our all-time favorites—roast duck at Mirama, a Chinese restaurant in the Latin Quarter.
The duck here tastes unlike duck that I’ve had anywhere else—it is leaner and surprisingly more flavorful than duck back in the States. We also ordered the delicious, crispy and sweet Pekingese pork ribs. Finger-licking good! A perfect way to end our first full day in Paris.